Abstracting the blogosphere

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Archive for the ‘Companies’ Category

Challenges of becoming first time entrepreneuer when being in India and an approach to overcome it

Posted by suntzu on December 13, 2006

This isnt abstract but full post. This time, let somebody else create abstract of it.

You are settled in India? Hmmm…not good if you are thinking to become entrepreneur. Disappointed? Don’t be, because scenario is fast changing and its just matter of time. Bytheway, did you happen to read not so recent issue of Economist couple of couple months back? No? It wasnt extraordinary except a single piece of article that said India has around 15 million successful entrepreneurs and its just that not all of them belong to IT field. So, even a guy who sets up a simple kiryana store and devises his own business model so well that he or she ends up running it sustainably most of the time. What does this mean? No, not what you thought. It means, chances are entrepreneurship is in your blood. You would know how to sustain when things go bad bcoz sustaining is more like do or die for you….and obviously nobody wants to die as there isnt’ any incentive in that 🙂

So, that brings us to point as to what matters when you want to be your own king? Wanna know for sure? Take a break and get back because that’s going to be shattering for you when you know it. Ok. You are back? Great.

Its called ‘Start now’ or ‘First step’. We Indians have so many things to worry because of social life that we live and kind of responsibilities and liabilities that we like to carry, we often see the wall bigger and thicker than it really is. In reality, size ratios of obstacles doesn’t matter – what matters is the First step. Taking first step not only sets physical or material things forward towards your goal but also sends out your thoughts process out in the universe and guess what, universe is designed to work for you provided you ask it so. God damn it, its so simple and yet difficult [frustrating notwithstanding] to make anybody understand that. So, the point is: With First step comes the attitude – a positive attitude and positive thought and with that comes manifestation of reality and passion inside and with that comes commitment and with that comes….hold on…I am digressing here. Ok. Stop. Wait. You take a breath and me too 🙂

Ok. Back. Hmmm…not bad.

Now comes the scenario part. Check sites like Startups.in or Startuphub or Venturewoods and many more. They weren’t there couple of years ago. Google for ‘VC looking for india’. What do you see? Enough huh hah? But how does it matter to people like you and me who aren’t connected or networked?. Honestly, it doesnt’. So what the heck?. Yeah, you are right. To prove that you got a case, you still have to ‘work’ and that too ‘harder’ as you would if scenario wasn’t better. But, tell me, how many eyes are now scouting for the work that you have done? isnt’ it tripled in size? isnt’ it advantage? Simple probability logic, dear friend. Not exciting? Hmmm….that isnt’ enough for you to take that ‘first step’ I poured over. May be VCs or warren buffet should line up in front of your door and ask for your favour. How touchy that would be, I ask.

You are here? Great. Go get it champ. It belongs to you. You are responsible for world’s 50% wealth accumulated with those 1%.

More later….

PS: Atleast contribute via post.

Posted in Business, Companies, country, Startup | 1 Comment »

Toyota manufacturing success

Posted by suntzu on November 20, 2006

Highlights of the original post:

Much of Toyota’s success, as well as that of numerous other Japanese manufacturers, is based on what Fujimoto Takahiro, a professor of economics at the University of Tokyo, calls suriawase, which literally means “grinding” but is better translated here as “integration.” Fujimoto asserts that there are two main approaches to manufacturing in this day and age: assembly and suriawase.

Suriawase involves integrating a vast number of individual parts and components to make a fine-tuned whole product. Rather than simply putting the different parts together, it entails ensuring that each of the parts complements the others and contributes to maximizing the performance of the product in question. This is achieved by maintaining close contact among all the different divisions involved in the production process, such as research and development, design, production technology, purchasing, and sales.

The key to Japan’s success in global markets lies not in simply assembling products but in nurturing companies with the cutting-edge technology that will enable them to take advantage of the suriawase approach.

Posted in Companies | Leave a Comment »

The Enlightenment of Richard Branson @ FastCompany.com

Posted by suntzu on October 13, 2006

Author provides a quick analysis of Richard Branson’s success.

The approach followed by Sir Richard has been the same for all of his ventures. He looks on industries that treat customers terryfyingly badly and enters into that market with promise of providing entertaining experience for customers and offering them better deal along with. Many of the ideas that were implemented into his businesses have originated from Branson’s own wants and needs. One of the example given is of seatback videos [where you choose want you want to watch] that Bransons’ wanted to have but couldn’t make bankers to pay for it. But it was a wanting need that Bransons felt as if he himself was a customer, so he went ahead and ordered new Boeings with seatback videos.

The idea is to give customer’s a treatment that experience memorable with your service.

Author makes a point that is summarized above. Safely skip the original post.

Posted in Business, Companies | 1 Comment »

Ten Questions with Polly LaBarre By Guy Kawasaki

Posted by suntzu on October 12, 2006

Guy Kawasaki’s blog is running a blog post where he interviews Polly LaBarre on her new book “Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win

Guy, with is great ability of asking questions was able to dig out some of the key aspects of the book. The books is about identifying killer traits of people running amazing companies (Polly calls them Mavericks). There is a section where Guy asks “What’s your assessment of Steve Jobs?”. The answer to the question gets dragged more towards Pixar story

One of the big lessons of the book is that generosity begets prosperity. Mavericks are fierce competitors, but they’re also remarkably generous. They don’t believe that for them to win, others have to lose.

