Saturday, November 22, 2014

Do you believe in Leadership lessons?


The 2 contradicting lessons

A most common lesson people give while talking about Innovation is

"Fail fast and move on"

On the other hand, Guru's  also advocate that say

"You need to have perseverance and girt to continue doing what you believe in"

To me, these are 2 contradicting thoughts. Isn't it?

When you are working on something new, there are no ready to use references. Hence the probability of failure is pretty high.
When you are spending time in being innovative, there will be people who laugh at you and say you have lost it.
When you are burning midnight oil to create something path-breaking, there will be people who say you are a waste.

The opportunities to get de-motivated, the tendency to quit, the urge to be part of the crowd is as big as Himalayas. 

If one believes in his dreams and continues working on it, and at the end doesn't achieve something. People say he didn't fail fast and didn't move on. He continued working on something that was not possible.


Alternatively, Say everybody preached you to quit but you continued doing what you believe in. And at last achieved something , people say he had the perseverance and grit needed to create big things.

My Takeaway...You need some salt

My whole point is that people are making opinions at the end of the journey of making.
How in this world will the traveller going on an unknown path know what is there at the end. He just has a few clues about what to expect during the journey and at the end.
My takeaway from this observation is that the leadership lessons have to be considered  with a pinch of salt. They are not absolute truths. They are reviews created to justify the journey as a success or failure. Its important to understand that context of the lesson, lest there is a risk of it being harmful. It could have a negative impact on your growth.

Do you agree with my observation and take away? I am waiting for your views on this...

Happy Weekend...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Do you have an ecosystem to support your Innovation?

The hype around the word Innovation has never been as high as it is right now. Everybody is talking about innovation in everything. Innovation is ingrained in Technology to academics.  It is  talked about in pharmaceuticals to government policies. Innovation is shaping up energy generation and energy conservation. It is defining our home d├ęcor and fashion.

This post is all dedicated to whole bunch of Innovators out there. No, I am not a Innovation guru and so I am not giving you any tips on how to be Innovative. The idea of this post is to give a different perspective to our approach towards Innovation.

The Trigger for this post

I recently downloaded an app called Culinary Treats. I am damn concerned about my privacy and though I have a Smart phone, I have never switched on my Location Services. But I am forced to Switch ON my Location services post installing this app. You wondering why?

Its simple, the app looks at my location and suggests me eateries around my place where I can get around 15% discount on my bill. I felt that’s awesome. I was ok in compromising my privacy (temporarily) to get 15% savings on my bills.

So the app has made a reluctant person like me to open up and try the location based services.

This is the perspective I wanted to bring your focus on through this post.

There are 2 strategies to monetize Innovation
    1. Identify what customers wants and then go and do that thing.
    Build Innovation based on the finding and then let customers use it. This is the most common strategy and is often duplicated by rivals. 
    2. The second more defined, focused strategy is to build the ecosystem around the Innovation. The ecosystem is not duplicated . The ecosystem becomes the entry barrier for competition.image

Why Focus On Ecosystem?

Innovation often requires a change in the way customers operate to leverage the benefits of the Innovation. This makes the customer reluctant to try the new thing if the perceived benefits of the Innovation are not good enough. A strong ecosystem around the Innovation would make the benefits look larger and makes a good case for the customer to change. The ecosystem built should be lucrative enough to transform a reluctant person into a propagator. He should get more impressed by the benefits of entire ecosystem rather than the solution in its individuality.
The need for an ecosystem might not be there in all the scenarios. But an Innovative Solution with a clear picture of how the ecosystem around it would look like is a sure shot winner.

An example of ecosystem driven Innovation - Apple App store

Think of Apples Innovative ITunes  and App store approach. The success of both ITunes and iPhone is because of the ecosystem of Apps. ITunes has the biggest library of your favourite songs and App Store has the most innovative apps for use on an iPhone.

The ecosystem of developers brought out so many innovative apps on iPhone that it made the iPhone more than a phone. It is stethoscope for doctors, it is an extended branch for Banks, it is shopping platform for retailer.
The ecosystem took the iPhone to the next level way higher and above what iPhone was ever meant to be. That’s the power of ecosystem.
The biggest headache for Microsoft Windows phone is lack of apps. The Customers are reluctant to try Windows Phone because their favourite apps are not there in the Windows Store.  And developers are not ready to spend time in developing apps for Windows Phone as customers are not there. This merry-go-round  is the biggest roadblock for Windows Phone. And this is the biggest insurance against competition for App store.

