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]

Freedom of ideas: Self or Society?


I went to a Tarot Card reader yesterday, just to curiously know what my life has to offer me with those pattern of chosen cards. The reader glanced me and told me “You have the freedom to grow and pursue your dreams, but you are holding back somewhere just because you are dual in your thoughts. If you focus on one thing important, you will grow as a person”. I realized, she was kind of right. It happens with all of us.

Somewhere, in our life’s turns and burns, we all get into a situation where duality creeps upon us. Not that we want it to happen, but forces and situations around make it happen. To know, what exactly we are capable of, we need to get ourselves from the dual nature of self and society. Today, people dream thinking more what is suitable for the society around us and not what we are actually passionate of. These dreams take a shape of an unborn child and the opportunity passes away. To get the right click in the right time, we need to be clear in our thoughts and pursue the least trodden path to achieve what we do in dreams, accurately.

Clarity holds a person and gives direction. I remember an old age adage “A stitch in time saves nine”, which holds true with the true sense of freedom. Freedom is not just pursuing your own life, but creating a balance with the self and the society around. We stop after achieving a certain level of clarity because we feel the society around see us with enough respect. And our dreams are eventually shrinks to what our society thinks it should be, and that is when dreams die and world-denting ideas perish. We need to struggle till the end of our dream, and that is our freedom.

In business/job/startup, we know our freedom is more or less based on our ideas. Some ideas suffocate to die inside us and other make a way to the world and change it, till we execute it. Why is then our ideas don’t initiate and the freedom is not free? Because, like the Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, our ideas are uncertain with the linkage of our self and the bond with the society. We get momentum, we lose track of our idea’s position. We get position, we lose track of our freedom’s momentum.

So, taking back from what the Tarot card reader said, the dreams which are fulfilled are in true nature, the reflection of self to the society and they are to be pursued and to be struggled upon despite the limitations to our freedom, and tending to infinity boundaries to our ideas. 

Abstracts and Life of an Entrepreneur


There are few abstract pictures I clicked, of which all of them has some story behind it. I have linked these pictures to life of an entrepreneur.

The first is Life in a fast lane. We all know entrepreneurs have a fast paced life, have to keep up with every aspect of their startup/company and work to scale up or horizontal on every single day. This picture symbolizes that life an entrepreneur faces. They all have dreams and a hazy path to chase. Their startup is like this car, collectively moves forward and reaches the destination.

Life in a Fast lane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Second is Run to live. An Entrepreneur always has to be on his toes and survive through all the odds. Importantly, a life of an Entrepreneur is like that of a Deer. A deer always has a fear from any carnivore, who chases him with an intention to eat him up. Here, the carnivores are the big fishes in the market, who are always looking for acquisitions, and an Entrepreneur always faces a dilemma, whether to get absorbed or survive through the odds.

Run to Survive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The third and the final one is The King and the Queen. An Entrepreneur if survives through all the challenges of starting and scaling up, he is the king in the house. He will be a Venture Capitalist‘s delight, Startup community’s inspiration and some Buck’s worth. The picture is taken over a light’s reflection in the river.

King and Queen

And that’s how abstracts around us come across unnoticed and tells us stories and gives perspective to our imagination. Maybe, I am just too fascinated about Entrepreneurship these days!

The Happy Mix of Life


Sometimes life has it own ways to tackle situations. An entrepreneur would risk his dreams over creations and product launches, a doctor risks his knowledge over procedures he/she performs, a lawyer would risk his professional position over settlements and a sportsperson would risk his performance over fame. Every facet of different career pathways have their own risks and returns in place.

People often compromise with their dreams over taking minimum risk and expecting high returns, which rarely turns into successful dreams. Taking example of stock markets: where investors diversify their risks over investing into sizeable number of companies and expect a high yield over the performance of the overall market. But, the bulls and bears doesn’t work out for all in the queue. Balancing risk and return is the key to go forward in making things successful. And goes on with life too, risk and returns are just like sorrow and happiness. It’s a cycle of your deeds, say Karma.

So a mix of both risk and return in appropriate balance creates something of value. And that value will always give happiness more than sorrows in the longer run. So lesson to be learned is: Mix of two (risk and return), with the blend of equilibrium makes a beautiful wine called high impact and high growth life.

Life and its Power of Compounding.


If you have taken a class of Finance 101, you might be aware of the consequences when we compound a present value to future value over a particular interest rate with the number of periods. That’s when, Finance turns into Magic. Let me give you an example, if someone invested $24 in buying Manhattan Islands in 1626, and over the years the interest rate, lets say is 6%, the value of Manhattan Islands today would be $240 Billion! This is the power of compounding.

We know our life today is the result of our efforts in the past. The interest rates is the result of our collective efforts. High interest rates symbolizes more efforts. More the efforts, better the gain. That’s when we know our life is being compounded each day. Let luck be the inflation! It goes up and down, but never comes in a way to our efforts. So, a lesson that Finance 101 teaches us, our efforts today will have a future value that is much more significant we can ever imagine. And luck is just a part and parcel, in some value more or less in the future.

Coming to what, we call it the Life Mantra. Think, if you can run away from the power of compounding, if you can’t, you need to take a Finance 101 class and discover the philosophical side of your life’s efforts to give and its expensive fruits to eat.

 

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.