This is a thought that has been running into my mind since many days.I was just trying to research on mentality of bloggers[at least the guys whom I know in my blogging fraternity].Over a period of time, I have realized that Blogging is not a simple job[also it is not that difficult as well].Few days back, someone just told me “Blogging is just writing your thoughts…so what is the big deal in it?” As you might have guessed, he did not have a blog and this is where the thought to this article struck my mind.

Based on my experience on blogging and interactions with other bloggers, below are the top 5 reasons “Why bloggers are the best recruit for startups?”.

Blogging is a simple platform where you express your thoughts but the catch word here is “EXPRESS”.Blogs spread like fire and you never know who is reading your blog.But it always takes a lot of courage to go on this platform and being noticed/criticized.For example: One of my friend’s asked me “Can I blog?”.My reply was “Why not”.He told that “My communication skills are not so great and hence,people may treat me bad” but now “He has already started blogging and we already discuss about Blogs in our free time” biggrin At the end of the day, it takes courage to be criticized.

Being criticized, gives bloggers more COURAGE to EXPRESS and Courage is what Blogging is all about!!!

2. Bloggers always THINK OTHERWISE
It is very important to see the right things first and start finding defects in the same.Bloggers are expert critics ,be it a website/consumer electronic good/M&A/Business Stuff or any other topic.If a non-blogger would think in a direction A, Blogger would always try to think in a different direction[and also question Direction A], not to prove the other person wrong but to find a better solution.

So, Bloggers don’t only think WISE but they also think OTHERWISE !!!

3. Bloggers always BORN COMPETITORS
Bloggers always want to compete, first competing with themselves to come up with very good articles and second to compete with the competition.Have you ever heard conversation between bloggers.It starts with Technorati ranking, Alexa ranking and other such statistics.Blogging is no longer about writing , it is also about competition with the other bloggers especially if there is a Collaborative Blog.Check out the articles here and here, which proves the same.

So, Bloggers always want to be a CUT ABOVE THE REST and it is their general tendency on outlook to beat the competition.

4. Bloggers are GOOD RESEARCHERS
Ask anyone “Which Venture Capital(VC) has invested money in a startup XYZ” and most of the times, the guy who answers this question correctly is a Blogger.But what makes the Blogger get interested in this topic? It is his/her inbuilt curiosity TO KNOW MORE , which makes him/her to read about the same.

GOOD RESEARCH makes people more knowledgeable and come up with better results and this is a daily routine in a Blogger’s life!!!

Blogging is all about coming out with good piece of information and networking with others.They love to network and meet other bloggers/non-bloggers and hear from them.You would find them in any Networking event either blogging in a corner or exchanging cards with other bloggers or doing some other stuff.Network of a blogger can help bring other people on board(who share the same passion) and this can help Bootstrapping or initial scaling up faster.

BLOGGING is nothing but NETWORKING and Bloggers know this the best!!!

In a nutshell:

Bloggers can wear Multiple hats and this is what make them ideal in a startup biggrin

If you have some other thoughts, kindly add them in the comments section and I would glad to add them in the article.

How many times do you come across an advertisement “Wanted Software Engineers Experience: 2+ Skills : C, C++, RTOS etc etc.cry Opportunities always look good and we jump to say “Yeah this is the company and suddenly out of nowhere , that company becomes your DREAM company”.

But times are slowly changing and the way in which companies place Job Advertisements is also changing[though slowly and steadily]. Currently, there are many options for a suitable candidate to change a job and companies need an “ADDITIONAL TOUCH” in their Advertisements to lure the right person to join the organization smile

Try a Google search on Why should I work in a startup , after browsing through a couple of the crawled websites, I came across an interesting presentation titled : Why should you quit your job for a startup.The contents of the presentation touched upon all the aspects of a startup : Funding, Team Work, Learning , Salary[in a Venture backed startup] etc etc. but the end[Slides#7 and 8] was quite dramatic, “The presentation was an advertisement for a startup Cobaan and the benefits of working in Cobaan”

Now let us move from India to the west, where you find the ultimate source of innovative job advertisement.Netflix , the online DVD Rental company in the US[and one of Guy Kawasaki’s hot favourite] has an interesting list of benefits(if you work in Netflix). The advertisement is not like a recruitment page but it is written in such a way that makes the reader to JOIN Netflix that very moment biggrin The advertisement also touches on the dominance of Netflix in the online DVD rental business!!! Below are the top 8 reasons[listed on the site] to work in Netflix.

After reading them, you would feel that Netflix is the ONLY company you could ever work for !!!

  1. Netflix delights people
  2. We’re democratizing movie distribution
  3. Values Matter
  4. Rules annoy us
  5. We pay well
  6. Consistently outstanding people
  7. We love movies
  8. We’re creating an amazing future
Click on the image below to read the complete description:

Hey wait, but I could not see what are the Technical requirements for Netflix wink These are small examples of how companies have started to realize that sometimes you need more than a normal advertisement to lure the job seeker.

