Successful individuals often talk about passion as the secret formula for success. Passion unfortunately is a feeling and so cannot be easily fed as an input to the inner workings of the mind. It is very difficult for somebody to wake up one-day and become passionate about what he/she has been doing years at work. So what it takes to be a passionate person? A few would argue that our purpose in life will define our commitment and thus make us a passionate person. Again the purpose is a difficult composition for the mind as it is the by-product mixture of many small and simple ingredients. So to take the question even deeper, what is that one little seed which can change an individual to a passionate person?
“Constant Search” is the key! It unlocks the passion in us and finds the path to our success. Most of us start with big aspirations in life and ultimately settle for much lesser. The reason is somewhere down the line, we forget our dreams, stop asking questions to ourselves and start settling for things that come naturally to us. We force ourselves to think that happiness is simply about not pushing ourselves and hence stop doing things to achieve the goals we set out to. Life has this unique way of answering to our questions only when we sustain the questions longer than we think we should. When we set out an objective and strongly believe in it, our mind automatically finds patterns to whatever we see and throw the answers we seek. It is similar to a picture puzzle where we arrange the smaller pictures to get to the exact image. The only difference between the picture puzzle and the real life is that in real life we do not have the actual image beforehand and hence setting an objective in life and continuously searching for answers is the only way to lead a passionate life.
Let us now take a detour and find one such pattern from a business angle. Almost all companies have a vision statement, a carefully prepared line, which reflects the aspirations of the company and more importantly the dream of the owners/founders. It is like reaching the Everest tip for a mountaineer. To take the example of one such successful company – Google – Vision – “to deliver relevant results across all data sources – the Internet, a user’s local computer, and the corporate network” The company which started as a small search engine is now one of the most sought after companies in the world. If we take a closer look, even the products such as Gmail, Android to the recent Glass project, are all in-line with the vision to make the results relevant and customizable for the user. “The perfect search engine would understand exactly what you mean and give back exactly what you want” – Larry Page. The management and the employees continuously search for ways in making their search engine work better. This search for excellence has turned into passion to make innovative products and that drives the engine of Google as envisioned by its founders. Search has become the innovation fuel for not just Google, but to many successful companies and individuals around the world.
Finally, keep searching for your dreams. Together we shall search to make a passionate good community around us.
It amazes me to discover where we are today in mobile technology. The definition of mobile phone as per Wiki states “A mobile phone (also known as a cellular phone, cell phone, and a hand phone) is a device that can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link while moving around a wide geographic area.” Does this definition still hold true for the current period?
One of the first Mobile Telephone Service (MTS) phones by Bell systems used in 1946 weighed over 36kgs and composed of vacuum tubes and relays. The present day mobile phone hardly weighs 500gms and can be designed to fit even the smallest possible pocket size. Can this alone be called a mobile evolution? NO. The real evolution lies in the capability of the mobile phones to affect our daily life. They are no more seen as devices to just make calls. It is used for all our possible daily activities – from alarm in the morning to calculator, texting, camera, gaming, music, movies, internet, emails and what not. The decreasing average Voice revenue per user (ARPU) worldwide is testimony to the fact the mobile phones are no more seen as a device for telephone calls alone. Service providers now depend on value added services and mobile data for their revenues. Mobile phones became a companion which sleeps and walks with you always. No other device has that privilege.
The potential of the mobile has thrown wide opportunities for businesses. On the individual level, the easiness of Software and App development had produced more entrepreneurs than the world would have ever imagined. On commercial front, the advent of mobile internet also gave opportunity for the businesses to thrive by occupying the living space of its customers. Customers are constantly engaged and bombarded with alerts and information. Just as “Stay Connected!” became the catch word for mobile companies, “Going Mobile!” has now become the buzz word for all new age organizations.
