Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Different ways to deal with "Idea Rejection"

When was the last time your idea was rejected?  Did they ignored your idea, or laughed at it?  Were you taken aback by their response?  Should you just stop thinking about new ideas and never tell anybody?

The phenomenon of your idea being rejected is what I call "Idea rejection".  Most people when faced with "Idea rejection" will give up or will take a vow of never pitching an idea in front of their boss or friends.  Some will even think of quitting their job.  Some will feel insecure.  The challenge for creative individuals is dealing with "Idea rejection"?  Here are few tips on dealing with "Idea rejection".

Move on 
Makes no or little sense, don't get stuck on that piece.  Find out what was liked and needs improvement.  Write it down and move ahead.  Don't waste time on it.

No egos please
For most people, affected by "Idea rejection" syndrome, it is difficult to put their egos aside.  Your idea has nothing to do with you or your being or your existence.  Common its' just an idea who got rejected, not you.  Leave attachments and egos aside.


You didn't walked on your birthday
The perfect idea that matches others' reaction can come the first time or after 100th time.   You didn't learned walking right on the same day you were born.  It will take time for you to improve and in the meanwhile keep shelling out more ideas.  Don't stop. 

Here is another one
Know this first and right, you will definitely face rejection many times in this creative economy.  That is not a big deal.  The point is you should not stop your creative ability with rejections.  You should be prepared to fight with it.  When someone rejects your idea, you should say, "No problem, how about this one". 

If you stopped, then you fell in the trap of emotionally challenged people. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Second thoughts on Blogging

What blogging does?

1.) Brings humility and wisdom over time.
2.) Teaches you how to be patience.
3.) Forces you to explore more and learn more.
4.) Opens up numerous networking opportunities
5.) It is PR
6.) Increases your visibility.


Blogging is not = $1,000,000.    But it will open up new doors for you to earn $1,000,000 for your services.

One blog post is not = Dramatical improvement in your present situation.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

22 most important words

What they mean and what will you do about it?  Here is what most successful people do with them.

1.)  Excellence -  Live it.
2.)  Your "Brand" - Show it.
3.)  Gift - Give it.
4.)  Promises - Keep it.
5.)  Charisma - Spread it
6.)  Hatred - Kill it.
7.)  Misery - Forget it.
8.)  Happiness - Share it.
9.)  Attitude - Change it.
10.)  Leadership - Live it.
11.)  Failure - Try it again.
12.)  Passion - Build it.
13.)  Creativity - A scare resource, value it.
14.)  Status quo - Challenge it.
15.)  Fear - Overcome it.
16.)  Mistakes - Accept them.
17.)  Ideas - Spread them.
18.)  Trust - Gain it.
19.)  Improve - Yourself first.
20.)  Boundaries - Destroy them
21.)  Ignorance - Google it.

And "Success - will come"

Go do it.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

Next logical step?

If you graduated from IIT(Indian Institute of Technology) then your next logical step would be to either join R & D of a Fortune 500 or Join MIT for further studies else go to top B-school for your MBA Degree.  You could be even doing research for your own start-up company as well.

What is the next logical step you will take after your graduation? Find a Job or join family business or continue further education.  That is the most obvious step people take in their life.  To do amazing things with your life, your next logical step should be clear and should reflect your personality.

Your each step should be in sync with your brand.  The brand that you have built over these years.  If you believe in what you are doing is correct then the next steps shall eventually fall in.   Doing something contradictory to your brand is harmful and it doesn't fit in your logic. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Smarter not Harder

Few things to make you smarter at doing what you are already doing at work, home, school.

