Archive for the ‘business’ Category

Creative Amidst Bureaucracy
September 5, 2007

 

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I recently read this post on Behance and thought that it was definitely worth sharing with all of you.

Contrary to popular belief, creativity can exist in bureaucratic environments. You can see it in the form of brainstorms and “exciting days” in offices across the corporate world. A new idea flourishes, but then it enters a bureaucratic mess that substantially reduces the likelihood of execution.

“Don” (real name protected) had an internship this summer at a social networking startup that shall go nameless. As he explains, “ideas for changes and small improvements would originate in a brainstorm, and then be preserved for a meeting with our design agency. A week later, a meeting with designers would end with a series of questions for the programmers. The programmers (some work on the opposite coast and some work in India), would have to agree on a meeting time with the designers and with the executives. By the time that meeting happened, everyone would need a refresher on the topic, weeks would have passed, and money evaporated.” Painful.

To make ideas happen, creative professionals must work in a system that values a bias-to-action and boundaryless collaboration. (more…)

Snapshots of a Startup: Hedging Your Bets
August 29, 2007

Mistakes…immediately after the fact, they suck…but in hindsight…they’re some of the best teachers of all time.  To be brutally honest, this post is going to be in direct reference to a mistake that I’ve made in the management of my startup venture.  So without further adieu…lets just cut to the chase.

Several months back, our team and project was thriving, yet there remained one critical piece to the puzzle that needed to be filled.  Actually, there was one more person that we needed to find to work with on the project.  My thinking was to do a ton of research, talk to a ton of people and then see who I would come across.  Upon doing so, I spent time talking to several different individuals and worked hard on filtering down the list to a handful of candidates.  And then I made a major blunder… (more…)

When 3 < 1
August 16, 2007

 

Black versus White

Could it be? Is there really a time when more can be less? Yes…at least when it comes to results, performance and productivity that is. Bear with me here.

A very talented and experienced software engineer once gave me some advice on the topic of partnering with the right people. In a very simple and to-the-point kind of manner, he told me that one great programmer could do the same amount of work, if not more, than that of three good programmers. So with this example, throwing more people (resources) at a project doesn’t necessarily mean better/faster development (results).

Ever known somebody like that? A person that you knew could handle anything, do it without a team of assistants and still manage to get in done in less time than needed. Moral of the story…while the RIGHT person may require more resources and be more difficult to get on board…in the end, they’ll end up accomplishing more than three other good individuals combined. LESS is MORE…think GREAT, not GOOD.

And this post is not just about people…but about many other areas as well.  MORE money, MORE hardware, MORE marketing…instead, think of the RIGHT solution to your problem, the RIGHT strategy for your target market, the RIGHT approach to your social work.  Case in point, quality > quantity.

Snapshots of a Startup: The Lowest Common Denominator
July 10, 2007

 

In the continuation of the Snapshots of a Startup series, I’ve making an effort to simply share some of the lessons/principles/concepts that I’m learning throughout the course of working on my first major startup. Well…it’s been a while now…and I’ve had this idea brewing in my head for quite some time. I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to both meet and become friends with many successful entrepreneurs, businessmen and social influencers. Each person has had some great nuggets of insight to share…yet in the experiences of each lies one thread, one reoccurring theme, one common denominator. (more…)

The Little Birdie…
June 25, 2007

 

The story below is an excerpt from Chazown, a book by Craig Groeschel. It’s short and simple…but raises some good points!

One day the bird was flying South for the winter and got caught in a snowstorm. As snow landed on his tiny wings, it melted slightly, then quickly froze, causing the bird to fall to the ground. As he sat helpless and shivering, encased in ice, the bird thought to himself, this is the end.

To make matters worse, a cow wandered toward the freezing bird and – wouldn’t you know it? – deposited a stinking pile of manure on top of the bird. The bird panicked, horrified at the thought that he was going to freeze to death, covered in manure. But slowly, the warmth of the manure caused the bird to thaw out. He fluttered his newly freed wings and began to chirp with joy! Chirp! Chirp!

That’s when a cat, drawn by the chirping, ran over, dug out the bird…and ate him! This story of courage and calamity teaches three important lessons:

1. Not everyone that drops manure on you is your enemy
2. Not everyone who digs you out of manure is your friend
3. When you are in manure, keep your mouth shut

By Micah Davis

A Simple Analogy
June 21, 2007

Hamilton Wright Mable said, “Don’t worry about opposition. Remember, a kite rises against the wind, not with the wind.” We need to approach challenges with this same mindset. At first, it may seem like a hindrance, but in the end, the wind is what allows the kite to soar and dip gracefully across the sky. Without the wind, the beauty within the kite is not revealed. Face the challenge head-on, with passion, and allow it to help you soar. Remember, no one rises to meet low expectations.

