Must read blogs on economics


I read these few blogs in the recent years, as an urge to read about global economy and its shenanigans. Some of these blogs discusses the best commentaries on the global policies, workforce theories, corporate moves, industry tracks, social numbers, sectoral analysis, financial misfits and the linkage between all of them. Do subscribe these blogs to your RSS feed and keep yourself updated for your daily dose of economic times.

1. Project Syndicate: http://www.project-syndicate.org/

2. Freakonomics: http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/

3. Paul Krugman’s Blog: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/

4. Brad De Long’s Blog: http://delong.typepad.com/

5. Economix: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/

6. WSJ: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/

Will keep updating the post if I come across interesting blogs.

 

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. 

Startup resources and tools: Updated.


Here’s the list of startup resources and tools, which has been updated over months of tolling over the web.

Go through the link: http://buzzeratbiz.com/startup-resources/

I will keep updating these resources every month.

 

Changing Education Paradigm


Sir Ken Robinson explains how education has revolutionized the world, and the kind of cultural, social and intellectual shift required by educators throughout the world.

We know a lot of online education platforms starting from one man show Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.org), to a Stanford based online education startup Coursera (www.coursera.org), a similar Harvard based online education portal EdX (www.Edxonline.org) and a collaborative platform Udemy (www.udemy.com), where anyone can become an educator and take a class of what they are good at or love doing. The shift in education is definitely going much more collaborative, open and filling the wide gap of education in the lives of the ones who can afford to ones who can’t is filled with the platforms like these.

Not just this, in the developing countries organizations like Teach for India, adopted from Teach for America are working to spark the lives of the poor, who cannot afford basic primary education.

The future of any nation lies in education and a paradigm shift from people’s adaptability to attitude of the countrymen is needed to bring that change. Not just this, if we have enough earned through our capabilities and skills or even inherited, we must sponsor a child for his/her education. It’s like giving life to them and their family. 

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: 

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.