Times are sure changing and companies need to be innovative in every angle to send a message to the job-seeker – IF YOU ARE NOT WORKING HERE, YOU ARE TRULY MISSING SOMETHING !!!

Netflix inputs : BusinessWeek

Some of the readers would be wondering if this blog is turning into an event calendar sad Of course not, but whenever I write about some unconference or a conference or some other event, we can see “The changing face of a rising India” biggrin

While watching CNBC, came across an interesting contest called TheSimplicity Challenge which is open ONLY to students from the age 18-30.

What is the Simplicity Challenge?
You can check the details here

Interesting highlight was the definition of BIG IDEA:

An idea is a business opportunity to improve people’s lives and create value for individuals and communities. If it does that, it automatically makes marketing sense. And the simpler the idea, the more sustainable it is likely to be.

So, there is a Social Entrepreneurial angle to the contest [since, your idea would help in making lives simple & better, which is also the mantra of Philips – Sense and Simplicity].

Terms and Conditions :
You could read them here

Prizes to be won :
From the Simplicity Challenge Website:

If your idea is voted by the viewers as amongst the first 4, you can look forward to prizes like the Philips Ambilight LCD televisions, in addition to all the publicity. And if your idea is judged the Number One, you will receive a cash prize of Rs 15 Lakhs. And, an introduction to a Venture Capitalist, who can turn your idea into a commercial success, and you into the hottest entrepreneur of the year.

More details here , here and here

After the success of FaceBook being open to developers, it was now the turn of the hottest product ever to be open to developers….Developers would now be able to download their applications in the iPhone [but from the month of February,08]. As per the statement from Steve Jobs, “iPhone would be COMPLETELY open to APPLICATIONSsurprised Below is a copy of the statement from Steve Jobs [taken from Apple’s official site]:

We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers’ hands in February. We are excited about creating a vibrant third party developer community around the iPhone and enabling hundreds of new applications for our users. With our revolutionary multi-touch interface, powerful hardware and advanced software architecture, we believe we have created the best mobile platform ever for developers.

It will take until February to release an SDK because we’re trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once—provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc. This is no easy task. Some claim that viruses and malware are not a problem on mobile phones—this is simply not true. There have been serious viruses on other mobile phones already, including some that silently spread from phone to phone over the cell network. As our phones become more powerful, these malicious programs will become more dangerous. And since the iPhone is the most advanced phone ever, it will be a highly visible target.

Some companies are already taking action. Nokia, for example, is not allowing any applications to be loaded onto some of their newest phones unless they have a digital signature that can be traced back to a known developer. While this makes such a phone less than “totally open,” we believe it is a step in the right direction. We are working on an advanced system which will offer developers broad access to natively program the iPhone’s amazing software platform while at the same time protecting users from malicious programs.

We think a few months of patience now will be rewarded by many years of great third party applications running on safe and reliable iPhones.

Source : Apple Hot News

Related News:
Apple iPhone hacked !!!
Nokia Taps Web Developers for Next Killer Mobile App [Thanks Manish Panchmatia]
MySpace open up to developers

Long time back, there was a Podcast which focussed on Sun’s strategy to help Startups .Just came across an excellent initiative[taken in this direction] by Sun Microsystems named Startup Camp, details of which are given below:

What is StartupCamp?
Startup Camp is an unconference-style event that’s dedicated to bringing together the various members of the startup community for a face-to-face collaborative meetup where its the attendees that drive the agenda [in true unconference fashion]

What’s hot in StartupCamp?
There are topics which would address each and every corner of a Startup right from Starting Up to Funding a Startup to Managing a startup to Scaling a startup and many more… Some of the HOT topics are given below:

  1. How to start without funding?
  2. Software Practices for Start-ups
  3. Intellectual Property Issues for Startups
  4. Venture Labor as an alternative to Venture Capital
  5. Marketing with $0.00
  6. Developing a winning team
Check out the complete list of Discussion Topics here

When and where:
New York,USA [22-23 October,2007] [Oops, the Unconference is not in India but we can surely watch out other attendee’s blogs for more details into the actual event.biggrin]

How to register:
More information about StartupCamp here.You can register for the event here

More Coverage:
Ian Murdock sheds light on StartupCamp

Reader Contribution:
Sun Startup Essentials Guide [Thanks Vaibhav Pandey]

In continuation to the previous article on “Approaches to new product development – I”, below are the other approaches as described from the book “Lateral Marketing” by Philip Kotler and Fernando Trias.

4. Innovation based on design:
Consists of :
Modifications of design in order to communicate different lifestyles.
Effects in the market:
Amplification of targets.
Differentiation by lifestyle.
Watches: In case of Swatch, design is the main source of innovation.Swatch introduces new models every year but the external appearance is a major change.

