Date archives "January 2011"

Lean User Experience

I have become a user experience fanatic. It is one of those areas where I am personally putting in a lot of time to learn fundamentals. For those who are wondering what User Experience (UX) Design is:

UX design is how a website or piece of software works, how humans interact with it, the information architecture, usability, etc. If done incorrectly, the user feels frustrated, cannot find the right buttons or does not go where he/she is supposed to. To counter this, UX designers use sound, colors, architecture and visual layouts to ensure the user completes a required action.

The best picture that I have ever seen describe this principle is:

The Last Lecture

I was reading an article today on university selection and it linked out to Randy Pausch’s famous “Last Lecture” at Carnegie Mellon University. It had been a while since I last watched it and decided to watch it again. This lecture never fails to fascinate me. I must have watched it tens of times before, however, I am always able to take something new away from it.

One of the major take aways I get from watching it is, that we have to start living and enjoying our lives today. Life is much too short to keep on planning for the future and putting things off until it is too late. This is definitely something I need to work on and hope to do so this year!

Randy Pausch: “The brick walls are not there to keep us out, they are there to give us a chance to show us how badly we want something.”

Do You Have Vision For Your Future?

I read a great article today, from the founder of a new startup called Foodspotting. The post is about her being able to clearly envision how things would work out at her startup, before she started it. It is a fascinating read and shows power and clarity of purpose.

When you have a clear vision of what you want from life, paths are created for you to get there. In isolation, the previous statement seems very abstract to relate to. However, you read stories like the one I have linked above, time and time again. It is not that these people get lucky, they just have a much clearer idea of what they want from life and are not afraid to ask for it.

Making the Sale

I had an interesting discussion with a friend today, about rockstar sales people. We were talking about their innate abilities to close deals and get prospects to take out their wallets. Sales is the back bone of any business and every entrepreneur needs to have this ability…the ability to sell. The best part about sales is that it has a built-in scorecard. You either make the sale, or you don’t. The reasons and circumstances may vary, but it comes down to what your strike rate is.

Sales should not be limited to selling that additional widget or service, to a new prospect. It is the ability to make your staff believe in the company’s vision, sell future growth prospects of the business to investors and be able to tell the press a compelling story as to why you are different!

The success of your business depends on your ability to sell, the scoreboard is always keeping track.

Doing the Impossible

This video goes to show that we are capable of doing most things that we put our energy and effort into. Whilst watching this video, I was constantly reminded of the struggles that entrepreneurs face when starting up. Regardless of what the naysayers say or how many times you fail; if you put your mind to something that you truly believe in and want to attain, the only thing standing in your way is, yourself.

Is it Urgent or Important?

Time management is one of the greatest challenges that entrepreneurs face. With a constant flux of incoming and outgoing requests, it often becomes difficult to focus on the long term. This results in short term wins, it does however leave the business at a long term disadvantage. I liked the video attached above. Compartmentalizing your day and ensuring that you put aside adequate time to think about long term implications of your decisions is critical.