Jun 13, 2013
Feb 19, 2013
Throughout my career, I have never believed in keeping separate lives for personal and professional fronts, as people say. One big reason for this might be that I started my career in a startup, and have worked mostly with startups where the work culture and environment was uber-cool and the person sitting next to you was a friend first and colleague later.
There have been times where I have been advised to keep my personal and professional lives separate, and to think and act only professionally while at work. I myself have thought (for a brief duration) that keeping this separation was the way for peak performance, but I have failed miserably whenever I have tried that. In this article I will share my views about why this separation between personal and professional life no longer works. It might have worked a few decades earlier, but in this age of facebook and twitter, I don’t think peak performance is possible if we keep our personal self at home.
1. Sharing our Feelings Bring People Closer
It is no secret that honestly opening up to another person and being authentic about a situation taps to the deepest levels of… Read the rest
Nov 14, 2012
Last year I wrote an article about three small steps in treating our employees that can make a big difference as an entrepreneur. Great teams are made up of employees who help each other, know their roles, set aside personal goals, and value team success over everything else. I want to expand those steps and add three more very simple things we can do -
4. Be the First to Take the Blame
Whenever something goes wrong, as it will many times, it is the boss’s duty and responsibility to be visible and face the music from inside and outside. Otherwise, anger, upsets and blame can set in and make things worse for the future. While taking blame, you also have to be honest about what is happening and efficient in dealing with the repercussions.
5. And the Last to Take Credit
Always give credit to the team first, because any success you have is actually theirs. That doesn’t mean discounting your role which you should always acknowledge. But your success is not only yours, and that’s why you should pass on every credit you get to the people behind, who normally wont get much visibility. Make sure they know their part in the success and importance in the company.
… Read the rest
Jul 24, 2012
One side effect of being an entrepreneur is that you stop hearing the word “NO“. In fact, one can say that you still hear the word but you don’t listen to it or it doesn’t stop you anymore. Where it gets interesting is when this start happening even in personal and day-to-day issues apart from just professional matters, as I have observed in the last few months.
Lately I have noticed that how I have annoyed and surprised many people as I have ignored when they said NO to a certain matter, or how I have come up and followed up with them again and again. People are not used to hear back from people after they have uttered the NO word, but it works for me as long as it gets the job done.
I think what entrepreneurship has done is forced me to change the definition of NO to “not right now”, “not this way” or something else depending on the situation. If I look back, I can remember very clearly a few instances when I have followed up on a NO response with – “How about tomorrow?”, “How about if I do it this way?”, or… Read the rest
Jun 15, 2012
As I have written in some of my previous articles , what distinguishes great people and organizations is not how they succeed, but how they fail. Great organizations (especially dealing with innovation) are about taking risks to do things that haven’t been done before. And like with any experiment – you know there are going to be more failures than successes. That is the definition of innovation. If the odds were higher and success was almost certain in every one of two cases or so, every Tom, Dick and Harry would be doing it.
Take Intelligent Risks
We live in a world of risks, and we live in a world of failure. Entire industries like venture capital, portfolio management and insurance work on the model of taking intelligent bets and risks, and making the few big wins count more than the numerous failures. So rather than eliminating risks, we should take intelligent risks and learn to eliminate the uncertainties. Because without risks, there is no moving ahead.
Look Far Ahead – The Bigger Perspective
When you look at the big picture you will realize that when you fail you are not finished. Failure doesn’t mean a full stop, it… Read the rest
Jun 4, 2012
Employees are your first customers. If you want to make your customers happy, the first step is to delight your employees. However, this is a double edged sword and easier said than done. Being flexible to listen to and find the best fit for an employee in your company and still being able to take decisive actions is a tough skill to master. Here are three simple steps every entrepreneur should take to ensure the right working relationship with his / her employees.
1. Share Everything
I believe that honesty is the best policy, so celebrating the good news together and breaking the bad news first is very important. Keep everything transparent with your employees and other stakeholders (unless something is legally confidential) to build trust and ensure their co-operation. It is important to learn the lessons of entrepreneurship together with your employees, and make sure they understand everything and grow with you.
2. Do Everything
Never ask your employees to do something which you don’t want to do. Always tell them that you are ready to do whatever it takes for making the business successful. Do tasks from time to time to build emotional bank deposits and build trust. Make… Read the rest
Career, Cricket, CricketRadius, Entrepreneurship
May 23, 2012
If I were to compare a startup to hunting, then the idea of hunting that bear is akin to the new business idea you are pursuing. But the hunting doesn’t start unless we get our lazy asses out in the jungle. Similarly, entrepreneurship only happens when we enter the jungle (execution), with all its uncertainty and dangers which we all miss in the city (idea). Below are some rules of the jungle, if you have forgotten -
1. No Reasons and Excuses
Once you have stepped in the jungle, you can’t blame the wild bushes and animals and the lack of roads. You can’t demand a hospital and a restaurant in a jungle. So if you think you need funding to execute an idea , or a quiet time to write that book, or that degree to be successful, then shut the **** up and stop giving excuses. Outside in the civilized world you can give these reasons, but in the jungle these become just excuses. Nobody wants your MBA degree in the jungle, and neither can it make any difference.
2. No Blame, Only Responsibility
In the jungle, you can either blame the thorns and the leeches for you… Read the rest
Career, Product Development
May 15, 2012
As I (CricketRadius) launch the Cricky says Thanks to Dravid and Ganguly campaign on twitter today, I want to take you into a brief journey of how I came up with the idea and how I see fun as an integral part of life, whether it is doing business or watching a game of cricket, or anything else for that matter.
If you Obey all the Rules, You miss all the Fun
If there is one mantra I live my life by, it would be this. The focus is not on breaking rules, but on having fun. We learn by doing, and by failing we learn how not to fail the next time. But that failing had all the fun. Remember the childhood days when you fell off the bicycle, or while playing football, and how much fun it was. And with every fall, we became better at not falling. For me, doing something the way I want do it is the greatest thrill in the world.
Work = Fun = Play = Business
I have always been in the business of cricket. Irrespective of where I have worked, I have always followed every single cricket match played by India in the last 20 years…. Read the rest
In my 7 years in the industry, I have seen that the relationship between the product and engineering teams can make or break the product, and the whole business around it. Product management is about building the ‘right‘ product while Engineering is all about building the product ‘right‘. However, in a business both are equally important and myopic views about any one of them will end up hurting the business in the long term. This hold more true for startups and internet based companies than for established and growth companies where the ‘right‘ product is already identified.
Part of the Same Team
Product management and Engineering need to work together as they are part of the same team, while having very different roles. It is critical that the two see themselves as peers, and on the same side of the table. In most companies these two teams sit far away from each other, limiting interaction, which is critical especially in the beginning stages of any product. It is important to understand that out of PM and Engineering, none is subordinate to another, and steps must be taken to introduce a cohesive working environment between the two to enable better… Read the rest