Amongst the many cities in India which have its share of startups, Bangalore, where I live, is a preferred destination. Considering the quality of talent available here, it has and continues to remain in the forefront of startup activity. The Startup Ecosystem Report 2012 from Telefonica Digital Hub and Startup Genome has very interesting information on startup trends. The report which is comprehensive describes how select different locations the world over are positioned, in comparison with Silicon Valley, the ultimate startup destination.
Did you know that the word “entrepreneur” comes from the old French “entreprendre” which meant to undertake? Undertaking a business of any kind comes with its fair share of, and here I can’t help using a cliché, agony and ecstasy. Today we see more and more entrepreneurs taking the plunge to manage their own enterprises, and either sinking or taking off depending on the success or otherwise of their ventures.
The Merriam- Webster Dictionary defines ” innovation ” as : 1. the introduction of something new, and 2. a new idea, method or device. When we think of many of the world’s leading products, we remember stories of how someone somewhere thought of a new way to address a need, or a different way to address a problem. Continue reading »
At one time, Bangalore was famous for its many traffic circles. Some of them were beautiful. Sadly most of them have vanished over time to make more space for the huge increase in traffic on the roads. One that still remains is the Sajjan Rao Circle, a popular landmark for those in South Bangalore. It is in VVPuram and has a host of small eateries which serve local delicacies to customers, some of whom have been frequenting popular haunts like the VB Bakery for decades. Continue reading »
During my days of training executives, I remember I used to ask the group ” Who would you call a fool?”. This usually was met with a stunned silence. Then people spoke out with their views. I used to say “The fool is one who doesn’t learn from his/her mistakes”. Building on this theme, I would next ask ” Then who is the wise guy?’ Almost always people would echo ” The guy who learns from his mistakes!”
The best part of experience is that you take a few knocks on the way to acquiring insight. Many of us have opportunities to learn from the experience of others but choose to battle it out on our own. However, very seldom do you get a lot of advice distilled through the experience of many people-in one place.
Increasingly, you come across people, many of them fairly young, choosing to strike out on their own. Being an entrepreneur has acquired a whole new meaning these days. Quite contrary to the conventional wisdom in days gone by of taking up a highly paying job in a prestigious company. Entrepreneurs need more than just the ability to take risks. They typically lead an “on the edge” kind of life -bursting with energy and ideas.
The secret to having happy employees is to fire the unhappy ones says Jay Goltz who is a typical entrepreneur who runs five successful small businesses in Chicago, employing more than 100 people. If you think his advice is controversial, read the follow-up post that he has in The New York Times. He has clarified what he means by unhappy employees. He maintains that this works well particularly for small enterprises which have their own rules and constraints.
One comes across interesting people from time to time. This story from the Economic Times reads like the pages of a novel. A Frenchmen called Christian Fabre comes to Chennai in India way back in 1971. He lives well along with the other expatriates until Government regulations of that time bring his business to a halt. In a few years time he finds himself with a broken marriage and penniless. Today he is Swami Pranavananda Brahmendra Avadutha Continue reading »