In short, the leader who figures out a way for everybody to win is the leader who wins. The leader with a zero-sum mentality gets zero.

A great blog post. Must read if you want to know all about forward looking companies and those running them (Mavericks)

Posted in Books, Business, Companies, Startup | Leave a Comment »

The irony of large numbers @ Forbes.com

Posted by suntzu on October 9, 2006

Author points out a tendency with Big Technology companies and Venture capitalists when it comes to incubating a great idea. Authors says that unless an idea holds potential to generate 30 or 40% returns, it never gets real preference by Big Company or by VCs. Such acts lead to non-creation of a technology that could do good to many people.
Author picks up the case with two independent enterpreneuers who believed otherwise. It shows how these two guys successfully nurtured an idea or concept, what was orginally dropped by Giants due to lack to not so lucrative market or not enough returns, and ended up impacting many people and reaping the huge humanitarian payoff. Author insists such people are the true mavericks of technology because they worked for goodness not gold.

A good post. Do read for examples given.

Posted in Business, Companies, Startup | Leave a Comment »

Behind every great product. The Role Of The Product Manager

Posted by suntzu on October 7, 2006

Martin Cagan‘s article on “The Role Of The Product Manager” hits right on the spot when he explains roles, resposibility and traits of a product manager.

At the end of his discussion, he gives hits on where to find these set of species (no not in the MBA schools as they rarely focus on product management). Look out for product manager having critical personal traits (elaborated further in the article):

  • product passion
  • customer empathy
  • intelligence
  • strong work ethics
  • integrity
  • confidence
  • good communication skills

Behind every successful product, there is a person with great empathy for the customer, insight into strenghts of his teams’ capabilities and a zest to deliver superior value to the marketplace with strong effort.

A must read for people invoved in product development. A good article for recharging your battries

Posted in Business, Companies, product management, Startup | Leave a Comment »

Why Top Employees Quit – by dumblittleman.blogspot.com

Posted by suntzu on September 25, 2006

Author collected data from employees who decided to quit and were among the top performers. Following were the main findings:

  • Money: 46% had rated this as their primary concern.

Remember, star employees know their value. May be they are compensated well below their market value. Or star employees don’t see any growth potential within organization hierarchy. You sure, you aren’t top heavy?

  • No challenge: 23% gave this a #1 reason.

Same job. Same function. And for last few years. – Blame managers here. It is seriously important that as a manager you know what your star employees think. Go talk to them. Its that simple.

  • Too Challenged: 21% gave this as #1 reason.

You ask your star guys to complete a tough job but give them inferior tools and personnel when having better tool or personnel was in clear reach.- Dont mess with quality of infrastructure or tools or people or bandwidth etc.

  • Dead Company: Again – 21% gave this as #1 reason.

Yours is a dead atmosphere. Your own attitude sucks. Yours a only work but no play type environment. – Evolve fun culture. Bring some energy.

Author ponders over a must-think aspect for many growing companies. Average post. Skip it unless you need more explanations.

Posted in Companies | 2 Comments »

How Zappos turned profitable by Startup-review.com

Posted by suntzu on September 22, 2006

Following reasons:

  • They recognized that people buy shoe by brand. They knew they were not going to build zappos shoe brand so they didn’t bother to spend on it. They chose to spend on SEM i.e. Search Engine Marketing.
  • They were aware that they don’t have to educate consumers. The consumers knew their product well. Money saved is spent on SEM i.e. Search Engine Marketing again.
  • Shoes are sold with around 50% margin. This again gives lot of money to spend on SEM campaigns.
  • They understood that customers wouldn’t mind buying shoe online as long as they could easily return it. Zappos followed free return shipping up-to 365 days on defective or unworn shoes.
  • They understood that they are competing with offline retailers who makes it possible to buy a shoe in less than an hour. They brought down 4-5 days road shipping to next day air shipping. This had HUGE impact.
  • Excellent customer service. All customer reps were properly trained and directed to remain helpful and generous towards customer.
  • They started with small number of brands. This avoided building inventory.
  • They avoided drop shipping as it leads to less fulfillment to consumers.

Author provides good insight about Zappos turnaround. At the end of the post are links to some good referenced articles. Skip the full post.

Posted in Companies, Startup | Leave a Comment »

Why Smart Companies Do Dumb Things by Guy Kawasaki

Posted by suntzu on September 15, 2006

Because of the following reasons:

  • You may have smart people that can tackle your problems. They may be useful probably but when consensus starts to build among them, it becomes harder to change it even when you know its not gonna work.
  • Out of consensus grows conviction. And if it is being made for the wrong thing, you would know only when wrong has happened or can be avoided only with huge cost.
  • When your people, rather than sticking to their arguments or thoughts, adjust their thoughts in the faith that CEO is right.
  • You got consultants who are supposed experts of their domain. Its good to have them but remember they aren’t good at accepting whats not in their comfort zone.
  • You crave for good news. And crave is so grave that you don’t want to hear bad news at all.
  • Lofty goals. E.g. you think profit is the key and you utilize all means to achieve it even keeping company ethics at bay. You just don’t care.
  • Greed. That is when your company wants it all leaving aside rules, regulations etc.

Author has also suggested his thoughts as to how to avoid doing dumb things by companies. Kind of ok post. Not a must read.

Posted in Companies | Leave a Comment »