Being used

Social Media Information Overload
I wrote the following in 2011:

Computers and gadgets are for you to use. You can do as little or as much as you want with them. You can be productive or spend all the time searching through other people’s lives.

Information Overload

Still stand by this. Information overload is stressing people now and keeping up has become an issue if not managed well. So is the information overload using you and your time or are you managing to wisely use the information to your benefit? I hope the balance is leaning towards  you.

Savings as an expense

An average person struggles with saving money but does not struggle too much to spend on expenses both for personal needs and wants.

Piggy savings bank
So how about seeing savings as a “definitely required” expense? This way people may be able to save more. Saving money should not seem like a painful exercise.

image credits: Thanks to Alan

What If….

Ever engaged in ‘what if ..’ conversation in which either you or someone was constantly bringing up ‘what if’ statement and those statements always lured towards negativity or things not working in a person’s favour?

What if things don’t work out?

What if I fail?

What if I don’t make enough money?

What if the project does not go according to the plan?

What if I go for a walk and it rains?

What if the partnership does not work out?

But and a big but,

What if things just work out?

What if you succeed beyond your wildest dreams?

What if you make more money then you are now?

What if the project leads you to 10 more projects?

What if you complete your walk while it still rains?

What if the partnership leads you to better learning and experiences in life?

Most times people spend more time in thinking about ‘what if..’ then taking action on their idea.

We always need to analyse (or over analyse) before we make decisions but then next time you are questioning yourself or hearing someone mentioning ‘what ifs..’ in the conversation try to look on the other side too. The side that people are at times more fearful even to consider. May be that is all you need to push you over the edge.

Lessons Re-Learnt from Startup Weekend #IYW

Few weekends back I attended ‘Startup Weekend’ here in Melbourne. The intention was to live the experience of working on a startup story and developing a prototype over a weekend. More importantly to be a part of a team, which I did. Experience the pivoting and to be a good listener.

I knew that I will re-learn a lot of things in the 3 day event that I attend. I just wanted to live through some of the experience in ‘Entrepreneurship’ having read so much about it over the years. I have already experience a failed attempt at starting something on my own before.

The format of the ‘Startup Weekend’ is as follows in a nutshell:

  • People pay up to $99 to attend a 3 day event (Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday)
  • Attendees can decide if they want to pitch their idea. If they do, they will get a set amount of time to do so in front of the whole audience (can be daunting to some)
  • People vote on the pitched ideas
  • Teams are formed (attendees work out on which idea they want to work with and if they have skills required or that can be offered)
  • Formed team start brainstorming with an intention to produce a prototype product by end of Sunday evening to be presented to the audience.

"Portrait Parle" Class, Paris (LOC)
Here is a list of things that I learnt/re-learnt through 3 days.

Pre-network – This is an important aspect. Like anything else, networking activity works best before you need people to work with you, not just in time. Make people your fan and wanting to work with you even before they hear your idea.

Be persuasive – Just because the most persuasive wins the race (most of the time if not all the time).

Be clear in your pitch – Practice your pitch before hand, not once, not twice but 20 times or more. Be really really clear on what message you are going to deliver in your pitch. This applies not only for startups but even if you are going to pitch an idea to your manager or your neighbour.

Be creative with the messaging – Yes, be creative. Don’t make your pitch using a boring PPT Slide or a bullet points scribbled over a butcher paper. Have great examples, have humor and have fun.

Developers are in demand and they sell fast

Networking – be open and network more

Smile and smile more

Non-developers – if you are not a programmer than you have to be more persuasive

– get better at selling yourself and your idea

– attract people

– be original

Passionate, creative, fun loving people win more often

– be excited about your own product

– Come up with Useful products and disruptive ideas

– Choose your team wisely

– Focus, focus and focus. Focus on the core idea and take things from there

– Have clear expectations and clear delegation of work

– Talk less, work more

– Cut the bullshit

Nothing new is written here that hasn’t been written 10,000 times before already if not more. But it was very consistent that the people who did not have their ideas selected, people who did not win or did not get a huge level of support lacked in some of all of these areas.

Example of Clarity – #IYW

An example of what clarity is. Enjoy the story.

A kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they drew. She would occasionally walk around to see each child’s artwork. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.

The girl replied, “I’m drawing God.”The teacher paused and said, “but no one knows what God looks like.

”Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing the girl replied, “They will in a minute.”

via How To Enjoy Radical Commitment Through Four Simple Steps.

Topping up a story #IYW

Don’t. Avoid topping someone else’s story.

I am constantly reminding myself not to top up someone else’s story (and I am far from perfect). But it is important to learn to listen and give the appreciation someone’s story deserves. It might not be the best you might have heard and you might have a better story, but keep it in your pants, for another day. Let someone else’s story a chance to live and be heard.