1.)  Go electronic
2.)  Remove redundancy
3.)  Continuously organize your computer folders(here)
4.)  Store on a online(cloud).
5.)  Keep all your data in one folder
6.)  Remove redundancy
7.)  Print only if necessary
8.)  Focus on your core competency
9.)  Continuously improve repetitive tasks
10.)  Always think how can you do a certain task faster
11.)  Remember 80/20 rule.
12.)  Exercise, Exercise and Run
13.)  Go for 3.  Plan only on three things. Do only 3 things.
14.)  The best way to send email
15.)  Organize your emails by categories, folders and filters (here)
16.)  Take time to plan it makes your life easier


Notes:
4.) Store docs online like google docs, box.net etc.
11.) In everything you do, 80 % of your time is unproductive and only 20 percent productive.  Then why not do something only for 20 % of your time and do something else. 
13.) It is easy to plan three, work three and repeat it again because you could do 3.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Doesn't make any sense

Why are we doing things which doesn't make any sense?  Why spend any money on Billboard advertising if nobody cares about it?

If meetings are not productive why not do something else in a meeting that would work.  You best friend or your brother isnt't motivated no matter how much you tell him to do something.  Should you still try the same way to convince him?

Why conduct class the same way if students are not paying attention?   Would you spend entire time in a class lecturing or have some fun along the way? 

Why not stop everything that doesn't make any sense and do it another way.

There are so many ways to try it out.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Focus on your core competency

If you are designer then your core competency is designing not manufacturing a product.  Outsource manufacturing.  Give it to someone who is better at it.

This makes your life much easier.  Take time to figure out what I can give up and not worry on.  Can somebody else do it better?  Or see if somebody else has already done it or not. 

My dad has passion for designing wooden furniture and he says, "I don't know how to sell or market and it will take time to figure all this out".  I told it is ok if you don't know it but why waste time in doing it by self. 

It is much easier to find people who can do it for you at your price.   Figure out a business model which will allow you to outsource and still you can run for profit. 

Don't waste time on something which you are not good at.  Invest time on your core competency and get better at it. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Where are those expectations?

What one great thing schools brought into our society was to expect you to perform momentarily.  Atleast for India it worked like this, give your children enormous amount of pressure, expect them to do outstandingly well, continuously compare them with others, and keep doing it until they graduate.  When you fail it is even worse.

For many slackers this system pushed them to get through high school and they did ok.  For achievers it pushed them to get better every time.  However the hype and all the drama was restricted till you graduated.  Suddenly nobody cared, it seemed like the silence after a thunder storm.  There were no expectations from you to continuously improve, learn new things and lead.

As long as you were able to feed your family you were good.  No expectations.  The "I don't care attitude", "TGIF mentality", "Oh it is Monday" and everything with comfortable tag comes.  Here is when most damage occurs to a person, society and perhaps the entire country.  The great "Status Quo" guy kicks in.  It prevents you from doing anything.  The downward spiral begins.

Nobody did anything because nobody expected them to do so.  However even in the midst of all this mess there were few parents, motivators, speakers, companies, mentors, teachers who were hard to please. They didn't gave in so easily.  

So work for a company which always expects more from you, expects you get better at what you do, work for a boss who is hard to please and challenges your status quo.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

On a Sunday

1.  Instead of late, wake up early
2.  Go spend some time with family
3.  Sleep early and get energize for Big Brother "Monday"
4.  BE ALONE for atleast an hour and do nothing
5.  Just call someone whom you wished to call since long
6.  Do something entirely different

Simply enjoy whatever you do.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Few facts about Resume

Pull your resume up and go through below list
1.)  It is never perfect
2.)  Resume - Relevant Experience = College Degree
3.)  Resume + Great Font + Great Layout - Excellent Content = Garbage
4.)  Your current resume is just a snapshot
5.)  Resumes evolve
6.)  Yes they do talk about you
7.)  Its your "Brand"
8.)  Reference Section = Credibility
9.)  Every resume is different and yes for every job
10.) You will not get it right the first time
11.)  If you can't prove your skills don't mention them
12.)  If you have faint acquantances of knowing something don't mention it
13.)  Get it checked by relevant people in the industry
14.)  Organization Involvement = No money minded
15.)  Must have atleast one area of expertise
16.)  Resumes have three best friends: Cover Letter, Portfolio, Recommendation Letter

Go take care of your "Brand", your "Resume"

Friday, August 20, 2010

First Few Things

To a complex problem nobody knows the right answer.  And it is a normal psychology, nobody is born genius.  But many business leaders have developed skills to get right answers from their people.  Once you know the problem, what will you do first and then next will get you to the right answer.  Ask your people what Tom Peters mentioned once that "4 most important words in an organization : What do you think?".  