In the Manufacturing space, mobile phone industry becomes a good example and a case study for any Management or Business Schools to understand forward and backward integration in businesses. It is one of the fields that has been and seen it all. Be it semiconductor vendors like Samsung, LG etc or software industries like Apple, Google etc or laptop manufactures like Lenovo, Dell etc – everyother company wants to compete in Mobile space leaving the specialized mobile manufacturing companies like Motorola and Nokia in lurch.
So where are you and your business in Mobile universe?
The era when you develop a product and expect to sell purely based on its features is gone forever. Any product you create, produce or innovate, you will soon find plenty of companies selling similar products in the market, sometimes with a price that might be very competitive to match as well. When companies don’t want to compete on price, there came the concept of Value discovery.
So what is this value all about and how do you discover it? A simple answer would be – value is what customer finds useful in your product or service, that can address his/her pain points and that can establish a business for you. Simple definition isn’t it? No, companies spend thousands of dollars to discover value for every product or service they do. In product oriented environment, the process is relatively simple as some of the values are fixed and finding the remaining variables are not often very tough. The services environment provides plenty of challenges as the variables are quite often infinite. Hence picking the right variables that create value for the customer becomes a paramount importance. The concept gets even more interesting when you look from the angle of B2C or B2B. Let us not argue here on which needs greater attention in value discovery. Instead we will find ways to make value discovery a simple and interesting process.
In my earlier post I talked about frameworks and how it helps business. Value discovery becomes simpler if we make it in a visual framework. Companies often believe understanding the pain points of the customer and creating a products or service around it will create value. True in a sense – but most companies often miss a critical element i.e. “consumer” or rather customer’s customer. There are 3 elements to discover value to any business.
The levels in 3C pyramid gives you steps to discover the value to any product or service. Understanding your company and the principles in which it operates forms the base to any value discovery. Then is the understanding of the pain points of the customer that your company serve and adapting the value proposition of your product or service to address those pain points. This is where most companies stop the process of value discovery, with the thought process that the cycle of B2(B/C) is complete. Most often in business the end customers/consumers are different from the customer you serve. There is a second and an important “2” to most business which is B2(B/C) + 2(B/C).
Toy industry is a classical example where the missing “2” is effectively employed in the business. The toys are produced to attract kids but marketed to parents – B2C2C. They make it attractive for kids but market to parents the advantage the toy brings to the growth of their kids and makes it easy to buy through use of different online and offline channels. Intel a semiconductor vendor for computer manufactures not just found value from its direct customer, instead went to public with the advertisements. The effect of the ads made consumers look for intel symbol in the computers to be assured of its quality. Intel discovered the value quality with the customer’s consumers and hence had a sustained success in the competitive industry (B2B2C).
So keep discovering value and remember not to miss the second “2” element in your discovery process.
When you talk of frameworks in business arena, it is often seen as a complicated idea or an MBA jargon used by consultants to attract clients. But as a matter of fact, it has become an indispensable term in the industry. One of the biggest contributions by mathematics to business is geometry. Why do I say that? Geometry has helped us define boundaries. Be it a rectangle, a triangle, a circle and what not – all geometric shapes have definite boundaries. So what is its significance to business? Yes I am getting to that. Business runs in a very complex environment. The variables surrounding any business are numerous and are scattered all over. So unless you set a boundary, there is no chance for you to know and understand “what to consider” and “what not to”. It is like you are in an ocean without a compass or a satellite map. Framework gives you an edge by providing a structure to your business.
Framework etymologically is frame(n) + work(v). I will base my concept with the three basic geometric shapes (circle, rectangle & triangle) to make it simple and lucid. While a circle with the largest area among the shapes helps capturing as many variables as possible, a rectangle helps defining the axis and a triangle in setting a base and moving towards that one defining variable on the top. There are plenty other geometrical shapes that would help us to customize and define the variables for our business needs. So do the frameworks help in defining boundaries alone? The answer is a clear “NO”. In the fast changing business environment, continuous improvement is the key for the future. Framework works a tool to asses, modify and adapt to the new requirements of the ever-changing business environment. It gives you a sense of focus and a direction towards the road ahead. No wonder renowned consultants are obsessed with frameworks.