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Showing posts from December, 2010

First Step Is Always Difficult

When you were a child your parents didn't teach you how to run, right.  They just taught you how to stand up and taught how to take first step.  I think that was the most challenging part in our JOURNEY from standing up, walking and running.

We form our dreams full of running sequences flowing and following one after another.  And that is what makes it all difficult for us to even pursue them.  We cannot figure out and break down our dreams in to small small chunks of achievable steps.  Which in turn leads to first steps.  What prevents us is that first step.

We just need to take that one step, to get started.  And that is the big step in getting a momentum started.

Goals For New Year

2010 has been a great year for me both professionally and personally.  In the early 2010 I wrote a post on, "Why new year resolutions don't matter but goals do matter".  And the motivation behind it was I made a two page full of goals for year 2010.  I made some 24 goals to hit in the year 2010.   My wife would even have thought at one point that this guy has no focus and there is no chance he is going to finish all of them.  To keep my subconscious mind focus on my goals I still have them posted in front of my desktop, so that I see it everyday.

Wow ! ambitious it might sound at first but let me tell you that all the top priorities were completed and some were 25% completed.  One of my goals was to write at least 250 blog posts in year 2010 and as a regular reader you can easily figure out that I was able to do it.  Yeah !

Some Goals didn't made any sense to me after two months or so.  After six months I laughed at myself.  But I was not ashamed of myself.  I still…

Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Pay close attention to these two arguments below.

1.)  I don't write because I have to, I write because I want to.

2.) I don't write because I want to, I write because I have to.

In both the cases, I can make compelling arguments in such a way that both will be correct.  I have read many bloggers who believe in either of these philosophies and still they do equally good.  So what is the deal here and What I am trying to pitch with it?

It is the same world, same 24 hours given to everyone of us.  Situations happen to everyone of us.  Both Good and Bad.  It is up to us how we take them.  And ultimately we are responsible for our own happiness and miseries.  How we want to see the coin is what matters.

You can turn your adversaries into opportunities and opportunities into adversaries.    In the former case wisdom will come quicker and delayed in the latter case.

Thousands of TV channels are broad casted on Television today and it is quite likely that when you turn it on, you wi…

Christmas Happiness

Christmas ! What a wonderful time to be with family and friends !  Some people were not able to meet their family and friends during Christmas.  They will be sad.  How simple it is to figure out that we are Happy when connected with people and sad when left alone.

We correlate our most important events in life as the most happiest moments.  For example, Marriage, Graduation, Engagement and so on are considered to be happiest ones.  On those days we are together.  There are lots of people around us.  We feel the strength of our connection.  We will be Happier on our wedding day than standing on Time Square during New Year's Eve, because we will be surrounded by strangers in the later case. 

I call the Happiness from being connected as Christmas Happiness.  The more and better we are connected with people(real and valuable connections) the more happier we are.  We can create this Christmas Happiness everyday if we are willing to go out of our comfort zone and build some real and las…

The Sexiest Fashion Show On Earth

If you are attracted by the title of the post and coming to read this then I guess you will be disappointed.  But the idea behind this post is very fascinating and great.  I feel this gives a whole new dimension to what we are doing in the business world today and what we should be doing.

First of all if you haven't seen the latest Victoria's Secret fashion show then go on Youtube and see it.  And I don't mean it by any sense of vulgarity.  It is a spectacular show by all operations, marketing and management means.  Articles after articles and case studies can be done on just how they execute the whole show.  It is marvelous.

Needless to say if you see some leading fashion designers' shows then you will see the planning and preparation behind it.  But guess what, who is the show stealer in this all process, "Not the model, Not the Person, Not the product".    It is the "Idea".  The Idea of newness.  What the heck next year's show will look like…

The Happiness Guide

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"We take different paths in life to achieve the same goal in life - Happiness" - Tony Hsieh CEO - Zappos.

