Questions such as this require deep reflection. But what I often get is quick, top of the mind answers. Some of the answers include: trust, image, ownership, loyalty, etc
Examples of Brands include – Companies (Apple, Google, Xerox, Tata); Products (3M, Post-it Notes, Pampers); People (Richard Branson, Amitabh Bachan, Rajnikanth); and so on.
But what is a brand?
How much to learn by asking some basic questions – again and again!
I am asking myself this. I am reading answers from people who have spent a life time trying to answer them. I am reflecting on it from my own experiences in life. Hopefully I will have something to say, at some right time.
Almost every Business Model Class speaks about Gillette’s excellent idea of what is now popularly known as the ‘Razor Blade Business Model’. So many companies have milked this model. Examples include: Camera Films, Mobiles, Games, etc
There are even examples of the ‘Reverse Razor Blade Business Models’. Example: Apple.
Here is a study from a professor (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0007681316000124) that questions if this model has lived its life and is facing its end-of-life. The study shows how the time has come for organisations to look at better pricing models. The environment in which we live today provides a lot more transparency and access. There are also institutional voids in emerging economies and Intellectual Property is not respected the same way as in the West. With so many new and changed forces, it is time for organisations to innovate with their business models and more importantly their revenue models.
Happy Reading and Happy Thinking!
I just completed the first session and broke the class for lunch. We were to re-meet in about an hour. When I went to the canteen, I found this boy walking around with his phone camera on and scanning in all directions. He occasionally was doing something and there was celebration from friends around. Since he was so lost in another world, I asked him if there was a problem. He smiled and asked – ‘Are you not playing Pokemon Go?’
Over the next 10 minutes I had a class (right there in the canteen). One on ‘Augmented Reality’ using Pokemon Go. This was one more occasion why I enjoy being a teacher. I love my students, because they ensure that I am never behind on anything. Only thing I have to continue doing is – never acting like a teacher. If I keep my student like mind open, I can learn so much from my students. This helps me be an even better teacher.
So, as a teacher, if you are not catching Pokemons, at least let your students catch them. Because if you keep telling them what not to do, they will not tell you what they are doing. It is (in my opinion) the teacher’s loss.
If you are a teacher or a ‘teacher wannabe’ – enjoy learning along with students. Don’t treat them as students but as colleagues in the journey of learning. Its the only way you can learn and stay ahead.
While it may seem contrarian that ‘solitude’ catalyses ‘creativity’; it seems to have some validity.
While I believe that spending time with oneself is a powerful way to unlock your inner potential, I have never researched on this topic. But when I came across this wonderful write-up on the topic, I could not resist myself from sharing. ‘Is Solitude the Secret to Unlocking our Creativity?’ Link: http://observer.com/2016/06/is-solitude-the-secret-to-unlocking-our-creativity/
I spend a lot of time ‘walking’ and try to spend a fair amount of time in ‘solitude’. Both of these are getting more difficult. But almost every successful and happy person (the combination is rare) I meet increases my belief in both the above activities.
As entrepreneurs, you have a need to be actively engaged in social conversations. But you also need to disconnect from your company, industry, market and be with yourself. It provides you access to your original you. It is needed to help make that unique contribution that only you can provide.
Try it. It seems to me that ‘walking’, ‘solitude’ and ‘silence’ are also the pathway to happiness. Read more on this. Think about it. Reflect and Find out for yourself.
Be Creative. Be Entrepreneurial. Be Happy.
If you are not, its still ok! But, if no one around you is catching them, it signals a problem! While I have not caught Pokemons yet, many of my students are clearing them out from the Virtual World. They got me exposed to this!
No, I am not asking you, ‘teacher’, to play ‘Pokemon Go‘ but I am suggesting that you must keep yourself abreast of the quick developments taking place in the world of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Be around people (students) who are catching Pokemon. Figure out what they are doing and help them decipher the deeper trends behind the fun. They will value it forever. Here is something that you can do as an entrepreneurship educator.
When you are teaching entrepreneurship, one of the key things is to help aspiring and existing entrepreneurs identify emerging trends / be alert to changes. This helps them either find opportunities or create them. All of this is futuristic. And one of these futuristic trends is – VR / AR.
To help your students / participants appreciate and explore this new world, you need to be exposed yourself. Even if you don’t catch Pokemons, you need to understand a little more of this emerging trend.
Here is a nice article to get you up the curve: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/07/13/despite-hype-virtual-reality-still-years-away-making-difference-higher-ed?
Remember that this article provides you numerous pointers to identify opportunities around which million (possibly billion) dollar businesses can be built:
As an aspiring entrepreneur are you going to build one?
As an educator are you going to help one of your students build one?
Happy Reading, Happy Playing, Happy Imagining, Happy Entrepreneuring!
There are as many claims on what are the skills and behaviours of entrepreneurs as there are commentators! So when I came across a recent working knowledge output from Harvard Business School, I read through it in detail. It is a detailed scientific method to distilling and finding out what makes these mystical characters who they actually are. Read more on this research here: http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/skills-and-behaviors-that-make-entrepreneurs-successful?cid=spmailing-13055035-WK%20Newsletter%206-8-2016%20(1)-June%2008,%202016
It is interesting that out of the 11 factors identified by the researchers five seem to be significantly higher amongst entrepreneurs. Two of these five caught my attention: building networks and finance & financial management. Predominantly these two are not taught adequately in entrepreneurship programs. I hope when the research is complete and the results are published, more entrepreneurship education programs enable entrepreneurs-to-be with skills around these two critical factors.
Happy Reading, Happy Thinking and Happy Entrepreneuring!
Last week I read a news item that said the PMO was asking the MHRD to give ‘autonomy’ to 20 Higher Education Institutions (HEI) in the country. This they hope will help the HEIs become ‘world class’. It is a very bold and forward looking decision. With most international rankings questioning the stature of our HEIs, such progressive thought is important.
One look at the entrepreneurship literature, especially corporate entrepreneurship literature suggests that ‘autonomy’ is but one among a bunch of factors that can help trigger entrepreneurial tendencies. A simple case in point in ‘corporate entrepreneurship’ within established organisations. While ‘autonomy’ is one of the factors there are others too – such as access to work discretion, rewards, organisation boundaries, and organisation climate.
Above all these an institution that wants to turn entrepreneurial requires individuals with ‘an entrepreneurial mindset’ that will allow them to take risks, bold decisions, handle exceptions, and practice ambidexterity.
Do we have entrepreneurial leaders in higher education who can do it? I think that is a big question. How do we find them? How do we empower them? Else it will be just another few thousand crores spent, not invested.
Hope our policy makers think on this!!