A few years back I had the privilege of working with one of the most innovative banking teams in the world. GT Bank are market leaders locally in Nigeria and have bagged a few global awards.
Whilst at Clickatell Transact, my job was to help build and launch a product that could take make the adoption of complimentary 3rd party products quick, easy and commercially viable. We nailed it with GT Bank!
I recently found these pictures of a celebratory event we held on Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria. Quality people, delivering a quality solution.
Reading some of the “start-up” material can be quite helpful in making sure that our corporate processes and practices don’t become so cumbersome that they snuff out the possible opportunity. This is a good article to take us back to product development lifecycle basics – The Non-Technical Guide to Launching Products & Side Projects by Ben Tossell.
This is a great post giving some direct links to semi-aggregated start-up and entrepreneurial content. This will allow you to get a bit closer to the realities and opportunities of start-ups. Unlike Yoav (the author), I still enjoy the macro trends people likeTim Ferriss find – lets face it some of the stuff is more interesting that it is practically helpful. Take a look at this list of more-direct content here
A couple of days back I had a catchup coffee with a long-time friend. Whilst sipping our coffee’s catching up on news since our last such meet-up he suddenly interrupts me and says “watch this” An instant later he answers a call on what I can only describe as a the closest phone I’ve seen resembling a Nokia 3310 in many a moon. It didn’t have an immediate impact on me, but a couple of days later I suddenly caught myself day-dreaming about this event – was he really onto something? He’s magic combination was this “Nokia 3310” together with an iPad Mini (GSM). The phone he keeps ever present in all activities, but the iPad is only around when he has bags to carry it.
Whether by accident, or pure genius I decided this form of hardcore separation may have its merits. A form of notification detox. This impacted me to such an extent that I have purchased my own beloved Nokia 130, capable of making calls, sending and receiving SMS messages, and very little else. No beeps and no flashing to inform me that someone who could have done something or that something is apparently so important that I need to know about immediately. No, in fact a whole lot less noise and a tremendous scaling back on disruptions during the day is what I’ve experienced, delightful!
At the end of last year I read a fantastic book by Malcolm Gladwell – David and Goliath*. This book did a superb job of showing me how a perceived underdog in the market can use this position to out manoeuvre their opposition and in some cases steal the market from right in front of them (delivering the David sucker punch). Gladwell not only highlighted the strategic advantage that can be had from being the underdog but he goes on to prove how a pedigree (if I can extend the metaphor) of success at lesser praised institutions (such as top universities and corporations) can strategically and psychologically prepare and position a person to successfully displace Goliath’s in any market.
Coupling this with the recent launch of Bold ,by Peter Diamandis**, who literally challenges us to change the world, to dream of billion-person impacts. The call to action is to embrace the exponential, embrace the odds of cascading impacts. This involves the active re-engineering of our thinking to move away from linear problem-solving, linear-risk taking and linear-returns.
What does this mean? Peter Diamandis says “within the next 10 years, 40% of the current Fortune 500 companies will no longer exist”. This means that a massive opportunity exists for us today if we able to change from what he amply calls “exponential stress” to “exponential opportunity“! What does this mean? Perhaps the challenge you currently face is not as bad as you think, but an opportunity to positively turn a position of strategic disadvantage into one of disruption.
This means believing that 4 in 10 Goliath’s will be laying dead on the ground! How are you preparing yourself to be the next David?
A great summary talk on the key concepts of the book are delivered in a 50 minute discussion by Gladwell at Google offices can be found here.
** Key concepts of this book and relating principles are discussed by Diamandis and Ferris at the Four Hour Work week podcast found here.