There are millions of people out there who are just waiting, waiting and waiting.  Waiting for that one day when their dreams will be fulfilled and they feel that they will be Happy.  Tony says in his book(Delivering Happiness),  that when people's dreams are fulfilled they figure out that their Happiness is often short lived.  So if Happiness is short lived then why we create such false hopes in our mind that Happiness is not in the near future.  It will only come if we do this.  It will only come if we have enough money.

We don't have to wait for that one day in order to be Happy.  In one shot you can decide whether you want to be Happy or Miserable.  It is your decision.  And you have to take it.   If you start asking people what makes them Happy, you will find interesting answers.  I will leave that up to you as an exercise.  However from Tony's Book I th…

Networking Tip: Volunteer

If you see a place where people are volunteering you will find that they are doing it because of money.  If they were doing it for money then their common sense would have told them way before about the economics of it.  These people are there because they want to give back something.  They want to be a part of the community, which means that they are open for networking.  The doors are open.  These guys are easily approachable and are happy go lucky kind of people.  They have left their egos way back to give back.

We had a paper in business school on "What makes an organization a learning organization?"  One of the things it mentioned was that the leaders of great organizations were always involved in some kind of organizations - mostly nonprofit.  Not to mention they were lifelong leaders.  So if you go to volunteer at an event or do any kind of service project for any organization then any guesses whom you will find there?  Leaders.  Trust me, try it out.  Bonding is las…

Blogging: When In Doubt, Don't Post

Bloggers are creative.  They are creative and hence they can come up with many ideas instantly.  I don't know about all of them but at least I can relate to myself.

I think of many ideas that could be potential blog posts.  Some times I get so excited about an idea that I feel this is it. I have to write on it.  After writing few lines on it, I tend to loose interest.  I have even written some posts which now reading back I feel that I shouldn't have written them.  But that is the learning process after all.  Any ways, the best way to tackle such creative sparks (where we are unsure about the idea) is to save the idea and write them later.

I have more than 60 drafts of blog posts pending which I thought were great ideas but now I cannot find more thoughts to write on it.  So I just save them.  Whenever I feel that they are ready to go out, I post them.  

The best way to judge whether a creative blog post or idea is really great is to give it a time test.  If you feel that you…

Word Of Mouth Will Always Win

I think the whole Idea of marketing these days is getting blurred.  We are on the verge of exploding marketing channels.  As days pass by marketing channels are going to increase and mass is going to fragment exponentially.  And marketing is going to be tougher and tougher.  And no wonder even in this space big marketers will win.  
According to me, the word "Social Media" is not appropriate, because it makes you think only few selected channels where you have to market your brand.  I believe in the word, "Social Marketing".  That 's it.  Which makes you think from the base, like how can we market a brand socially v/s on social media.  When you want your brand to be recognized socially, what you will do?  What spreads socially?  Word of Mouth?  If yes then how is word of mouth generated?  Through a great service or a product.  When you go deeper and ask how and why of everything it will boil down to only one aspect. 
Focus on building something remarkable and gre…

Why I Won't Consider Outsourcing Social Media?

A friend of mine who owns local business asked me if he can outsource social media.  He wanted to outsource marketing his own brand using Facebook and twitter to a third party.  "Stop" I said.  I told him few reasons why he should not consider outsourcing his social media to another company.

1.) Emotional Connection
Social Media sites like Facebook and Twitter are great and excellent ways to promote your brand.  But what if somebody who doesn't know what its like connecting with real people.  Social media is not just a place where numbers increase.  It is not about spamming people to join my facebook page or follow our brand on twitter.  It is about doing the hard emotional labor of connecting with people at an emotional level.  To go out and do something that your followers care.

You might argue that is it like a third party can't connect with people?  It is not like that.  There has to be an emotional connection with your brand.  Your people in the company know mor…

The Vision Quote

"I am  not a Man on a Mission, I am a Man on a Vision" - Anonymous

End Of Office Culture?

Lets' take most modern companies and start-ups.  You do not see a walled empire where people are found in offices.  You see lots of people working together with each other in one large room.  There are large steel pillars and high roofs. 

