Solitude and Creativity

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.

Are you catching Pokemon?

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!

VC Funding – Slowdown is (probably) good

While there is a lot of hoopla around entrepreneurship the world over, two trends seem to be heating up:

  1. Reducing valuations of high growth ventures
  2. Slowing down of venture investments

I personally see this as a positive thing. Like all things in the world, entrepreneurship and associated investments go through ups and downs. During the ‘down’ phase there is a tendency for situations to become closer to normal. I think this is happening to this sector.

Reducing valuations is also good. This reduces the pressure on the entrepreneurs while also keeping valuation close to value creation (read more on the difference here).

I recently came across an article that spoke of the virtues of a possible decline/slowdown in Venture Capital (VC) Funding. Link: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/how-entrepreneurs-can-weather-the-drop-in-vc-funding/?utm_source=kw_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2016-05-04

Think about it.

My article on Management INK

Most academics agree that their research reaches less people than it deserves. One of the reasons is that academic articles are not shared widely on social media. SAGE has created an interesting initiative called ‘Management INK’. It is a blog that shares interesting academic articles from the vast range of SAGE Journals. The editorial staff present a short review, and indicate its potential. I have been following this blog and enjoyed identifying useful articles.

Happy to share that ‘Management INK’ has reviewed and shared my article titled ‘Indian Entrepreneurship through a historical lens: A dialogue with Dwijendra Tripathi’. This article appeared in The Journal of Entrepreneurship Volume 25 Issue 1 (March 2016).

Link: https://managementink.wordpress.com/2016/05/05/indian-entrepreneurship-and-its-varied-manifestations-a-historical-perspective/

The article offers number of areas for further research in Entrepreneurship. Doctoral Students, Academic Researchers, Teachers and Policy Makers will find useful insights in this article.

DOWNLOAD PAPER FOR FREE! ‘Management INK’ and SAGE also allow a two week free access to the article on their blog. So, go ahead, download, read and use this article in your future research.

Happy Reading!

Products that Created Markets

iPod – ‘Music’ and changed how we listen to music

Xbox and PlayStation – ‘Gaming’ and changed the way we play video games

Kindle – ‘E-Books’ and changed how we read


 

Are you making the next one? Which industry are you disrupting? Which market are you creating? Which product or service are you making redundant?

If you are a corporation and not doing any of these, think again, for soon some one will do it. It might make you redundant.

These are all the result of ‘Corporate Innovation’ and the entrepreneurial abilities of their people. While innovation and entrepreneurship is the talk of the town, is it being spoken off in your corridors? What can you do to make ‘innovation’ thrive in your enterprise?

It is probably the only sustainable competitive advantage!

Think about it.

Corporates must tap academic research

It is a fact that most Universities / Research Labs (publicly funded) produce research, publish their findings and have a roster of intellectual property. This is business as usual for them. They do little in terms of commercialising their discoveries.

Corporations on the other hand have ‘innovation’ as the mandate. They attempt to commercialise inventions and profit out of creating value. Since their focus is on commercialisation, they should not be spending too much effort on ‘Research’, but sadly they do.

Most ‘research’ functions have been blamed for not being effective. This is due to a number of reasons. Lets not get into it. Many corporations also do not have the muscle power to sustain long term research activities either! Hence long term sustainability of corporations is under serious threat. Enhancing innovative ability of their organisations is ‘Top Priority’ for the CEOs / Top Management Teams.

Hence it makes sense for corporations to focus on their core activity of making innovations happen while tapping into academic research for gaining access to new inventions. I recently read an article on this topic (Link: https://hbr.org/2016/04/innovative-companies-get-their-best-ideas-from-academic-research-heres-how-they-do-it?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=harvardbiz).

There are a lot of reasons why this may be difficult to practice in a developing economy. Here are some top of the mind reasons:

  • Low public funding for research
  • Poor research infrastructure
  • Low quality research output
  • Poorly documented / published research
  • Little research of practical value
  • Little interaction between industry and academia

And so on… But one is bound to be surprised by the number of useful ‘intellectual property’ that lie dormant in our (India) public universities / research laboratories. Some smart companies are already beginning this…

As a corporate looking to stay relevant in the future, it is useful to include scanning academic research as part of your strategy function. Number of interesting ideas are presented in the article cited above.

Read, access and explore the academic world to find inventions that can be commercially valuable for your firm / organisation.

This could be one way of enhancing corporation innovation.

Indian Entrepreneurship: Interesting Insights

Punit Soni, a senior hire from Silicon Valley quit Flipkart. As always there has been a lot of speculation on him and Flipkart. But that’s not the point. Business Insider interviewed him and I find that his answers reveal a lot about Indian Entrepreneurship and Ecosystem. While I let you enjoy the details of the interview (Link: http://www.businessinsider.com/flipkart-punil-soni-explains-why-he-quit-2016-4?IR=T) here are few points worth noting:

  • Indian E-Commerce is a big opportunity; the winner will have to be a large player
  • Innovation in E-Commerce is behind the scenes and its tough work
  • Mobile is a mindset and not a channel strategy
  • Restructuring is a strategic matter
  • ‘I think the Indian Media is a bit of a circus… way too much is written without substantiation’ (read the interview fully before saying anything)
  • Startups and Media should focus on ‘strategy’ not ‘personality’
  • MUST READ: Incident from Bay Area on Hero Worship
  • Its definitely getting easier to setup a company in India, though it can get much better (Government is trying a lot)
  • Valley’s big difference is its support and mentorship; this is lacking in India’s entrepreneurship ecosystem – needs a big fillip
  • A Google / Apple type of Company will come out of India (Optimism in India’s entrepreneurial potential) – lets live up to it.

I know the above is like dissecting an interview, but I think we should learn to read into what is being said. This is only for learning how to improve, not to generate more ‘gossip’, there is enough of it anyway.

Lets not waste the potential of Indian Entrepreneurship

Happy Reading and Happy Entrepreneuring!