Company-watch on reddit

reddit-logoPro-tip for marketers:

Learn what people are saying about your company on @reddit with a simple URL:

http://www.reddit.com/domain/[your-domain]

Example: Track any posts on reddit mentioning/linking Europe’s leading seed investment program here:  http://www.reddit.com/domain/seedcamp.com

P.S.: If the scarcity of posts on that Seedcamp mentions page bothers you, get in touch with the program here: Wanted: Head of Content.

Relationships

Ben Horowitz writes:

Most business relationships either become too tense to tolerate or not tense enough to be productive after a while. Either people challenge each other to the point where they don’t like each other or they become complacent about each other’s feedback and no longer benefit from the relationship. With Marc and me, even after 18 years, he upsets me almost every day by finding something wrong in my thinking, and I do the same for him. It works.

This has worked for me in my personal relationship over last xx years, and is one of the few things I seek in any good business relationship as well.

Not More.

A friend wrote a blog post about processing efficiency of a manual toll gate versus automated, drive-through toll gates in Gurgaon. It’s an interesting post, with a surprising conclusion to the core query – which of the two options is more efficient.

However, the last statement in that post kind of surprised me:

What we need in Gurgaon are more roads. More than five times the number of roads as there are today. That’s when people will see an improvement in our daily commutes.

Delhi has vehicle ownership rates of 85 per 1000 people. And yet a 16-lane toll gate has a 12 minute wait. If ownership rates in Delhi quintuple, still a fair bit below developed country numbers, even a 5x increase in roads won’t be anywhere close to sufficient1. More is not a solution.

The solution lies elsewhere – a huge increase in quality mass-transit public transport networks, congestion charging, strict cap on number of cars allowed on roads, alternate date car travel, others, or a combination there of.

We notice this frequently. ‘More’ is frequently provided as a solution when there is no direct cost of providing more, while finding a real, complex solution has a direct cost. More is a lazy man’s solution.

Every time that a user/customer complains of not getting sufficient throughput, the answer, more often than not, is that they need more servers, more space, or more something else. Something that will cost them more money, yet wouldn’t require much effort from us. Yes, we could’ve spent a few days tweaking the code to get out a little more throughput for them from the current servers. But that would require an effort from us. More doesn’t.

Every time the system slows down, your family IT guy will tell you that you need more RAM, or a better CPU with more processing capacity. Why? Because that’s the easy, lazy answer. She could spend a few hours with your system, removing all the crapware, running disk utilities, or (at worse) reformatting and reinstalling the operating system. But that takes effort and time. More is easy.

When that mentee, or interviewee, asks for feedback on how to improve his output, the answer given is usually work harder, spend more time, read more. To give proper feedback would require homework on part of the mentor – study appraisal reports, structure thoughts, engage2 in a discussion. But more is easy. A preserve of the lazy.

More, in these and other similar cases, is actually less. And less is more.

 

Continue reading Not More.

Time-zone: EST

Over the weekend, dining out with friends suffering in high-paying, corporate jobs, I had a realisation: There’s a big difference in how you measure time when you’re owning a business versus working for one.

When we work for someone else (usually something else – the money), we want the time at work to shrink. We wait for the lunch hour. We want the end of work day to arrive quickly. We look forward to the weekend all week. We want month end, and salary, to come quickly. We plan the time between vacations thinking, dreaming and planning the next vacation. We wish the clock just moved faster. A lot faster. We’ll call it Employee’s Shrinking Time. Or EST.

When we own what we are doing – our team, our firm, our idea, or our dream – we want the same time to expand. We don’t want end of month to come any time soon as that just means you’ve lost another month of critical time… even if we’ve been working 100 hour weeks all month. We want the day to have more than 24 hours, and sleep to vanish. We want the weeks to be longer and weekends shorter. In fact, we don’t just want the time to expand, we want it to just stop. Till we’re finished. (Which, if you’re good, is never.) We’ll call this Entrepreneur’s Stretching Time. Or EST.

So, which EST time-zone do you follow?

Posted from WordPress for Android

Continue reading Time-zone: EST

Farewell, Steve.

Rest in peace, Steve

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

You lived hungry. You lived foolish. And you taught us how to live.

Farewell, Steve.