Design based innovations are those which create a new product by changing its external appearance.

5. Innovation based on Complements:
Consists of :
Adding ingredients or complimenting/adding additional services.
Effects in the market:
Ability to better serve concrete segments or niches.
Increase in the range of products.
Hand soap : Soap with moisturizers, antibacterial soap etc.
Computer Services : A computer service can offer maintenance, ink toner replacement while also being repaired etc.

Innovations based on complements consist of adding complementary ingredients or additional services to the basic product or service.

6. Innovation based on effort reduction:
Consists of :
Reduction of the effort customers make in the purchase process.
Effects in the market:
Conversion of potential buyers into current buyers.
Ability to reach maximum penetration of the product or service.
Perfumes: A firm known for expensive perfumes decided to introduce mass market perfumes in attractive bottles at much lower prices.Through the effort reduction of lower prices, the firm converted an enormous mass of potential buyers into current buyers.

Innovations based on effort reduction consist of modifying your not the product or service, but rather the efforts and risks involved in the purchase.

These innovations consist of continued variations on what the product or service is, but do not intend to modify it’s essence.The innovations occur within the category in which they compete, since the methodologies for creating them assume a fixed market.

Related Article:
Approaches to new product development – Part I

During my way back from Mumbai to Bangalore[early this morning] , I was reading an interesting book “Lateral Marketing” by Philip Kotler and Fernando Trias.The book had an interesting section where the innovations from various fields were classified on basis of Size, Design etc.Some of those approaches to new product development are given below:

[Note : This article is divided into two sub-parts and the next one would follow soon]

1. Innovation based on modulation:
Consists of :
Increasing or decreasing any characteristics of the product or the service.
Effects in the market:
Amplification of targets.
Ability to better serve concrete segments.
Juices: with low sugar content, with more fruit, with vitamins, without additives etc.
Banking: with monthly interest payment, without charges for credit card usage, with high number of offices, with higher trained staff etc.

Module based innovations vary any basic characteristic of the product or service by increasing or reducing the weight, importance or degree of that characteristic.

2. Innovation based on sizing:
Consists of :
Variations of volume, quantity or frequency.In this case, the product or service never changes.
Effects in the market:
Amplification of targets.
Amplification of consumption occasions.
Soft drinks: Half a liter, one liter, two liters etc.
Internet connection service:Free usage in the night, Bonus of 30 minutes per day etc.

Sizing based innovations consist of introducing a new product or service in the market by varying the volume, frequency or number of products(or services) offered.

3. Innovation based on packaging:
Consists of :
Modifications of container or packaging.
Effects in the market:
Amplification of targets.
Amplification of consumption occasions.
Chocolates: One container [containing chocolates] is a small, simple paper-box sold in kiosks or candy shops.A much bigger paper-made box is marketed in supermarkets or hypermarkets and it’s function is family consumption at home.
Banks:Banks having different brands oriented to different target markets expressed through the office layouts etc.There are banks for lower class, middle class, higher middle class and higher class.

Packaging based innovations consist of creating new products by modifying only the container, the packaging or the environment.Many times, the packaging changes can be made together with the sizing changes.

Approaches to new product development – Part II would be covered in the next article.

Three days away from my favourite job(Blogging) and the time was spent in travel biggrin Today I met one of my blog readers from a different city and I understood that “BLOGS REALLY MEAN NETWORKINGbiggrin Coming back to the topic, just came across a nice presentation “Small is beautiful” on Garage Technology Ventures.

It says “Instead of building a startup by the normal means” try this – “Building a lean, scrappy, nimble company without raising piles of money“.The focus is more on value since, once we have the right value, wealth would follow!!!

Below are the top 10 new rules for Entrepreneurs and Investors:

Fundamental Objective:
Old rule: Create wealth
New rule: Create value

Getting started:
Old Rule: Brilliant entrepreneur
New Rule: Brilliant entrepreneurial team

Sharing the vision:
Old Rule: Craft a Mission Statement
New Rule: Create a Mantra [Old Guy Kawasaki statement]

Management style:
Old Rule: Plan the work, work the plan
New Rule: Ready, fire, aim!

Business Model:
Old Rule: Raise capital
New Rule: Generate revenues

Foundation of Innovation:
Old Rule: Good old American know-how
New Rule: Good new Global know-how

Competitive advantage:
Old Rule: First mover advantage
New Rule: Fast adaptor advantage

Marketing Strategy:
Old Rule: Build it and they will come
New Rule: Everyone sells

Pace of change:
Old Rule: Innovation is accelerating
New Rule: Market penetration is slow

Source of Innovation:
Old Rule: Technology drives innovation
New Rule: People trump technology

It was very important for me to repeat these rules here since, they are to be memorized !!!

Read the complete presentation from here