Progress is never a conciliation with the Norms.. Understanding is never an isolation from Cross-Borders.. and Love is never a Loneliness nor Greed..!



Friday, December 12, 2014

Top 10 Lies of Entrepreneurs (and Investors)


By Guy Kawasaki
Read these two sets of top ten lies: one of entrepreneurs and one of investors, so that you know what not to say and what not to believe.

Top Ten Lies of Entrepreneurs
  1. "Our projections are conservative."
  2. "Jupiter says our market will be $50 billion in ten years."
  3. "Several Fortune 500 companies are set to do business with us."
  4. "No one else can do what we're doing."
  5. "Hurry up because other investors are about to do our deal."
  6. "Our product will go viral."
  7. "The large companies in our market are too big, dumb, and slow to compete with us."
  8. "Our management team is proven."
  9. "We filed patents so our intellectual property is protected."
  10. "All we have to do is get 1% of the market."
The average number of these ten lies that I hear in most pitches is ten. At the very least, tell investors new lies.

Top Ten Lies of Investors
  1. "I liked your company, but my partners didn't."
  2. "We are patient investors who want to help you build a great company."
  3. "If you get a lead, we'll invest too."
  4. "There are no companies in our portfolio that conflict with what you're doing."
  5. "Show us some traction, and we'll invest."
  6. "We love to co-invest with other firms."
  7. "We're investing in your team."
  8. "We have lots of bandwidth to dedicate to your company."
  9. "This is a plain, vanilla term sheet."
  10. "We will get other companies in our portfolio to work with you."

Do you know what the difference is between the lies of entrepreneurs and the lies of investors? The investors have money.

It's not all bad news. Think of everything that an entrepreneur needs (tech ones, anyway), and you'll see that most things are free or cheap.
Marketing: use blogs and social media to promote your products.

Tools: most tools are Open Source and free. Microsoft offers free versions of applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint in the cloud!

Infrastructure: More cloud goodness-you don't have to buy servers anymore.

People: callous for me to say, but in a recession, people are free or cheap.

Office space: what office space? You can work out of your garage (like David Hewlett and Bill Packard) or just form a virtual team.
The bottom line is this is one of the cheapest times to be an entrepreneur, so go into your garage and start prototyping.
***
Guy Kawasaki is the author of Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. He is also the co-founder of Alltop.com, an "online magazine rack" of popular topics on the web, and a founding partner at Garage Technology Ventures.  Previously, he was the chief evangelist of Apple. Kawasaki is the author of nine other books including Reality Check, The Art of the Start, Rules for Revolutionaries, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Selling the Dream, and The Macintosh Way. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The $7 Israeli device that just might change the world forever

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 11.27.58 PM
 
The $7 device is loaded with Google’s Android 4.4 operating system. Plug it into the USB port of any old laptop or desktop, and you’ve got a personal computer.
 
If you can put data on a USB drive, why not put an entire operating system on a stick?
It’s a simple but brilliant idea. Nissan Bahar of Israel and Francesco (Franky) Imbesi of Italy are making it happen in remote places of the world where computers aren’t a dime a dozen. They discovered that five billion people, or 70% of the world’s population, have no access to personal computing, and they intend to change that. 
 
The $7 Keepod thumb drive is loaded with a unique version of Google’s Android 4.4 operating system. Plug it into the USB port of any old laptop, netbook or desktop, and – voila! – you’ve got a personal computer with your own password-protected settings, programs and files.
 
Bahar and Imbesi have introduced the Keepod (Hebrew for “porcupine” but with obvious wordplay in English) to a school in the Mathare slums of Nairobi, Kenya, through a partnership with the organization LiveInSlums. They use refurbished computers that would otherwise clog landfills.
“We’re breaking a few paradigms in the world of computing and digital devices,” says Bahar.
 
“There are a lot of initiatives for bringing computers to developing countries, but it’s impossible to bring a laptop per person. There’s not enough material in the world for that. Our approach is that instead of providing a personal computer, we use shared computers and provide a stick with an operating system on it so you have your own PC environment on a shared computer.”
 
He likens the model to public transport. “Not everyone can have a shiny car, so you hop on a bus.”
The other paradigm-smashing aspect of Keepod is the notion that fancier is better. Bahar maintains that using basic pre-owned computers without hard drives solves lots of cyber-security problems.
 
