I am not an Entrepreneur – I am a Proud Intrapreneur

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Safe Sailing

After 20 years of experience in Building a Team, Operating them for the first toughest 5-7 years and then to make it sail smoothly is my zest. I always feel energetic whenever I define the rule and then follow the same myself so that I can be a role model for my team.

Success is not an easy way to travel to any destination. It requires lot of planning, idealising and implementation. When we start reaching the success, it will be the most sweetest thing in the world.

I have faced the question of “Am I a part of the board or the founders of the company” that too when I travel with my CEO on roadshows. I used to reply, I am sailing on a safer side so that I will get my pay check (cheque) at the end of every month without fail. Its not an easy task to become a Successful Entrepreneur. Until the starting point of the success, Entrepreneurs are the one who never get paid or financially benefitted. Person like me cannot afford to take that risk in my life.

The Unique Entrepreneur

If i am asked to answer, the question I have faced most number of times in the last 5 years, then it is, “Why Am I Not an Entrepreneur” My unchanged answer to everyone who have asked me till date is “I know my strength and weakness as a professional person and so becoming an Entrepreneur is not my cup of tea.”

I always wonder why should I become an Entrepreneur in my life. Just because having “Ideas” can I call myself an Entrepreneur? If you analyse the needed qualities of an Entrepreneur then I am sure that most of the so called Entrepreneurs are amateur in their profession and not serious.

The statistics shows that earlier 1 in 10 entrepreneurs reach success. After 2000 and 2007 recessions, it has increased to somewhere around 1 in 30.

The main problem with Concept Based Entrepreneurs are, most of them are not Confident Enough to say that their Concept or Idea of their business is “THE UNIQUE ONE” in the market. They pacify always to say that though there are others with same concept their concept is different from others. In the recent days the mostly spoken and funded companies in India are also falling into this bucket only.

Businessman Not Entrepreneur

They get funded millions and millions. But can they challenge that their concept is Unique in the market? No. They cannot. My question to these Entrepreneurs are “If you are not able to bring unique Concept to the table then how can you call yourself as an Entrepreneur?” You are nothing but one another Businessman. Thats all right.

If you took the core concept from the company where you were working, modify it with customer feedback, white label it and then calling yourself an Entrepreneur? How can you justify this?

If getting funded is the only quality to call these guys as Entrepreneurs, then of course these guys are THE ENTREPRENEURS. No doubt on that.

Don’t Compare – Differentiate

Coming back to where I left earlier, Real Entrepreneurs come with their own unique Vision. They give the spark to ignite. They loose most when they fail. They know how to bounce back even if they bankrupt.

Intrapreneurs are those who take the spark from these Entrepreneurs and make the flame to burn continuously. They work within the organisation whereas Entrepreneurs work outside the organisation. Intrapreneurs don’t need to worry about the funding. Its the toughest task assigned to Entrepreneurs.

Though all Entrepreneurs are Independent, they bear the most risk in the organisation. If an Entrepreneur is compared as Spark plug then Intrapreneur is compared as the piston which accelerates and runs continuously so that every other parts run smoothly and safely.

Both are different and being Intrapreneur requires more in-depth knowledge in Operations and Business Management. They set the rules. They have to follow those rules so that others follow without any hesitation. They have to walk the talk so that the organisation is set to fly on the correct course to reach the destination.

Since the Entrepreneur and Intrapreneur roles are entirely different we can only Differentiate those but cannot Compare those.

Entrepreneur,  Intrapreneur and Employees

If vision is the role of an Entrepreneur then we can say mission is the role of any Intrapreneur. The only common point where they both meet is the Mission. Defining the mission is also again the role of the Entrepreneur only. But driving the mission to Success is the role of an Intrapreneur.

As how mission happens to be the intersecting point between Entrepreneur and Intrapreneur, business involvement happens to be intersecting point between Intrapreneur and Employees.

It will be a little smooth sailing for an Intrapreneur if he becomes an Entrepreneur. But Entrepreneur should never take the role of Intrapreneur. You have proved something more than that. You should look out for an Intrapreneur to run the organisation if your vision and mission is of greater success.

Flip Side of Social Media – Fearful Thoughts or Facts?

