Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Startup ideas in plain sight

It is so amazing to me that startup ideas exist right under our noses, yet we ignore most of them. A good idea typically involves the following format.

is difficult/time consuming/expensive.

We think that by applying , we can enable to do

But the idea is just one percent of it. Execution is the other 99%.

Some recent ideas that seem so obvious in hindsight

Ovuline - app that helps couples get pregnant. Based on tracking signs such as temperature, weight and based on technology  developed by Harvard scientists.

Change Collective - tools for change based on behavioral change principles. Books provide inspiration, but Change Collective provides the courses and reminders that enable change in bite sized chunks

Drizly - alcohol delivered. That really doesn't need any more explanation.

To increase my old idea generation rate, I maintain a separate notebook of startup ideas, and just common problems I see around me. I don't intent to work on them - I am already working on something new. The key thing is building a habit of coming up with new ideas.

So look around you - there are several ideas just waiting to be discovered.

Friday, May 9, 2014

We just hire the best people

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day. We were talking about someone who seemed really high potential, but did not do well at his job. He was ultimately let go.

My friend had a hard time - he said that he had regarded this person highly, and was surprised that this happened. And disappointed - how could a person he regarded so early not do well?

And that is where I think where a list of misconceptions lie. The myth about good people. It's that our potential is static, and determines our success completely. It's that we can make an organization succeed if we just bring in high potential people in.

But that is just half the story. The other half is what we often disregard - which is what the organization does to enable its employees to be successful. Does it provide autonomy? Does it provide clear goals? Does it care for the person's success?

And is the person the right fit in the organizational culture? There are places that I did well, and places where I didn't. It all came down to how motivated I was, which was in turn driven by how well I fit into the culture, and whether I was passionate about my work, and happy about working with my colleagues.

So just hiring good people is not enough. Culture and fit is what takes in good people, and turns them into a high performing organization

Sunday, May 4, 2014

A cable company as amazing?

We recently switched from Verizon FIOS to RCN. Our rep was very good, gave us a great deal, discounted the first month and installation fees etc. So great experience. But the reason why we switched? How much people who have RCN rave about it. This is a partial screenshot of friends who replied my Facebook query on whether to switch to RCN. How many times have you seen a cable company being rated as amazing?