On asked what were the first few things you did to manage yahoo, Carol Bartz CEO of Yahoo, said in an interview featured on Fastcompany.com that, "The first thing I did was just set up 45 min sessions with as many people as I could and just listened. I said, "Okay, what do you think needs to be changed here? What's good? What's bad? What would you do if you were sitting in my seat?" And then I'd always ask, "Who else should I talk to?"  

And while you are in a conversation never assume that your answer or your way is the right way to do.  Consider everyone's opinion is just another way of doing the same thing.  There will be many solutions, opinions and perceived right answers.  Which one shall you choose?  Will you go with the pundits, gut instincts, consensus?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

One thing you should be scared off

Pixar and Apple are afraid of only one thing: Complacency.  In the recent Harvard Business Review article, "What Google could learn from Pixar?"  Peter Sims pointed out few things which have kept Pixar and Apple continuously innovating.  One thing stood out was complacency. 

Every thing else is secondary and you should not worry about the competition.  Most companies get settled after they have achieved success and go into their comfort zone.  Microsoft started innovating and spending lot of research dollars only when they discovered Google eating away their lunch.  Should you be scared when your competition is catching up? 

Google continuously gave their engineers the freedom to innovate and work on their own projects.   Still how come they got kicked out of social media surface?  It is only when Facebook started accumulating piles of Google's advertising dollars, Google took social media seriously. 

Are you afraid because others have caught up?  You should be afraid of only one thing: Complacency.

Read the following as quoted by Peter Sims in his article, "Steve Jobs, Ed Catmull, and John Lasseter said, in effect, 'The only thing we're afraid of is complacency, feeling like we have it all figured out. We want you to come shake things up. We will give you a good argument if we think what you're doing doesn't make sense, but if you can convince us, we'll do things a different way.' For a company that has had nothing but success to invite a guy who had just come off a failure and say, 'Go ahead, mess with our heads, shake it up.' When do you run into that?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Meetings after Meetings

This evident in many organizations and lots of project teams.  A bunch of representatives assemble together in a small room and all they do is talk, talk and talk.  To do smallest thing they call a meeting.  Cross functional teams are assembled and many times there are no results.  No outcomes.  Projects gets delayed and often fails. 

Lots of causes can be listed out for no outcomes like leadership, lack of interest, no agenda, boring people and you have to go attitude.  But this is everywhere and that is not the point.   The point is who is going to stand up and change.  Stand up and quit.  Make a commitment.   Are you the one who will take charge of leadership?  Will you bring back the zing, walk or quit? 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Three Rules to Creativity

Some are born with and some dig their way out of it.  Being creative is easy but for many its out of their scope. Below are three simple rules to creativity so that it will stick.

Rule 1.  No idea is a bad idea
It is a normal psychology of a person to think the appropriateness of an idea, like whether it is good or bad.  Or whether my idea is in the context or not.  Every idea is a good idea as long as it come to your mind.  Acknowledge it and give it a name. The next step is to improve on that idea.  This principle is derived from Zen, where you just accept everything that comes to you and improve on it.

Rule 2.  Become fearless
Don't get intimidated by any one not even yourself.  Don't fear about others' judgment (Best example Lady Gaga).  "What shall others' think and what will happen if others' will reject my idea" thoughts like that should never come and should never prevent you from shipping your idea to masses.  Your best one will come after lot of bad ones.  So you giving bad ideas is ok.   Continuous improvement is the key.  