Fearful-Thoughts

Social Media

The evolution of Social Media has come so handy that we can get any information of our request with in seconds. Being it religion or education or medical sciences or even sex it gives information on both knowledge and pleasure.

We know and accept that there are always flip sides of anything in this world. Particularly in Social Media, the flip side was thought to be less effective in the starting stage.

But are we prepared to take the flip side as flip side?

Mostly the answer is NO.

NEWS Agencies or Houses

The information passed by any NEWS agencies are more of the combination of Information plus their own standpoint. They are always cooking their standpoint to any current affairs or information and the general public automatically gets into their standpoint or viewpoint.

In the fast running world because of the availability of more and more social medias we get more and more standpoints and it will become very difficult for us to get into our standpoint or our point of view. We are forced to take a standpoint and before we even think of analyzing that the next important news surfaces at the top than what we are thinking now.

If this is the scenario with NEWS Agencies, the other dangerous scenario is from Individual Stand Point Imposition

Individual Stand Point

When a NEWS break out we have option to shift from one agency to other and so there are at least little choice for us to analyze that and come to a conclusion. But if the information is passed from an Individual to a Group or Groups through limited Social Media Penetration, then we are left with NO option other than to carry that as real FACT than the author’s thought.

Fearful Thoughts or Real Facts

We fail to understand or we fail to get options to understand whether the information passed to us through these Individuals or just their Thoughts or Real Facts.

We trust people from our known group. That too if they are SME (Subject Matter Expert) then we have 100% trust on them and also there are no options for us to doubt their standpoint, just because they are SME.

Universal Garbage of Information

The birth of Facebook and Linkedin came as the most innovative discoveries in Social Media. Yes, it is true too. But on today’s situation they have become Universal Garbage of Information.

Examples:

I came across three such scenarios in the last couple of weeks. All of them are authors own Thoughts only. But when they publish the same in Social Media, because of their position in their known group, those Thoughts are Earmarked as Facts.

Rather than passing the bucks on the readers, I personally feel the responsibility lies with those people who are writing these articles or comments.

Scenario 1: Supplementary and not AlternativeLess Dangerous

My known SME on International Sales wrote an article on Linkedin as Business Through Cold Calling are yesteryears concept and now the new trend is just Digital Marketing.

This one is absolutely wrong and facts are totally against of this. The SMB (Small and Medium Businesses) still runs majorly on Cold Calling and Digital Marketing and Inbound are supplementary to the cold calling concept. Not just Digital Marketing alone. Even the Offshore-Onsite Meeting model is also another form of supplementary only and not Alternative to cold calling as per the current situation. But the author has emphasized his personal Thought as a Fact that Digital Marketing is the New Trend of Getting More businesses now.

Scenario 2: Situation Changed so History Changes Medium Dangerous

This one is on a social stigma and family related. A person who normally writes about family situations in FB wrote this. A retired working couple feels some heat from their own family members due to the incidences happened in the past. The husband doubts his wife all the time and so she accustomed to live a no freaky nutshell life.

They got retired and now due to age, the husband wants more day-to-day assistance from his wife. But since she is been like this for more than 40 years she is not able to independently go out and do any work. All she was allowed in the past was to shuttle between her work place and home.

The author wrote: The situation has changed. Why is she not freaking now and enjoy her life. I am amazed. I am not writing that she cannot change or freak out. But who is this author who can conclude that since the situation has changed the history will also gets corrected automatically?

Scenario 3: Time passed so forget the impact Most Dangerous

This one is an atrocious imposition of the author’s thought as fact on others in Social Media.

He is a known Medical Practitioner on Child Health. He has written that “why are these adults who got abused in their childhood still carrying those thoughts and living a wrong life. He went one step ahead and wrote that since they have grown up they can erase the past from their memory and lead a decent and normal life.”

There are several journals published so far about the effect of Adults in their life because of childhood abuse. A women is not able to live with her own sons was found out after hypnotize that she was abused in her childhood at the age of 4 and that situation surfaces on her mind whenever she sees any male including her sons.

Clinical Psychiatry still sees the effect of childhood abuse in adults as a mystery and they are feeling sorry for not able to find a solution for these adults to live a normal life. They live a pragmatic life and die. Even though high anti depressants are suggested they are no way going to wipe out their memory once for all on their abuse during childhood.