Read this story to know "If Microsoft is doing enough to build an app ecosystem"



For an Innovator,  the challenge is not in being Innovative but in building the ecosystem. The ecosystem that makes the Innovation significance and imparts it an identity.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Do you have an organized Social Presence

So how many you are not using Facebook? How many of you have not heard about Twitter and Facebook? We all are social more on social networks then in the society.

According to social media research, Facebook has around 1.11 billion users across the globe. LinkedIn has 277 Mn users, Twitter boasts of 200 million users and Google+ also says it has around 340 million active users. The power of Social media is incredible. Just look at this amazing infographic…  OrganizeSocialMedia

I have been using Twitter, Facebook, Google+ for more than a couple of years now. And I would say, I have been able to make pretty good use of them. I have learnt new things, made friends with strangers and expanded my social reach beyond the obvious friend circle.

Through this post, I am sharing my strategy or organizing my social presence with the aim of leveraging the power of social networks. Somebody could ask, Is there a need to organize social networks. I have tried to answer this question in the rest of this post.

The typical approach

There are 2 ways in which people typically manage their social presence

1. The simplest and the most common way is to use them as platform to share and connect with people without any strategy and thought.

2. The second approach is to put your brain to work and organize the social network. On a lighter note, Organized social network ensures that your tweet about your boss after a couple of drinks over your limit doesn't end up eating your job :)

A more detailed answer to Why organize Social networks is to

  • Expand your social network beyond friends, colleagues and family
  • Create a strong brand for yourself to excel in career
  • Find resources to full-fill your aspirations
  • Expand your horizon by connecting with strangers from vivid areas

Have a doubt? Check out the stats in the infographic above.


How do we organize Social Presence then?

Some psychological gyaan first

It is said we as Human being have 3 primary requirements for life. they are Social, Functional and Emotional. (Please read the book "innovator DNA" to know in details the significance of these needs.)

My idea is to base the strategy to organize social networks on these theory.

The Functional need are connected

  • with your job, with your career aspirations,
  • with your creative pursuits,
  • with fulfilling your needs and wants.

The Social and Emotional needs are about

  • being connected to the near and dear,
  • being a part of the social fabric,
  • staying close and relevant to people,
  • being a part of the social conversations 

I use LinkedIN, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ for these purpose.

Twitter for Hobby

I use Twitter to keep my creative juices flowing, for inspiration. After I got a Twitter Account, I took a conscious decision to connect only with strangers. I decided to build a network of people with whom i share my interests, my thoughts process, my aspirations.

I started this by following my favourite authors. I then used Twitters discover tool to find more people to follow. I read, re-tweeted things not connected to my job but definitely of my interest. There was no condition on what I tweet and what i read.

For example I often tweet news articles from Faking News just for fun. I use twitter to get inspirations quotes, lessons. To get latest news on technology, design. I use twitter to take part in contests. By using this approach, over a period of time, I have 200 followers whom i know only through twitter.

LinkedIn for career

The sole purpose of my LinkedIn account is to create a strong brand for myself and excel in my career.

On LinkedIn, I am connected to my current colleagues, ex-colleagues. I have made new friends whom I haven't met in-person but we happen to work in the same Domain and so are connected. I use LinkedIn groups to connect with people in the upcoming technology areas. The focus here is more on connecting with people, reading things that are connected to my career.

I would say LinkedIn is a more filtered and a double clicked view of what I do on twitter.

Facebook for social needs

Facebook is the place that takes care of my social needs. I am connected to my friends, family, cousins, uncles, aunts, etc. etc. Around 80% of the people I have met or known in my life are connected to me on Facebook except for my Managers :) ( though there are few exceptions)

Organizeyoursocialnetworks (2)

Google + falls between LinkedIn and Twitter

Of late, I have been checking my G+ account more frequently. For me, its somewhere between LinkedIn and Twitter.

I follow communities on G+ that are of interest to me but not necessarily related to my job. G+ is the gateway to my curiosity. I use it follow Home Design, NASA, Windows8, Android Development, Go Green ideas, Jokes etc.


Then there is Pinterest, I use Pinterest to pin about my hobbies, pictures from my blog and my site. Often my Pinterest posts are sent to twitter.

The idea is to not duplicate your contacts, posts, across social networks and thus keep your social presence organized. 

So what are you waiting for, go head, get a plan and make the most of your social networks.

What's the plan that you follow for your social presence, did you think its good to have a defined plan to manage social presence? Do let me know your views using comments section.