Rule 3.  Experiment more than you can
If you don't experiment how you will know something is working or not.  Google experiments so much and all of their products aren't successful.  Some win and some never see the day light.  And they know this thing from day one.  So why not increase the rate of doing more experiments, which will eventually give you more better products.  And you move ahead you will get better at rolling out better products.

Related posts on Creativity
1.) Are you creative?
2.) Barriers to creativity
3.) How not to lose any idea?
4.) Creativity and Play
5.) Don't mix creativity and money

Monday, August 16, 2010

Richard St. John, "Success is a continuous journey"

The video below is my one of the favorite Ted videos. In this one Richard St. John says, "Success is a continuous journey". Previously he spoke on the 8 secrets to success which I posted in December 2009. Most of us forget those few things which did to get to the success which is the key focus of this video. We should keep doing things that led us to success.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Feeling and experience

What does great products have in common?  Why do you want to use them over and over again?  Or Why do you want to own a product which you haven't used once?

What is that one thing in apple's products that people want to buy?  Feeling.  It is the feeling which you get after using those products make them great.  It is the feeling of being associated with a group of people who share similar feelings.

Sometimes even before buying, you get associated with the product.  It is the word of mouth from the people playing the game in influencing you to choose that product.   A product like iphone or kindle from amazon projects a picture of yourself in a different state in the future which you are longing for.

The user experience or customer experience is the name of the game for corporates and enterprises to engage customers.  There is increasing demand for UI designers then ever before. 

Before sending your products to the market, do some experience testing.  Ask yourself the question : Is this the kind of experience I want to get all the time I use this product?  First experience yourself a product or service and get obsessed by it.  Don't sell if you don't want to use it in the first place.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A moving expert

Once in a while all of you must have experienced the trouble of moving your stuff from house.  So many boxes, furniture and so many attachments to physical things just gets into your way to make the moving experience pleasant.   And more you get into fight with your emotions.

If you have been moving for couple of times in the last few years or even traveling around, then you know if you have less things to carry the better.  You can do things faster.  If all things are organized and placed in named boxes it makes you job damn easy.  If all the related things are in one box : Super easy.

In today's world you have to be a moving expert in all aspects of your life.  Have few things around you  and below are few reasons why you should consider, less is better.

1.)  I have very less stuff to carry with me when I travel hence it makes my travel worry free, pleasant, allows me to explore new places, people and food.  Less hassle, easy to go places.

2.) Everything in my computer is just in one folder.  Just one.  So when ever it gets affected by a virus or I have format, boom in one shot my data is out.  So much faster and worry free.  Less folders, better management.

3.) If you have too many things in your house then you will accumulate affection towards them.  Think of getting fired and you will start worrying.  Because you would have to let few things go away and adjust with the unknown.  Fewer things, fewer affection.

4.) If there are heavy things around you will think of getting some help.  If you are fit then you will not worry at all of the moving.  Less weight is better.

Here is my inspiration Dereck Sivers who believes in "The less I own, the more I am".  So true. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Air Balloon problem

You all have heard the great story of the air balloon weight problem right.  If the balloon starts coming down, you drop all the weights to make the balloon lighter.  The moment it becomes lighter the balloon is once again in the air.

Layoffs, foreclosures, bankruptcy filling, takeovers and bank failures all led to the worst economic disaster so far in American history.  The economic balloon finally landed on the ground.  There was too much weight on it.  America is still dropping its weights in the ground since two years and making the balloon lighter.

Nobody knows how much time it will take for the balloon to rise once again.   Are you too much in debt?  Have you gained too much weight?   Guys its time to shed some pounds on the ground. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dumb or Smart?

Yelling at a person who is deaf is considered as a dumb act.  So is talking to a person who is not paying attention to you.  And so is running ad campaigns where people are not paying attention.  

Arguing with a person who is not listening is dumb.  And dumb it is when you are arguing with a customer who is not willing to listen.  Doing the opposite might be the trick sometimes.  Avoid argument always.