One psychiatrist from Boston University has written an article that these Adults live a more cruel life than eunuchs in their entire life.

If this Doctor had spent sometime to research and read journals of Herman and Finkelhor before writing his comment on FB, I am sure he would have abstained even thinking to write about it. He just wrote it for short time appreciation or publicity. Nothing more.

Responsibility

On all the above scenarios the authors happened to be either SME or related to the field in which they have written.

What has given them the guts to write about these or who authorized them to write like that? The answer is NONE.

Because there is no moderation available on any of these Social Media on any article what we are writing, including the one I am writing now.

If we claim ourselves as SME then the responsibility squarely lies more on us rather than anyone else.

Social Media has given lot of room for valid information and everyone who is writing on Social Media also depends to reference on these Social Media now to emphasis their facts.

Writing is a super skill. But, check your thoughts to be corrected before you impose those as Real Facts on people who trusts you and your writing.

So don’t write for Short Term Appreciation or Publicity. Already Social Media is becoming a Universal Garbage Container. Don’t let your stinky unauthenticated information to stink it more.

If new trend is FULL STACK – then what about Jack of all Trades: good for none ?

Jack of all trades

“Full stack developers” are the buzz word of todays technology and business world. What does that mean?

A full stack developer is a one who has expertise or knowledge in each layers. That is, a person with adequate knowledge on each stack.

Full stack

The full stack mostly referes to Data Modeling, Business Logic, Server side, Networking and even Hosting, API / MVC, and also into UI/UX designs too.

If we expect a person to be well versed on all the above stacks then why should he work with us anymore? His role will be nothing less than job hopping or getting into a better place than where they are now.

If I am not wrong the first organisation which went with Full stack developers is Facebook. That too when FB just had a simple PHP backend. But today they have moved out of this vision and currently moved into more specific skilled developers. This is the equal situation with Google too.

If they are experienced, then full stack developer’s definition on them will also increase. We start expecting them to be more into a Data Modelling, optimising content delivery and tweaking hardware accelerated layers in CSS, followed by implementing an async non-blocking backend and pushing to an AWS cluster and even more.

Assessing a Full stack Developer

End of the day, when we happen to assess them on their skill sets which one will we prioritise and assess them? If they are skilled in one and not that much in another, is he to be called as a non valuable person of the team or the organisation?

I would say, if I am expected to be a full stack developer, then my inferiority will increase on how skilled am i to acquire new skills? Is this what we are expecting from our assets? If we think our developers are our assets then this is not the right expectation we should have on them.

Advantage?

Yes I agree, the full stack developer will have a significant knowledge in understanding the project at a very macro level and so  the employment opportunity of any Full stack developer is very high when compared to specific skilled person in the market. But how long?

Leonardo Piero da Vinci

Leonardo Piero da Vinci was an Italian musician, mathematician, engineer, polymath, geologist, painter, sculptor, architect,  botanist, writer, and anatomist. But the world recognised him most as a “Painter” only. Same way how much ever we call a person as a full stack developer, end of the day he is also skilled in limited stack only.

We hire people for a job. So they will come prepared for that job only. We cannot harass them to be prepared for all our needs. In fact, organisations doesn’t have a fixed need rather. When organisations doesn’t have a fixed need, then how can we expect our developers to be Full stack?

What should we expect from a Full stack Developer?

If the need of the hour is make all our developers to be Full stack, then set the limitation. Differentiate the expectations and be on reality. If we are expecting the Full stack developer to be expert on all his known stacks then we are not going to get anything specific out of them.

If we set our expectation of Full stack developer to be “he doesn’t need to be master of all stacks. he just need to be comfortable understanding and working on those stacks” we will have a very structured development team with us.

GP Vs Specialised

We can rightly compare the difference between a GP and a specialist in Medicine. The GP is more important than any specialist at most of the scenarios. He can understand all the problems. He can find a solution to move ahead until we meet a specialist. He can suggest the solution. He can even dissect at a lower level or even do small surgeries too. But understand he will be the one analysing and suggesting which specialist to be consulted next.

So GP got a more primary important role than a specialist. But at the same time we should not expect the GP to be a master on entire medicinal line.

Starts-ups the root cause!