The above is a passage from the Habitudes by Dr. Tim Elmore. What struck me the most about it though was the last sentence that reads, “Remember, no one rises to meet low expectations.” The kite analogy is a simple illustration of how going “against the grain” is what reveals the beauty of the kite. I recently sat down with a fellow entrepreneur and MBA student at Cal-Berkley. In our conversation, he mentioned an idea of his that had a couple of hurdles to overcome. While these barriers to entry may be difficult to overcome initially, upon reaching the other side…the very same obstacles that once hindered his path to success could eventually become the pillars of his competitive advantage.

So to sum it all up…if what you set out to do was *easy*, then somebody would already have done it or there wouldn’t be any great reward in constructing it. The Key to Growth is Resistance…if we could only keep that in perspective.

By Micah Davis

Entrepreneurial Wisdom
June 18, 2007

 

Learning from the mistakes of others can be one of the single biggest *shortcuts* on the path to success. Here are some recent remarks from some entrepreneurs who have “been there and done that.”

Build a Strong Team of Generalists Who Can Specialize – Avichal Garg

Find team members who complement each other but who can jump in to do anything. For example, if you are building a team of engineers, find great engineers, some of whom think about the front-end, some about the back-end, some about speed, but all of whom can jump in wherever and whenever needed to build a part of the product.

Do the Simplest Thing Possible – David Weekly

You’re probably pretty smart so you’ve probably built out a very elaborate scheme / architecture / process for achieving world peace while becoming fabulously wealthy. Drop it. This big-picture kind of stuff is pure intellectual masturbation. Instead, ask yourself, almost as a joke, what the absolute simplest possible version of the idea would be – challenge yourself to something you can do in a day. You may be surprised (positively or negatively!) by the results.

 

Bigger than You – Sumaya Kazi

Surround yourself with people smarter than yourself. It can only breed success.

(more…)

(((((((((( surface ))))))))))
June 6, 2007

So if you haven’t had a chance to check out the Microsoft Surface yet…then you definitely need to!  Above is a video of one of the demonstrations…interesting to say the least.  The future of user interfaces seems to be blurring the lines between technology and the human body.  You can also view more clips of the Surface as well as find out further info by clicking HERE.

By Micah Davis

The “Hollywood” Formula
May 22, 2007

“Every industry has conventional wisdom–ideas that are widely accepted and seldom debated.  In Hollywood, the conventional wisdom is:  Bet on relationships.  You can’t know how a movie will turn out when you green-light it.  So you’re better off trusting people youv’ve worked with before.

But a recent study shows that this seemingly reasonable idea leads some of the biggest names in Hollywood to make mistakes that cost millions of dollars.  And you may be making the same kind of mistake at your workplace. (more…)

The Latest and Greatest, 5.16.07
May 17, 2007

IDEAS…whew, I love ’em!  Why?  Hmmm…to me, it’s what they embody….it’s the excitement of that initial “thought” from which they’re sparked…it’s problem solving in motion…it’s the people behind them who envision innovation where others see only what “is”…it’s (insert 50 other rants here!)…I could go on and on.  Well without further adieu, let’s check out this week’s ideas in the ongoing series of “The Latest and Greatest.”

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“As much choice as there may be in the cereal aisle, nothing beats made-to-order, especially if you can mix and match 70 different ingredients. Which is what Mymueslioffers through its online cereal store.

Using a simple and user-friendly interface, customers build their own personal muesli. First, they pick a foundation (oats and other grains), then add fruits, nuts and seeds, and finally extras like organic gummi bears and alfalfa. Prices and quantities are tallied along the way (60 eurocents for 30 grams of chopped almonds, 40 cents for 45 grams of dried apricots, etc), and a 575 gram pack costs around EUR 5-9, depending on which ingredients are used. Shipping is extra.

Customers can name their mix, which is also assigned an ID that’s printed on the muesli box. This makes it super easy to reorder a specific mix, or recommend it to friends. Those who aren’t feeling creative can order one of the German start-up’s personal favourites, like tropical Copacabana Days, or Alte Freunde, a choc and nuts mix. Mymuesli only uses organic ingredients (which helps explain the hefty price tag), and offers exotic fruits like goji berries and sour cherries to spruce up the most important meal of the day. ”

(((((((( check out some more cool ideas )))))))) (more…)