You will look foolish in daily argumentative world where people are willing to kill each other to prove one's point.  If you don't entertain and prove their view they will make you look dumb. 

So who is smart?  He who is willingly foolish or he who is pretending to be smart. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Remove the unwanted

To have your customer focus on the key attribute of your product you have to get rid of the unwanted stuff which is not perfect.  If you are willing to showcase a product on your website why put unnecessary things around it that will take away customers attention. 

People behaviors are quite different when they are looking at a website rather than seeing TV.  Look at apple when they showcases any product on their website.  Only the product does all the talking.  I still remember when iPad was on the front page of apple.com and was placed in perspective.  It was looking amazing with no other thing besides it. 

Even if your product is not like an iPad or iPhone you could still do a great deal with just focusing on the core product.  With apple, this philosophy is deeply rooted in its culture, products and leaders.  If iPhone's revolutionary touch screen was the focus then why put any buttons on the surface.  And that's what they did - no buttons.  They removed the unwanted.

Go back and look if your website has too many things which you can do without.  Remove it.  Can you drop those annoying widgets which anybody rarely looks or clicks?  How can you remove unwanted stuff from your study table so that your focus is not shifted?  In a conversation, can we just talk on the point and to the point and remove all the unwanted talk that is irrelevant? 

Its takes guts to eliminate the unwanted because every time you feel, "I might need it or some customer might click on it or buy so and so product".   "Let me talk some thing here and there which might get us talking to the point".  Focus on what is wanted and desperately deserves its place to be there.  

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Limited By Default

People around you are limited.  They are limited of the world view and what is going on.  And it is not their fault at all.  It is by default.  And by default I mean it is shaped by the society.

That is they don't see how the world around them is changing.  And by the time they realize it, they are late to capitalize on it.  Same thing is happening with the publishing industry.  Their view was limited by default.  But they didn't change when they saw things changing around. 

 If your view is limited you can't see things from a different perspective.  However an outside sees things differently and pushes a change through the system.  That is why immigrants have brought change to America for decades.  Because they were able to see things differently and their veiw was not limited.

You can widen your view or your lens.  Below is a list of 8 things you can do to see a panoramic view of the changing world.

1.) Read good books.
2.) Have successfull as well as unsuccessfull mentors
3.) Stay current and updated
4.) Explore new venues and domains
5.) Always open up to learn new things
6.) Meet great people
7.) Challenge your status quo
8.) Give (anything you feel is a gift to other person).

If you can't see things by turning your head, turn whole body instead.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Its a matter of choice

You are here because you chose to be here.  You could have done something else and changed your life.  There is difference between fate and choice.  Fate comes to your rescue when you want somebody to take your blame for your decisions.  Choice is a natural occurrence of a persons favorable outcomes.  When things turn your way you give choice all the credit and give fate all the blame for the opposite.

Right now you have a choice to reverse it.  You can blame all your successes on fate.  "My fate is responsible for my success".  And give choice a chance to take the blame of your decisions.  You could say like this "It is because I chose to give up I am here."  "Let me choose something different and see what happens" 

We are our choices we made.  It is not because your fate.  If you choose to think big you are destined to be successful.  If you choose to think different your life will be different.   

Sunday, August 08, 2010

The Best in the Industry

...are good at ignoring things that are a distraction.  These people don't want to focus on trivial things.  For example if TV is a distraction, they ignore it.  Seth Godin hasn't watched TV in past 5 to 6 years.  If facebook is a distraction ignore it. 

Whatever stops you from doing your art, ignore it.   With ever increasing technological complexity, more and more media and brands are doing their best to grab your attention (the most scarce resource).  And the only way you can achieve focus is by ignoring things that aren't working out for you.

I removed my orkut account permanently and stopped using Facebook for personal use. 

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Avoid Email Disasters

Did you ever had a feeling like, "Oh ! I wish I had never sent that email."  A common mistake made by many people in everyday life.  Few have learned and others still continue to do it.  Here is the conventional way of doing it and below that is the modern way of avoiding email disasters.

