Finally, the break from blogging is over and now I am back with my normal Blogging schedule smile.Normally, when we have an idea , the first thing that comes to our mind is “If we execute the idea, than what real life problem would it solve” and “Is there a need for the product/service, which than leads to How much market would the product/service capture“.

While reading the book “The New Business Road Test” came across an interesting topic “The 7 Domains of attractive opportunities”, which are mentioned below:

  1. Market attractiveness.
  2. Industry attractiveness.
  3. Target segment benefits and attractiveness.
  4. Sustainable advantage.
  5. Mission, Aspirations and Prosperity for risk.
  6. Connectedness up, down and across the value chain.
  7. Ability to execute the tasks.
The initial study does come from the existing market and the existing players in the market and what More we an add to the existing products in the market termed as “Macro Level market Assessment”.But than the study goes one step further termed as “Micro Level market Assessment”……Let’s look into both, more in detail :

Macro-Level Assessment:
This assessment usually comes from gathering the existing data from magazines, Internet and various other sources.Some of the measures include:

  • Number of customers already existing in the market.
  • The aggregate money spent by these customers on the relevant class of goods or services.
  • The number of units of relevant products or usage occasions, bought annually.
This level of assessment is very important for any entrepreneur since (s)he invests years into the product development but due to the market dynamics , that effort may not give the expected returns !!! Another question to be answered is “Is the opportunity a substantial one, serving a large and attractive market, or a Niche opportunity with a limited potential. This leads us to another level of assessment , given below.

Micro-Level Assessment:
The micro-level assessment involves asking four key questions relevant to the TARGET market:

  • Is there a target market segment where we might enter the market in which we offer the customer clear and compelling benefits or resolve their pain at a price that (s)he is willing to pay [If there is no answer to the pain, there is no market at all !!!!].
  • Are these benefits, in the customer’s minds, different from and superior in some way[better, faster or cheaper…] to what’s currently offered by the other solutions. [Differentiation is the key !!!]
  • How large is the segment and at what rate is it growing.
  • Is it likely that our entry into This segment would gives us entry into other segments, that we may wish to target in the future.
A combination of the Macro and Micro level assessment would definitely help to filter out our own needs and also help in better understanding of the Target Market Segment.Many times, when we start thinking like Entrepreneurs , we forget the business case since, there might not be any cry , just like what Rich Dad says A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS IS CREATED BEFORE THERE IS A BUSINESS

Have not been able to post very regularly on the Blog but here I am back from another unconference Kamp.

Yesterday, it was a big day in the world of Unconferences with the First Ever BarCamp in Kerala and Kamp[The First ever Knowledge Management Camp] in Bangalore.

After landing at the venue and attending few talks, we[myself and Sridhar Rao] realized that we were only the two guys who were not from that background cry We also managed to give a talk on some Web 2.0 tools that could help organizations to manage the Knowledge.Sridhar also shared his insight as to how his organization manages knowledge through Blogs, Wikis, Webcasts etc.

Most interesting part of the entire unconference was “The Knowledge Cafe” lead by Raj Datta , Vice-President – Knowledge Management at Mindtree Consulting.There was a single question that was discussed in the Cafe – “How do you encourage employees to share ideas and help companies to generate Business round those ideas“. There was a short debate on “Patenting” v/s “Value Creation through Idea Generation”.

Not a bad start to the first Kamp with around 40 attendees [though there were around 180 people who registered for the event ].

The bottom line of Kamp was “Web 2.0 has revolutionized the way Knowledge is managed in organizations as well in our personal lives…..

There was an interesting presentation that I came across which reading about Knowledge Management on the internet.

Related Articles:
Live Blogging from BarCamp Kerala by Kenney Jacob
Unconferences covered on ThoughtsPrevail

There is a lot which has been talked about Branding and it’s importance , be it Personal Branding, Professional Branding, Organizational Branding …..How much difference a brand name makes is quite evident: An Allen Solly shirt without it’s brand will almost sell for peanuts cry. Hence,what is first seen is the Brand and than the quality or the service so,what everyone sells is the Brand !!!

A good quality without a brand-name may be difficult to sink-in the minds of its intented audience.Sometimes,the branding is there but we loose track on the targetted audience.For example: Take a look at ApnaCircle, the business networking site by Sabeer Bhatia and the first thought that comes to mind is “Why the Non-Indians on the homepage when the name itself is so very Indian?“. Compare this with Orkut, which realized the importance of having Indians on the homepage,with the popularity of Orkut rising in India!!!

Coming back to Branding, came across an interesting 9 step process of Branding by Jagdeep Kapoor referred as “Brand Naamkaran Process“, which is listed below:

Birth of a the idea :
a. Identification/Creation of the customer’s need.
b. Product/Service Janam[Birth]
c. Need for a Brand Naamakaran [Name].

Naamakaran Process :

  1. Define Brand Name through Overall Product/Service category.
  2. Refine Brand Name, aligning with the Core Values.
  3. Refine Brand Name in context of Location of Consumption.
  4. Refine Brand Name in context of Occasion of Consumption.
  5. Refine the Brand Name keeping in mind The Timing of the Launch.
  6. Refine the Brand Name keeping in mind The Brand’s Future Map.
  7. Refine the Brand Name keeping in mind Competitive Brand Names.
  8. Refine the Brand Name keeping in mind Specific Product/Service Category.
  9. Refine the Brand Name keeping in mind Customer Segments.

Birth of a Brand :
e. Brand Name finalized !!!!

Detailed description on the 9 Branding steps would follow soon …

Related Articles :
Dabawalas , building lasting success based on values…
Brand Battles

Due to some personal reasons and other engagements, I have not been able to blog for the last few days.My next article would be up in this week and I hope to continue this memorable journey.

Thanks to all the readers who have appreciated as well as criticized and hope to continue the same relation with all of you smile

Few months back, I had written about Life Plan [the planning phase to Entrepreneurship] and as mentioned in the comments of that article, The Right Mindset is so very important. Just came across an interesting article on Economic Times, which describes the Five Common mindblocks against Entrepreneurship , which are listed below :
  1. You don’t have a lot of money in the bank.
  2. Someone mentions the words “business plan” to you, and you stare blankly.
  3. You don’t know anything about bookkeeping.
  4. You’re not sure you have the dedication it takes to stick with it.
  5. You’re afraid of selling.
Also, if you are in India, than “Age when a person thinks about Marriage“, could also be a mindblock , not only to Entrepreneurship but also to join a startup wink

Read the complete article here

Related Article :
Are Blogger’s the best recruit for startups
Seven Signs of an Entrepreneur
Can small companies too take the plunge in M&As?

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?”.

1. Bloggers are COURAGEOUS & OPEN MINDED
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!!!

5. Bloggers are EXCELLENT NETWORKERS
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

Note:
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