People get fascinated when they have a personal office.  But office culture of staying and working within walls is bad.  And also it is fading away. 

Here is a sweet story.

When companies  are found, they are usually found by few individuals working in one room.  It works out  great for them.  No need to take appointment to talk.  No breach of privacy, as there is no privacy.  No layers of bureaucracy as everyone is at the same level.  Sounds great right.  Yes.  It is great because things work out faster this way.

When companies scale they add up weight to their balloon and the balloon starts coming down.  More departments, more offices, more bureaucratic layers and more need for privacy.  Things go slow and super slow, ultimately leading to cr…

Build Something Great

There are a thousand billion opportunities out there for you to create and build something.  Previously there were non existent.

The big brother who created these opportunities, "The Internet".  If you are still underestimating the power of internet then just look at companies which are build within last 5 years not 10, not 15 only last 5 years.  Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Groupon.

They are changing the face of an entire generation.  If people think now it cannot be done, it is not like that.  Value can be created any time.  Building something that people can't live without is worth billions.  And it is done every year and faster than ever before.  It just depends when people choose to wake up.

Higher Purpose In Life

Have a higher purpose in life than the self.  Profits follow (higher) purpose.  Organizations with higher purpose made more money than those who just concentrated on profits.

Social Media: Transparency And Responsiveness

Focusing too much to come up with a good social media strategy I think is a waste of time.  I feel a company which is transparent and truly responsive has a great social media presence.  And if companies can focus on being transparent and responsive then they can build a great brand using social media.

Transparency
If you want to have a presence on twitter then really you will have to tweet it up.  Which is not limited to using twitter but you will have to give updates to followers every now and then.  This leads to opening a window into company culture.  The more you tweet up personal and relevant information about the company the more followers will follow up.  If you are truly transparent then over time you will realize value.  The bigger the window    , the bigger the presence and engagement.

Responsiveness
Social media is demanding.  If you cannot back it up with reps answering tweets or email or complains then you shouldn't think on going heavy into this.  Customers want to b…

The Good And The Bad

There are good people and there are bad people.   I don't understand any other adjective that better describes people in this world.   When you add vocabulary to describe people you become judgmental about your own behavior to other person.

You will meet both kinds of people where ever you go.  We can be good and become somebody's good.  And if we become bad then other person will ignore us as bad and we will do our own bad.

Why should somebody's bad behavior affect our behavior?  Remember this, if everybody in this world just reacted then there would have been bad all over.  And clearly we could notice.

Clearly that's not the case.  There are good people doing their natural act of goodness and that is making this world a place to live in.  Just be good to others and good will prevail.

We have been trained to believe something only when we see it.  So we quickly believe that people are bad because the reaction is visible.  For example if I slap somebody then the react…

Learning New Skills

It never hurts to learn new skills.  If you think how it is going to help you then you are falling in the trap which most people do.

As Steve Jobs said in his Standford commencement speech, "You cannot connect the dots by looking forward, You can only connect them by looking backwards". Some skills which you never thought would help you, are helping you right now.  If you had thought this way then,  perhaps you won't have done it.

Have You Heard Of Founder's Syndrome?

A Good company with a great founder achieves great success.  As soon as the founder leaves the company, the company growth and success take a downward path.  All that company achieved was due to that founder.  Personality traits of the founder can be easily seen in the company's culture.  This is what is founders' syndrome. 
I experienced this last year when I was president of organization.  All my laziness I could literally see in my organization.  When I was active, work was getting done and when I was not active, work didn't get done.  Over time you discover how to overcome those pitfalls and how to manage people on the basis of principles and not self directed visions.
Founder's syndrome can be overcome if we can focus on building something great and building a great future, where we all want to be.  We can be cured of founders' syndrome if we have the right people on the bus.  
Even in family we can see traits of founder's syndrome.  If one person is wrong we…

Thoughts On Social Media

Too much of Buzz is around these days about Social Media.  And it is going to increase.

