Monday, April 20, 2015

== Business Ideas & Books (!)

Learn from experts

Want to be successful in business (and otherwise)?
Best advice: "Learn from experts,"
or to quote Isaac Newton: "Stand of the shoulders of the giants."

A good idea, "point of view," from an expert could help enormously.
On the other side, a wrong idea may be very detrimental.
To quote Alan Kay, inventor of GUI and Object Oriented programming:
"Point of view is worth 80 IQ points" so it helps to be +80 IQ (smart), not -80 IQ (dumb).

Here is a collection of a few powerful business ideas from experts,
usually in form of popular books and video presentations.
I wrote blog posts about them separately, here are the links somewhat organized.

Future is predictable

Leading business requires "predicting future" and acting pro-actively.
To predict and avoid guessing, just use things you can be certain about, avoid other "information"

DraganSr: ideas: Flash Foresight - Daniel Burrus (!)

Future: Creator Economy

After "Producer-driven" economy (100-50 years ago), and "Consumer-driven" economy (50 years ago to now), a new "scarcity" is "attention" and new value is "engagement" to create.

DraganSr: ideas: Future "Creator Economy" by Paul Saffo (!)

Innovation vs. Improvement

Thanks to 50 years of Moore’s Law technology is improving exponentially, 
and new is replacing old every few years. This is very powerful, and very disruptive trend. 

A good business that just follows current demands of its customers

becomes a victim of disruptive businesses that starts small and improve quickly.
This is like gravity, a natural law, you can ignore it on your peril only.

DraganSr: book: The Innovator's Dilemma

Key concept: Users Awesome vs. Product Awesome

So when disruption of stable business is imminent, how to run business with so much competition?
Here is a powerful and success-creating insight: 
users / customers don't really care how good is your business product or service;
users only care about themselves becoming more successful, by using your product or service! 

And this is a beautiful fact: rather than competing to make a better product or service
we can focus on how to help users improve their "big picture" desires.
We don't need a best product, we need to be a good help to our users to be successful!

DraganSr: book: Badass: Making Users Awesome: Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates
DraganSr: Kathy Sierra: User Awesome vs App Awesome

Significant business research elaborates value of focus on
creating and capturing new markets and new demand. 
Apple growth since creation of iPod, then iPhone, iPad is 75 times (!)
vs Microsoft flat business by owning Windows market but not creating new. 

DraganSr: ideas: Blue Ocean Strategy

Be 10x better, brand, network, and avoid competition (again)

So how to create a new market category?
Look experiences of those who did it repeatedly, in billions of dollars.
Startups are not just in Silicon Valley garages, every business can try something new. 
But there are good and bad ways to do that, so learn from the experts.

DraganSr: book: Zero to One (Peter Thiel)
DraganSr: Zero to One: 7 key questions for innovation
DraganSr: Stanford class: How to Start a Startup

How to be 10x better: Focus on Essentials!

In the modern economy it is not sufficient to be "average."
As a business and as a person you need to "stand out" in a crowd
by being 10x better in something useful than anybody else: your essentials!

That needs to be in area that you really care about not just for money,
it is your (business) core competence, and where there is a potential market. 

DraganSr: ideas, book: Essentialism - The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Learn from data: great people make great business 

There are smart analytic-oriented people that could derive value from data,
including by analyzing business performance, decision making, etc. 
Many business ideas come from Stanford and Harvard. Some are good read
Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Others are also interesting and practical:
DraganSr: Book "Decisive" by Chip and Dan Heath
Chip & Dan Heath - NYT bestselling authors of Made to Stick and Switch Heath Brothers

First things First

A journey to be successful needs to be efficient,
and to be efficient it needs a good "mental map".

7-habits model is a beautiful and elegant story of 
growth from "dependence" to "independence" to "inter-dependence". 
Start from Vision and Mission, Begin with the end in mind, and do "First things first".
Then "Think Win-Win", "Listen first", and "Work together." 
And keep learning. 

First, most important, things are those that are important but not urgent
By doing less of other, non-important things, we free most critical resource: time for "first things". 

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Quote: "Always take your job seriously, never yourself" - Eisenhower