Reverberations

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Archive for the ‘Entrepreneurship’ Category

We just talk to each other

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Bret Taylor on his present at Friendfeed and his past at Google :

I had a number of accomplishments that I’m really proud of at Google. But I think for me I really wanted to sort of, you kow, forge my own path, if we can do it on our own. When we make decisions, I get to just look up from my computer and say, “Hey, you think we should do this?” And then people say, yes, we should do it. I haven’t made a single PowerPoint presentation. We don’t even use Microsoft Word documents; we just talk to each other.

It’s a really, really interesting dynamic environment. I think no matter how innovative a culture is at a large company, you can’t really reproduce it. And I think that’s what’s so infectious and wonderful about a startup environment, that I think draws a lot of people to it (…)

With 70 people the odds that two people are working on the same thing are probably pretty low. With 17,000, it’s almost a 100% that two or three people will be working on the same idea, or at least very similar ideas, at different parts of the organization. I think there is a certain amount of cost to just coordinating that activity. I’ve been really impressed with how Google has been able to scale, but inherently it has to change – just because there’s that coordination cost.

I think some bloggers call it “strategy tax.” You know, when you grow, your strategy becomes more and more important, and it taxes sort of everything you do a little bit… because everything you do, it strays from that strategy. You know, there’s a huge cost to that. Whereas I think for smaller companies, the strategy is less well-defined, or certainly the impact of straying from it is much lower.

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Written by Brajesh

March 18, 2008 at 10:32 pm

Email Scrolling

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Something on standardized emails/newsletters over at 37 signals – People don’t scroll…emails.

Written by Brajesh

April 28, 2007 at 1:13 pm

Entrepreneurs and Ego

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Researcher Brian Wu, author of the paper “Entrepreneurial Risk and Market Entry”, in BusinessWeek:

Entrepreneurs, like everybody else, hate uncontrollable risks, but on the other hand, they’re overconfident in their own abilities — they think they can control their abilities in a random drawing of people. It’s like the Lake Wobegon effect in assessing their position among peers. They think they’re above the average.

This statement is just too over-simplistic to be of any worth.

Written by Brajesh

September 3, 2006 at 8:32 pm

Posted in Entrepreneurship, WTF

The Top Ten Lies of Engineers by Guy Kawasaki

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This another top ten list -‘The Top Ten Lies of Engineers‘ by Guy made me smile and realize that it’s funny because it’s so true.

“This time we got it right.”

Written by Brajesh

April 29, 2006 at 9:24 am

That Wooing Business

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Guy-speak on Demo

“It’s a great event, especially if you understand the dance that’s going on: entrepreneurs acting like they don’t need capital, and venture capitalists acting like they don’t need entrepreneurs,”

(via Paul Kedrosky)

Written by Brajesh

February 28, 2006 at 11:38 am

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Money

Edge Content

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There has been plenty of talk about the Rise of Edge Content lately. Edge Content – the content provided by the long tail of [web] community. Blogs are the perfect example of edge content. While I agree with the idea of eventual prominence of edge content over a centralized system, I’ve certain issues with the general understanding of edge content.

Everyone (I’ve read so far), who talks about ‘the edge’, has a basic assumption that the content has to be created on the Web to be available to everyone, and then there would be various services to aggregate and serve that distributed content. Blogging is super-fine as a casual/amateur content creation tool. But then we need to look for more serious aspects of it. The anonymity of web is a huge road block in the availability of more meaningful content. And also, why limit ourselves to the web, what about the huge content available on desktops.

Content creators need to get their due not only in terms of credit, recognition and feedback, but also monetarily. Why take away that choice from the content creator. The proposed/existing aggregator model may do fine on the recognition aspect, but pretty much dilutes the monetary part. Also, we need a way to measure the access and profile of content consumers. Otherwise the whole edge content thing is a setup to lose.

I need to expand a bit more here, which I’ll do in due course of time.

Written by Brajesh

February 19, 2006 at 5:17 pm

Why smart people defend bad ideas

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This was an interesting essay written by Scott Berkun. Well…he had plenty to write, few obvious things and many insightful comments.

The obvious – “The problem with smart people is that they like to be right and sometimes will defend ideas to the death rather than admit they’re wrong.

The insightful – “The primary point is that no amount of intelligence can help an individual who is diligently working at the wrong level of the problem. Someone with wisdom has to tap them on the shoulder and say, “Um, hey. The hole you’re digging is very nice, and it is the right size. But you’re in the wrong yard.?

Overkill of an analogy, but still-
I was never very good at pool, but this one guy there was, and whenever we’d play, he’d watch me miss easy shots because I tried to force them in with authority. I chose speed and power over control, and I usually lost. So like pool, when it comes to defusing smart people who are defending bad ideas, you have to find ways to slow things down.

And he says-“If you want your smart people to be as smart as possible, seek a diversity of ideas. Find people with different experiences, opinions, backgrounds, weights, heights, races, facial hair styles, colors, past-times, favorite items of clothing, philosophies, and beliefs. Unify them around the results you want, not the means or approaches they are expected to use.

Something about Scott- “He left his comfortable industry job to go after a life goal: filling the bookshelf near his desk with books he’s written“. I’m impressed.

Written by Brajesh

May 29, 2005 at 11:38 am