Every other company is try to get a piece of the pie.  Everybody needs more and more subscribers and fans over night.  This is going crazy.  Whom to follow and whom to not, is really a question of enjoyable and thought provoking moments.

Even if you owned Facebook, realizing value from your fan base is still a challenge.  Not everyone liking your brand is liking it for the same reason and still buying from you.  Getting engagement from users is the biggest challenge.

Motivating a fan who is in a different country to take action is the power of social media if used right.  Social media is exploited and also used responsibly.

Social media if used with responsibility then companies can experience true power of their campaigns.  Not to miss this point, there is also lot of faking going on in this scope.  A truly successful media company is the one which is able to fake it and manipulatable.

The num…

Win Win Situation

Inside an organization, there is no zero sum game.  If you win, I loose it is not like that.  If I am learning a new technology and if others in the organization cannot benefit from it then it is not going any further.  Of course you will argue that what is a big deal in teaching a new technology to others.  Right.  It is not a big deal.  

But what about leadership skills.  Who will teach and mentor others on leadership?  If you have to work everyday with people who do not understand what you are saying, isn't it a nightmare for you to work with them.    You want people who are like you.  The work place would be a much better place then.

It is not about who is going forward, which department is ahead and better than others.  It is about whether departments are learning from each other.  It is about if we are able to grow together.  If you want to make this world a better place to live then you have to go beyond the self.  If we have to reduce green house gases then one organizatio…

Did You Noticed This?

In the video below, which showcases new form of advertising, the art they are showcasing is appealing.  Not only that they are innovating in how to display this kind of messages.  When your car is passing by it is difficult to concentrate but when you are waiting at a signal this a spectacular.  You can even decide whether you want to stop by the advertising restaurant or not.

They filled a gap when you were doing nothing but just waiting at the signal.  This gap is not filled by technology. It was an idea that took off.   Advertising is powered by ideas.


Great Blogs Are Not Built By One Big Shot

Great Blog such as Seth Godin's Blog, TechCrunch and BoingBoing were not transformed into great blogs in just one big shot.  Big Shot means one big blog post, one guest appearance, one guest post or by using a great platform.  Those great blogs gained momentum step by step using one simple formula, "Keep Shipping, Continuous Improvement,  Great Leadership and Thinking Differently".

Keep Shipping
All the great blogs if you see, they are still shelling out their creativity at regular intervals from the time they launched.  They never gave up and always challenged their status quo to ship their posts.  Once you build up an audience, they need the meat to consume.  If you don't provide it somebody else will provide it.  And as a result the birds will fly away.

Continuous Improvement
With each blog post they improved and pushed their boundaries.  They have shown improvement in the way they market their blogs, way they use their technology and the platform, way they engage …

Innovation

It is not about knowing how the technology works but it is about knowing what can be done with what you have. Exploiting the gaps and exploring new ways to do old things.  Within few years everything would be re imagined and recreated by engineers and leaders around the world.  There is tremendous opportunity lying around us if we  are willing to do something different.  Go to KhoslaVentures.com and see how their different portfolio companies are innovating.

It is about imagination.  If you can imagine and lead, you can build your own future.

Networking Tip

Most Important Networking Tip:  Keeping track of your conversations with your networking friends or business partners.

You meet me today and we talk on "what are you working on?"  We just talked causally about life and business and other important things.  After a month of so we again catch up and we don't want to start all over again.  And you might meet some person after long time.  It is difficult to remember what he/she said then.

Ideally you want to start the conversation from where you left.  So that it is smooth and both parties feel comfortable.  Business deals get so comfortable when you know that other person knows you and they care for you.

Do you know one secret?  You will not ask your childhood friend about his name.  Or even what he is working on.  You remember it.  After all he is your friend.  That is how networking is supposed to be.  How come we cannot co-relate networking with friendship?

For real, I will tell you one truth.  I hate word, "Networ…