Month: October 2016

Want a Successful Startup? Here’s a Great idea!

Startup Ideas that work!

Start-up Ideas that work!

Ever wondered, what made Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and Elon Musk different from the hundreds and thousands of Start-up founders who failed while they went on to create their very own successful business empires?

The same analogy applies to a building with a weak foundation. It eventually crumbles to the ground. This happens because the weight of the entire building is too much for a poor base to withstand. The same concept applies to a start-up as well.

A strong foundation for a business is established by a great idea.An idea that will set you apart from your competitors, an idea that will add value to your customer’s needs. If a business lacks that great idea, it could be in a pickle when it comes to offering something new to their customers.

In India, about 90% of start-ups fail. Although there are several reasons that contribute to their downfall, the absence of an interesting, effective idea is the basic factor.
An idea is a basic concept that is going to hold your business together. Undoubtedly, it has to be innovative, refreshing and socially acceptable. It should speak to the target audience through mere communication. An idea can also be perceived as a solution to existing customer problems. Characteristically, an idea should be relatable and something that the customers feel is worth spending their money over. For example, let us take something as simple as chocolates. Start-ups can offer customization, online orders, innovative packaging, gifting options and more. But most of these might not work because these are already existing ideas and the services will not make heads turn towards the start-up. However, if an interesting proposition is offered to customers that no one else offers, then it could gain recognition and sales, thus establishing the importance of a great start-up idea.
How to arrive at the Big Idea?
To be able to come up with a service offering that is like no other, takes a lot of brainstorming sessions, research and hard work. In this case, your mind would be scattered and influenced by a lot of information. Organization of thoughts and facts is the first stepping stone towards getting yourself to the big idea. Mind maps can contribute to arriving at your start-up idea.

Here is how:
An idea is conceived in the mind of the entrepreneur which is further established via valid systems and processes. These systems are crucial to ensure timeliness and increased productivity. For the systems to be effective, the processes and various stages need to be listed methodically in a logical order. This is where mind maps can be a huge asset to your thinking.
You could have a large number of ideas to implement your thoughts. Mind maps can help you measure the practicality and profitability of every single idea. It can be visually documented and stored for future reference.
Once your idea is theoretically sound, mind maps can assist in bringing the concept into shape. Converting the idea into a successful business offering requires organization and rigorous planning. You can store your references as links, images, videos, audios and more which can later be presented to your team without any hassle or slide presentations.
A business does not run on its own. It requires meetings with various parties and stakeholders. Everything starting from scheduling your meeting to preparing a proposal, you can feed in the information into mind maps which will help you gain clarity in the scope of work and the tasks that lie ahead.
Finally, with any task completed comes evaluation. The review is crucial for a business and it is also a window into the future to understand strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. Mind maps help you conduct PEST, SWOT analysis and more to gain a firm introspection of what you are offering and the possibilities of what you can offer.
An idea is the first step towards building an empire of your own.  To be able to run a business popular among your customers, it needs to be something you are passionate about yourself. It will inculcate the interest and motivation you need to start and sustain a  long-term commitment and responsibility. Your love for what you do will reflect on your products or services, believe it or not, that is the true recipe for success.

Mark Zuckerberg on How to Build the Future

Mind Maps: Key to Effective Project Management

Mind Maps- Key to Effective Project Management

Mind Maps- Key to Effective Project Management

The entire company was stunned. Their dream project, the most ambitious one, had failed. It had send shock-waves across the Industry. Their rivals had smelled blood and were closing in. The tech world was rife with speculations regarding the cause of failure. The company had lost its position, its clout and was on the verge of being acquired by another tech giant.

Its CEO, as bewildered as everyone else summed it up perfectly “We did not do anything wrong, but somehow we lost”. And just like that, the company was lost into oblivion. Yes, we are talking about Nokia, which in the early and mid-2000’s could do no wrong, and at its peak in 2007, owned 41% of the world market. So what was the root cause behind their fall from grace?

Lack of innovation, lack of vision and lack of foresightedness can all be considered as the reasons for its demise, but, if you go deep down into the depths of this case study, the entire caveat stemmed from one root cause- total mismanagement of the project. Had Nokia been a little more attentive towards project management, the collapse could have been avoided.

Now that we have established the need for project management, let us now come to the technology which is at the forefront of project management, ‘Mind Mapping’. Project Management has, for long, been considered a playground of the left brain centric. But cases like Nokia have made people realize that, as we move forward, only the synergy of right brain and left brain can survive in this ever changing world.

Mind Maps Filling the Gap

Here, enters the mind maps at just about the perfect time.  It has filled into this gap seamlessly by making use of visuals and easy to understand tree like structures to make the execution of the process more entertaining and engaging. It strives to align all the team members under a single umbrella, therefore aiding them in staying true to the ultimate goal. Disorientation from the goal is blasphemous for any employee, yet is the most common reason behind the failure of projects. Mind Mapping tries to tackle the Project failure problem by using the ‘CLICK’ Principle.

‘CL’ stands for curvelines. It is believed that our mind is more tuned to the use of curved lines than straight lines, and that is exactly what mind map follows.

‘I’ refers to images.

‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ is the mantra followed here.

‘C’stands for colors. The moment mind maps introduce color in its scheme of things, retention power of the brain increases manifolds.

‘K’ stands for keywords. Important decisions necessitate full concentration and therefore, mind mapping considers it imperative that only the selected keywords of importance be highlighted and irrelevant words be ignored.

Application in Project Development

Experts believe that Mind maps must be used at different stages of project developments, for it serves different purposes at different stages. At project initiation stage, it helps in identifying all the stakeholders involved, their benefits, both collective and mutual and putting them on the map for all the stakeholders to see. During project execution stage, mind maps help project managers to decide which path needs to be taken at critical junctions. Since mind map is a flow diagram, therefore all the junctions usually have more than one path that can be traversed.

Take an Informed Decision

Mind maps allow managers to carefully weigh and calculate all the risks and then take an informed decision. Once a project is completed, its experiences, both positive and negative, must be used as a part of a learning curve for future projects. But, due to paucity of time, employees are usually unable to harvest the benefit from this experience. Mind maps help in capturing all the aspects of that particular project in a simple and easy to understand way, thus making its analysis easy.

Now, try and apply all this to the Nokia debacle. What you will realize is that, a company as big as Nokia, does not vanish overnight. Its decline has been a gradual process with wrong decisions at critical points, ignorance of its stakeholders and lack of introspection and learning playing equal parts. Mind Maps thus, came a tad too late for Nokia. Now, it is up to us to harness its full potential and raise the roof of the building.


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