Monday, July 21, 2008

Entrepreneur Blues

Generally people have lot of misunderstanding (myths) about Entrepreneurship, they think it is something really big and most of them aren't even aware of what exactly Entrepreneurship is.This is a troubling issue which hinders the growth of great leaders in any nation :o

On July 20th 2008 I had been to
'Open Coffee Club - Startup Ecosystem' the speaker of the day was Hemanth Haridas(former IIT-ian) who works at Cisco , He and a bunch of enthusiastic guys are making a video about "Entrepreneurs" , he showed us the trial video which showcased CEO's of different startup's in INDIA and asked us to put forth our views and to give some thoughts which will have a greater impact on the viewers. The session was quite interesting and few of the attendees were entrepreneurs who had already started companies.So their experiences were valuable and had a specific focus on how to inspire the viewers. I guess it helped the TEAM.

The video covers all these brilliant people :-)

(1)Mamta, interior designer by profession.
(2) Shashank, CEO of Naabo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
(3) Yusuf Motiwala, TringMe
(4) Pranav Bhasin, Lifeblob
(5) Prateek Dayal and Nithya, Muziboo
(6) Ashish Solanki
(7) Vishwas and sandeep - Jobeehive

(8) Sandhya Ramachandran - Sudhiksha
(9) Priyanka , Hungry Bangalore

Well check out the video and i must say it inspires me a lot! :D

I hope their final video will help budding entrepreneurs to be successful, because there is lot to be learnt from others' mistakes.
For more information about their TEAM and how it all started, check out Entrepreneur Blues.
*image courtesy - Suffolk University

Monday, July 07, 2008

OCC - 'Basics of Viral Marketing'

Most of the things that we use in our daily lives are products from companies ;) hmmm.... Well why do people buy products recommended by others(friends)? why not from a 'local company' or as a result of their own thinking (deciding the product to buy on their own) ?.
Companies build a perception around the product, its like an aura of their product! Its very hard to build a product and
market it successfully. Viral marketing is one of ways to make an emotional connection between the product and the customer. Recently I was present in OCC(Open Coffee Club), here is a brief write-up about it....

On July 07 (2008) ,OCC had organized a talk on "Viral Marketing" by Rashmi Vallabhajosyula from Altius Consulting, This time the turn out was around 30 :-) , Here is a brief excerpt from her speech....

Why Viral Marketing?
  • Interruption marketing just doesn't work anymore(irrelevant ads,impersonal,unanticipated won't break through the data clutter)
  • Stop marketing at people. Get out of the way and let people market products to each other.
What is Viral Marketing?
  • Use Existing Social Networks.
  • To achieve marketing objectives(brand awareness,sales)
  • Through self replicating viral process like a disease.
Is Viral Different from W-O-M?
  • Traditional WOM : Travels Slowly, dies off, eg: recommended a book to some friends.
  • Viral Marketing : Spreads Fast, Travels Far, Exponential growth(amplification).
Evolution of Viral Marketing :
  1. Rumour : psst........ Have you heard? :~
  2. Word of Mouth Marketing.
  3. Viral Marketing.
What makes an Idea Viral?
  • Send if - Want to spread it, Spreading it will enhance power(income, friendship), Effort less than benefit.
To build a Viral Campaign :
  • Idea must be compelling and desirable
  • Easy to try
  • Can try immediately
  • Try without risk
  • Network of close contact people
  • Trial mechanism of product
Keys to implant the virus :
  • Product Difference( Your product should be different from the hive(homogeneous).
  • Re-think about your Decision Tree(check list) and estimate the spread intensity of the virus.
  • Make it easy "smooth" to send :- Ask recipients to forward your e-newslatter, email, or SMS message to friends, Include on your site "E-mail this page to a friend", Make it a fill-in form that allows the visitor to pass it on to a number of people at once(contact finder- sending invites to all your contacts)
  • Go after a demographic or psychographic group where your 'ideavirus' can dominate.
  • Like people hang out together(vidyarthi bhavan, Forum mall, Adigas.....)
  • Target those sympathetic to your cause ( Mercedes dealership don't target Tata Motor owners :p )
Summary :

Viral marketing dwarfs WOM, you have to make a compelling offer and exploit the motivation , make it easy to spread("smooth"), Only influence, don't control.

Thanks to Rashmi for sharing her insights on "Viral Marketing".

**take a look at my old post on OCC-'Open Social Apps'

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Importance of "User Xperience"

Let me share a little secret with you :-p whenever I blog, I try to think from the 'readers point of view' and then extend my thoughts , i.e, make a connection between the readers' thoughts and my thoughts :$ . Here, thinking from the 'readers point of view' is very important as readers should have a good eXperience while reading my blog. I am talking about 'User eXperience'. Whether you are a software developer,carpenter or a CEO, How can you make the end user experience your product/service in a smooth and sexy :D way? Is there any myth involved in getting a better User Xperience? :o Is User Xperience the User Interface? hmmm let me think.

Yesterday I received an e-mail from my friend Sreedhar Ambati (from Proteans) , it was about 'User Xperience', Vic (from infragistics) who took a session in Bdotnet on User Xperience shares his views and showcases the basic guidelines for a better 'UX'. He talks about the basic entity of a USER, answers some curious questions about UX... here is my friends e-mail

"Kalpesh(aka Vic)started his session with a slide which had a question like "Is UX=UI? Or is it just another buzzword.." He answered all the questions and also shared the importance of it. User Experience is about everything like adaptability,extensibility,scalability,reliability,performance. He explained the different roles played by different persons in the industry like Information Architect,Interaction Designer,Usability Engineer,Visual Designer,software architect and how these people fit in User/Human-Centered design. If the developer has taken some care about the UX while coding , it will show great impact on the user acceptance and it differentiates in the market place which helps organizations in deciding where to invest and how much to invest... That graph shows user-adoption vs purpose.
Choose agile for a UX-friendly process like Test Driven Development,Behavior Driven Development,Domain Driven Design Testing UX can be done using heavyweight ,lightweight ,tunnel vision. He discussed about UX patterns. Can find at Re factoring also plays a vital role in UX. Internet gives you so many technologies but not UX expertise and design or Human - Centered Thinking. So you have to incorporate those qualities. For better UX change your approach, Design from OUTSIDEIN"

As I was going through the presentation, there was this slide
"Guiding Principles - Design from OutsideIn" which caught my curiosity and made me ponder..
It said....

"Design from the Outside In
Don’t Think About What You/the App Need; Think About What the User Knows and What the User Needs
Don’t Assume: Preempt Questions/Avoid Confusion by Guiding Users
Make Software Smarter, More Context Aware
Consistency. Consistency. Consistency."

Here are the slides :

Some references:

Thanks a lot to Sreedhar and Vic for sharing this wonderful session on 'UX'.
I Hope you(readers) also enjoyed it :-)
Vic can be reached at