“Instead of manufacturing cheap computers — which will never be cheap enough — we reuse old computers. In the US alone, 85,000 computers are thrown out every single day. We can give a big percentage of them a new life with Keepod in Nairobi or anywhere else, and that one computer can serve 25 to 30 people every week. Why continue to manufacture cheap hardware when you have all this material available? It’s an ecosystem of ideas and things together.”
 
Principles ahead of profit
Bahar and Inbesi come from a background in information security and enterprise solutions.
“We started selling to banks and telecos across Europe, and then about a year ago we started to think how to leverage this technology to do something better than selling it to executives,” says the 38-year-old Israeli.  
 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

4 Steps To Increasing Your Emotional Agility

English: Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions
English: Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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It may be cliché but the saying that “attitude is contagious” is true. How you, your team, or your leader shows up is everything—inspiring or depressing, happy or sad, tense or terse. Managing emotions and applying them to the right situation is critical to expression, communication, and mission success.

Navigating relationships is a necessity everywhere in life as divergent interests and scarce resources are always at play, and it requires strong situational awareness to know when to zig instead of zag depending on the personalities you’re dealing with.

To navigate the chaos of communication and relationships requires emotional agility , or the ability to apply the right emotion to the right person in the right situation at the right time. Here’s how:
Understand the situation. Context is everything. To be situationally aware is to interpret the inter- and intra-personal emotions within a group and to integrate your understanding of both with any previously held schemas so as to anticipate the situation’s outcome. Four questions to consider in developing your situational awareness are:
  • Who is involved? Why?
  • What is the activity or situation? Why?
  • When does the activity take place? Why?
  • Where will the activity occur? Why?
The key to the above four questions is to follow-up each one with a “why?” This way, you force your brain to search for an answer to the context, thus forcing yourself to interpret and anticipate situational dynamics.

Empathize with others. You probably never thought you’d be reading an article on emotions written by a former Navy SEAL , but the truth is, mission success often depended on the strength of relationships we had with our governmental and civilian counterparts. More so, nobody likes working with people who don’t understand him or her. To be empathetic is to understand the other person’s issue from his or her perspective; it does not mean just being “nice” and is not synonymous with “sympathy.” Being nice is just that—a state of solitary being—as derived from one’s own individual state, and has nothing to do with understanding the other person. Sympathy puts the other person’s feelings first but can come across ambiguously at times.

Here’s an easy way to tell the difference between empathy and sympathy : Empathy begins with “you” statements and reflect the other person’s viewpoint, whereas sympathy begins with “I” or “my” statements and project one’s own perspective. If you want to maximize your emotional agility agility, let the other person know you understand by focusing on them.

Interpret your emotions. The difference between memorable leaders and forgettable leaders is self-awareness. Self-awareness is what allows you to take your own emotional temperature and see what is too much or not enough and make adjustments.  Without self-awareness, there is no emotional throttle control and the propensity for poor behavior or misconduct just increases. Of course, there is a right way and a wrong way to express oneself. Throwing a temper tantrum in public only makes people want to work against you rather than with you. To test the waters and see how hot or cold you’re running, try this:
  • Every day for the next next week, write down the strongest emotion you felt for that day along with how your physiology changed (i.e. increased heart rate, shallow breathing, sweaty palms?). Include any follow-on thoughts that transpired afterward. Next, identify the source that caused that feeling and ask yourself why? Why did [the stimulus] cause you to feel the way you did? Keep asking yourself why over and over until the feeling has subsided. Playing the “why game” of emotion forces your brain to search for reason and subdue the peril of emotionally based decisions.
Connect the dots between all three. The extrapolation of the above three elements—situation, others, and you—is at the crux of emotional agility, as this allows you to scale up or scale back the right emotion for the moment based on the context of the situation.
Some people need a pat on the back while others need a kick in the back(side), and your emotional agility to navigate different situations and know when to turn the heat up (or down) is determinant of how effective you are as a leader.

Jeff is a personal coach, CrossLeader at the McChrystal Group, board member of  SEAL Future Fund, and author of the forthcoming Navigating Chaos: How to Find Certainty in Uncertain Situations