Conventional Way
1.) Select a recipient
2.) Craft a subject
3.) Write the body
4.) Attach a document
5.) Don't proof read it

In above if you forget attachment, you write things you shouldn't have written, your subject heading is not appropriate and you regret at the end.  You can still continue to email the conventional way but proof read them always.

Modern Way to avoid Email Disaster
1.) Attach documents if any
2.) Write the Body
3.) Write appropriate subject
4.) Proof read it
5.) Select recipient

Proof read your emails by the number of recipients you wish to email.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Excellence

If Not Excellence, What? If Not Excellence Now, When?

"Strive for excellence. Ignore success."— Professional driver Bill Young
"Excellence can be obtained if you:
" ... care more than others think is wise;
" ... risk more than others think is safe;
" ... dream more than others think is practical;
" ... expect more than others think is possible."
—K. Sriram @ tompeters.com

This is a re-post from Tom Peters Free E-Book.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

It is all about your business model

"You will get what you have always done" - Tony Robbins, Great motivational speaker.

If you want to start selling burgers tomorrow then you are in a market which is squeezed out.   There is no juice left in this business anymore.   Don't even think of entering into it if you are going to do it Mc Donalds way.  You have to come up with something remarkable, with a good product, different pricing structure, customer service which is a different business model.

There are infinite number of business models and strategies you can work out for your business.  You don't have to follow somebody.   You too could be innovating.

If you want to open a restaurant then work out margins differently like "we are only going to sell 20 meals and all those 20 meals will be priced at a premium".  You make profit on each meal.  And the extra you get is your bonus.  You have to sell your burger at $1 if it is average, even less than that.  But you could make it different and sell at $5. 

You can't charge a premium if not remarkable and different.  Apple can gladly charge its products a premium because their products have design and sexiness guaranteed.

If you are everybody, then you get what everybody gets, may be even less than that.  But if you are somebody then you get more than everybody gets.
 

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Expert Level

I went to grad school with different levels like 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000 and 8000.    All it taught was basic and elementary knowledge.  Nothing so deep into any specific subject.  Rarely there could you find one who was an expert at a particular domain. 

Here is how you become an expert.  You become an expert after experience, ultimate self interest, doing some certifications or professional courses.  In today's market place everybody has a degree and subject know how.  Probably you would get a job with a degree.   But that's not the point.

The point is in becoming an expert and the best at a subject.  Look at the best movie of 2009 earnings and the second one's.  Don't even try to figure out the third one it doesn't matter.  Your value is if you are the best.  Avatar made 10 times more money than an average movie released in 2009.  Why? Because it was the best.

If college education can remove all those unwanted clutter and just focus on making students experts, then they would be highly differentiated and thriving.  I want to have all colleges an Expert level compulsory for graduation.  Either you are an expert at a particular niche domain or you don't graduate.

For more expertise read this classic from Seth Godin.  The dip

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

People who believe in numbers

You are surrounded by people who demand numbers on a regular basis.  Which is until they have seen some results they won't believe you.  They would stress on the specifics and details.  For example if you pronounce a word incorrectly they will get upset and will quickly jump to correct you.  In some instances too much perfection doesn't matter.  They fail to get the central idea.  And they don't see the big picture that is in front of them.

If you are debating on an idea they halt you on the number.  Its hard to prove your point to those people.  These people are good at getting results.  People who believe in the central idea and the core concept, are good strategist.  And people who are both are leaders and CEOs of companies.

Feel free to correct me if I am wrong.  

Monday, August 02, 2010

How do you earn trust?

"Trust is hard earned and easily lost"  said Jeff Bezos on Charlie Rose in a recent interview.  So what is the trick to earn trust from people.   "Make a hard promise and Keep it." 

Jeff Bezos is the founder of the internet giant retailer - Amazon.com

Sunday, August 01, 2010