The Need-finding process


If you are an early stage startup or someone who’s working on developing an idea to a real product, it’s time you find out what is the need that your idea or product is going to solve. A lot of startups and organisations start to solve a problem before looking for the need in the market. That’s where most of the startups fail to distribute their products efficiently in the market without knowing what the customers actually need.

Working on the short-term need keeping the long-term need into the picture is the way to develop the product. That is a constant, dual and parallel innovation process for early stage startups or companies launching new products. And it works well with almost all the sectors and industries you are pertaining to.

So lesson learnt in the Creativity and Design class is to frame, record, organise and reframe the need of the customers and make your product fit to those needs.

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Why we buy what we buy and sell what we sell?


I have been in a lot of situations with my friends where I have debated about my craze and love for Apple products. And I always tell them it just doesn’t feel right to buy some other competitive products, no matter how good the specification is or value of money it be. I invest into buying the products thinking about the long-term and intrinsic value it creates. I came across this video at the Bootcamp session in the first week of the Master of Entrepreneurship Class and it just iterated and explained exactly how I feel about products I buy and the services I have subscribed to.

The idea of Golden circle: Why, What and How should exactly be the criteria of thinking about growing your business or buying products and services from other businesses. And that makes all the difference!

Sorry for irregular posts, I have never dealt with such a crazy schedule before. And that is my learning curve in gaining the social, developmental, technical and managerial skills all in one go!

And coincidently, one of the missions of Ross School of Business is Action based Leadership! Enjoy this awesome video.

[http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.html]

How to Ideate and Go lean!


As Victor Hugo remarked, There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.

The Idea: The idea is an iterative process of the mind, which develops over purpose, utility, imagination and design. Each raw idea goes then to the concept of validity and its feasibility in the marketplace. The idea then goes to the design thinking mind mapping process, where the idea is distributed like algorithmic process and enhances connections between the idea stage to the development stage to the product-market fit stage to customer acquisition stage.

Ideation Platform: One of the finest ideation platform is designed by Silicon valley serial Entrepreneur and founder of Lean Startup movement, Steve Blank. Steve Blank has proposed the LeanLaunchPad (www.leanlaunchpad.com) for educators, researchers and entrepreneurs to track down the complete ideation to customer ready prototype process in the Business Model Canvas platform, which questions the effectiveness of the static business plans that ends up as on-paper forecasting mechanism and fails to move ahead to create real business impact.

Customer Development/Pricing Model: As Mark Tyson said, Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face, it holds true for startups that meet their customers for the first time. So, a set business model till the end without any tweaks and feedbacks will mostly result into a disastrous and not disruptive business model. The customer development process requires start to end iteration over their product launch and from valuable feedbacks from friends, relatives, suppliers, manufacturers, designers to the end customers. The economics of these feedbacks will then result into a better product and holds up the competition between players in the same industry over innovation and tweak-to-ready business models. As we collectively decide the market forces that affect us, the pricing model should also be the result of these feedback amplification process. A right pricing model determines largely the revenues over year per unit/service sold and the first 48-hour launch sales will introduce how the product is positioned in the market and in the social blogosphere. The pricing models should be varied and ranked with the different features the product provides and the value it creates in the end. The human tendency to react to several products with variable features make the product-market fit more predictable. The distribution channels and more affordable customer acquisition strategies are to be tweaked according the responses and interactions directly with the customer.

Lean Development: The ‘going out in the crowd’ approach will help rebuild and re-enhance the product development process using those customer feedbacks and will help in building the distribution channels and more effective and affordable ways to acquire more customers. According to the Lean Startup, the small tweaks in the product are referred as ‘iterations’ and larger, significant tweaks are referred as ‘pivots’. The value proposition of the startup/project has to be defined keeping in mind the larger impact the product is envisioned to make, like the BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) of any organization. A scalable, repeatable hypothesis of the business models is the foundation of the Lean Startup movement.

Here’s the Lean Launchpad Methodology proposed by Steve Blank for educators and entrepreneurs.

Other articles related to Lean Startup: 

Silver lining endings, always?


Today, I saw a finest connect in the movie Silver Linings Playbook, and a quote struck me. Thought of sharing it here, think about it.

The world will break your heart ten ways to Sunday, that’s guaranteed. And I can’t begin to explain that, or the craziness inside myself and everybody else, but guess what? Sunday is my favorite day again. I think of everything everyone did for me and I feel like a very lucky guy.

Said by Pat almost at the climax in the movie.

Is there always a sunday to every story? Are there silver linings to all your endeavors? Something we have to think about while we try accomplish something so hard, that everything we could ever wish is to make it positive till the end and finally, after drenching out in sweat, mind and heart, we get there. That’s the feeling no one could ever want to miss in their life.

I have this same feeling today, while I am admitted to Masters in Entrepreneurship program at University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and Department of Engineering. And somehow, everything I did in the last 5 years connected the dots to achieve this. God’s been kind, and people supportive. All those good quotes I have ever heard makes more sense to me now and with that I am just enjoying my Sunday. A silver lining to a beginning of my journey. And I am sure, you had yours or waiting for it, believe in yourself and you will get a silver lining at the horizon. If not, a golden lining is destined for you. You are the Entrepreneur of your life. 

Mood Swings by Light Le Productions


Me and friend always thought of making a short film over our tenure of five years graduate program. But, due to our constant procrastinations and distractions, we could never make one. Now, the graduate program is coming to an end.

Finally, we made one. Alas!

The Summer Day


by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean –
the one who has flung herself
out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar out
of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and
forth instead of up and down –
who is gazing around with her
enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and
thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open,
and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention,
how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down
in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how
to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

 

One of the most amazing poems ever read. Its a must share! 🙂

Trahisons (Betrayal)


This is one of the poem, a friend from Morocco wrote. She shared it with me and I am glad to post it here.

The poem is by Dounya Barrit and its in French, so I have to translate it for me.

 

Trahisons

L’ennui, le vide et la solitude

Dans les ténèbres de ma vie c’est mon attitude

Les cris, les larmes et le mal

Qui rendent ma vie comme un carnaval

Sans couleur et banal.

Un jardin sans fleurs belles

Par la force d’une tornade rebelle

Une vie où la trahison est une loi

Qui fait de moi une proie

Mon cœur par l’infidélité ne croit

Plus en amitié puisqu’à la fin on le déçoit

Mon corps pas plus qu’un corps froid

Où les sentiments sont à la fois

Morts et enterrés à côté de mon bonheur arraché

Mes larmes cachées pour ne pas montrer

Aux autres ma tristesse

Mon sourire par force dessiné

Pour ne pas gâcher leur vie par ma maladresse.

 

Translated Version 

Betrayal

The boredom, emptiness and loneliness,
In the darkness of my life is my attitude,
Screams, tears and evil,
That make my life as a carnival,
Colorless and commonplace.
A beautiful garden without flowers,
By the force of a tornado rebel
A life where betrayal is a law,
Which makes me a prey
My heart does not believe in infidelity;
More friendship because at the end it disappoints
My body is no more than a cold body,
Where feelings are both
Dead and buried next to my happiness snatched
My tears hidden not to show.
Other my sadness,
My smile forcibly drawn;
Not to spoil their lives by my clumsiness.

Simple and intriguing. I like it.