Mar 17, 2011

Building a Business is like Writing a Novel.

First question! Have you ever tried writing a Novel? You should because it will teach you to think from different perspective. I had written one when I was in college, and it took me more than a year to complete the story. I was trying to narrate a story around an adventurous journey which I and my good friends had undertaken. It was easy, in a sense that I was aware of the story and had some knowledge about the characters that I was trying to describe. But within those time period, I went through lots of ups and downs which were affecting my story line and my characters. This was happening unknowingly and I seemed to have no control over it.

While writing and describing one character I would unknowingly portray the character as something else I had no clue of. Somehow the story had its own life and it was urging me to change things. This was a strange and a beautiful feeling.

Now what has it to do with building a business? When you start your company for the first time, you are unaware of the characters and their nature. You are unaware of the story and its climax. You are just finding your ways and the only way to figure things out is to make decision and move ahead. You make wrong decisions and you sometime get lucky. But that is how you learn. Similar to the writing experience, the experience around building a company in a way changes you and your perspective.

When you start with nothing but a passion to do something, you are unaware of the market forces and the eco-system. The eco-system is even not visible to you at the beginning. It unfolds itself slowly and sometime painfully. At every instance, you just need to have faith and that’s all. Even the characters in the eco-system are undefined. You are always on the dark side unable to make quick decision due to the lack of visibility. But as time passes by you begin to see the eco-system opening itself to you. This happens when you have built enough credibility in the market. Now when you begin to see the entire eco-system unfold, there are two things that can happen. Either it will be something that you predicted or it will be entirely different. But you can always move on and that’s the whole beauty.

Novel is also similar. You start with fresh characters and with time they mature to reveal their true identity giving whole story a shape and climax. Even in writing, either you end up writing exactly what you wanted or something entirely different.

At the heart of building business are the people. You are always affecting people and their ways of living. To introduce your-self to already existing market needs much more than just passion. You have to seriously justify your existence and your value to the society. In case of failure to show your value, you are sure to be lost in the crowd of that 99% failure list. This is why the failure rate of entrepreneurship is so high. It’s very difficult to find people working to add value to the society.

Each story has main characters that are leading the way. Each eco-system has a leader that is leading the way. If you want to survive than you will have to justify against these leaders. If your eco-system is healthy one than you will have helpful leaders otherwise, you are literally on war. But I think it doesn’t always have to be this way.

Value is the key to sustainable business or company. Absence of value can only take you so far, value is the one that will define your space on the Global Market. Similarly each novel has a story that defines the life, in absence of this definition story has no meaning at all.

Just check out my other post which I had written some year back. Fearful Consumer Market.

Mar 8, 2011

Importance of Free Information

I have never been a die hard FOSS guy. I don't even remember attending any FOSS conferences or joining a FOSS community. But as an observer, I deeply value its presence and its motive. FOSS is about freedom in information and its owner ship to the audience. Allowing users to have complete control over the information fosters innovation and provides better opportunities.

The freedom in information does not only means source code or design blueprints, but every aspect of knowledge. Knowledge has to be shared freely and openly to public. Here, I am not pointing to wiki leaks phenomenon or other piracy issues, but simply the openness of valued information.

I remember getting fully excited during my A levels , when I heard that MIT will be sharing their lecture videos and materials to the public under the name of Open Course. As I was deeply interested in learning more about science and technology, I thought this was the greatest news. It meant I no longer had to beg for knowledge. It gave me huge opportunity to explore the horizon of science without being restricted or questioned. I believe every form of education has to be that way, unrestricted.
Photo attribution:

Prior to this news, I use to visit British Councils and other libraries in search of good books and envied the pricing tags it use to bear. I hated being unable to own them and access the knowledge. Often I would borrow books and take home to study. I would then spend hours coping the content of the book into my thick notebook, just to make sure I owned it. I think I still have those notebooks, where I drew every figures and charts in the book. It gave me sense of ownership which I enjoyed a lot.

Now I try to trace my childhood and remember that I had done similar activities when I was in grade 3/4. I had borrowed a story book from my friend to read. Because I enjoyed the story so much, I decided to copy the whole story in my notebook in beautiful handwriting :). It was a story of "The Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears".

This brings me to say that knowledge should not be a privilege but a right to everyone. No one in this world should be valued based on their basic knowledge. In this I don't mean that every companies need to share their secret chemicals. I mean to say that, any kind of information that deprives human from extensive knowledge benefiting a single identity needs to be challenged and shared freely.

There is more I want to share about my thoughts on the fabric of economy and how it can be disrupted by information. But for this post, I simply wanted to give a perspective on the need of free information.

Mar 2, 2011

Creative Desire

One of the difficulty of being creative is not being able to conform with the surrounding. Almost every thing around you starts to become an extension of yourself. Every living and non-living things become a part of you and you try to make sure that it is the part of your conscious extension. An urge which pushes you to define your surrounding space.

Some people say that Artist is born with an ego which is unsatisfiable. This ego does not have any rule and boundaries and is very moody in its nature. It has no value proposition to the society. It simple exist within the realm of ego of an Artist. You can see the example everywhere in the history of creativity from Leonardo to modern artists. It is the only think which I have found that defines an Artist, in a good way.

But this urge to define your space can be a frustrating experience when it does not conform with your command. I don't know why this urge is so strong among creative people. It simply doesn't obey the rules and breaks the boundary of thoughts. It simply stands as the only reason to be living and this can be very troublesome, sometime. But I think you should never doubt your creative urges and move along with.

Many creative people living among us has a very hard time fitting into the realm of life, but I see everyone living for only their extension. Its like trying to do everything just to save your identity. It may be not the only helplessness of creative people but also to some extent nature of general human being.

The day I dreamt of becoming someone

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