Technology start-ups need full stack developers at all time because they want to get their hands dirt on all aspect and also for their versatility to have success at first.  However, as an organisation matures we want to have our product/service to follow the highest security, efficiency and design standards, and at that stage we will give least importance to the Full stack developers and will become more specific with specialised skilled developers ONLY.

So I conclude, the definition of Full Stack Matters, in Expectations than the Skills.

People Vs Process

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Foot Steps and Foot Prints

Two types of scenarios are there in professional life. First, following Foot Steps, second, creating Foot Prints.

Following foot steps require lot of compromises and enthusiasm to learn. Whereas creating Foot Prints require lot of confidences and innovations.

The later will become an entrepreneur and the former will become a business person. Though we used to think both business men and entrepreneurs are same, the above said is the difference between these two.

Whether you are a businessman or an entrepreneur you should have Plan B in place to run your show. Every entrepreneurs should keep in mind that Plan B should not be people oriented. But Plan A must be people oriented only.

Plan A

If you want your idea to become reality, even if you are backed my Capital, you need PEOPLE to carryout your vision and mission.  This helps your idea to become reality. Then your realised idea can start earning for you. You are a perfect Entrepreneur only if your idea starts to earn for you. Else you are just another short time Amateur Entrepreneur ONLY.

Your core people should start building your company with their teams under them. Management should make sure that these core team is well equipped and empowered to carry out these tasks. Even though you have handpicked these core team members, you cannot expect everyone from your core team to be of same caliber. It is your management skill that will better utilise their individual capabilities and form a full functional core team.

If the core team is trained and fed to handle tasks to their brim that will help them to expand their team size and in a short duration you can realise your company has crossed several milestones on growth aspect.

Can this scenario continue?

No it will not. Because every individual will have their own ambition in their career and life. On the other hand your core team would have learned a lot of additional skills which they will love to get disclosed in front of others, who would really appreciate that than what you can do to them. If their increase remuneration also gets added to this then they will surely try to unfold their wings and start flying their own.

In spite of the above situation being true, every Manager will have “that one person” who will not leave you in spite of knowing all the above. If you get one, then you are the most successful professional person. Wish for one!!!

Plan B

Loosing your core team is inevitable for sure. What will be the next step? That is what is called “Plan B”.

People are the core for the growth and success of any company. There is no substitute for that.

But people should not drive the company. Your people should drive the process of your company and if that happens, then all you need is KT time and not Individual presence. Time invested in formalising the Process by any Management will give huge returns than any other form of investment including investing in individual. End of the day, Individual will leave you for their own  aspirations, how much ever growth, knowledge and money you bet on them.

Plan A Vs Plan B

Being said, can we invest in process and run the company without people or invest in people and run the company without process? Both are not possible and this is the core issue of many Entrepreneurs ending up their vision with failure.

You should side by side invest on both, else you will be LEFT ALONE at the middle of the road. This scenario will happen to most of the companies which are on the growth aspect year after year for the first 5 years. But if you have crossed the chasm of 5 years then you would have automatically formalised some processes in operations which will eventually lead you to strengthen your Plan B and carry forward your company smoothly.

DOn’t quIT… DO IT

quit

First set – Luxottica Group, American Apparel, Centerplate, Pimco, Volkswagen

Second Set – Gerard J. Arpey, AMR, Bill Gates – MicroSoft, Coby Brooks – Hooters, Meg Whitman – eBay, Mohammed El-Erian – Pimco,

All the above CEOs quit. But the difference is, the second set quit realising that the company would be a better place without them. The first set quit for various other reasons.

All the CEOs in the second set became role models.

Do CEOs really need to quit?

If there are behavioural mistakes of them then quitting is the only option. But for the mistake of others do the CEOs really take moral responsibility and quit?

Is the company not going to be the looser again?

Stepping in, correcting the mistakes and brining the company back to the original height wouldn’t be the best these CEOs can do to the company?

Whoever quits is surely going to get job somewhere else. No one is going to be jobless or going to goto a lonely island and spend the rest of their time there.

The company has spent lot of time and money on these CEOs. If mistake happens they should correct it and pay back the company. Quitting cannot be a viable option to be given to CEOs.

These CEO will surely loose money and reputation by quitting and no denial on that. But by quitting are they not doing more damage to the company than what had happened?