Journey of a Serial Entrepreneur

The Week in Review #29: HearthStone & Gamification

Late last year a team mate of mine saw me killing some time playing Clash of Clans on my iPad. It was something I would occasionally do when I had a couple of minutes to kill or just needed a break. He suggested that I test out this new game called HearthStone. It was a competitive card trading game that you play against other opponents. It took a week and I was hooked. The game looks deceptively simple when you first start playing it. However to become a top ranked player takes a lot of work and understanding of the games fundamentals. This month I am playing to enter the highest ranks available. This is the top 2500 players out of the millions of people who play the game. I haven’t quite got there yet and thus the delay in this post.

As entrepreneurs there are several things that we can take away from how these gaming companies operate. First off it would be beneficial for most business owners to understand game mechanics. Several of these concepts can be used within your own companies for processes like recruiting and marketing. Over the last couple of years the word gamification has been greatly publicized to take advantage of these mechanics. The other factor that greatly stands out is how these gaming companies build communities. There are a plethora of websites that are dedicated to these players and Blizzard (game developer) invests heavily in promoting all of these destinations.

Professional players such as Kripparian averages 200,000 views of his youtube videos discussing the game hours after it has been released. The other major destination that I have discovered is Twitch. A business which was started to help professional players stream themselves playing the games. When you first hear about the concept, it doesn’t make too much sense. However once you see a single player being watched by tens of thousands of people at a single moment, it starts to make a lot of sense. The website was purchased by Amazon for a billion dollars late last  year.

Listed below are several links which provide insight into this industry and to get a better understanding of some of the dynamics that you can take leverage yourself.

Single Player Game This is a long read. However if you want to understand the psychology of the most hardcore game players this would be a great start. This essay provides a history of the development of games and how far they have come.

What is Gamification This post provides an in-depth summary of what is gamification. The post includes several very relevant examples of how these concepts have been implemented.

Why gamification is serious business This article by analyst at Accenture provides a broader overview of the implications of gamification. The paper includes analysis of how these mechanics are impacting Gen Y and the millennial generations.

You’d be surprised just how big ‘e-sports’ is getting People are usually shocked when they learn about the prize pools available in e-sport competitions. With millions of dollars on the line an entire industry is beginning to take shape with coaches, professional teams and major league tournaments.

Inside the life of a pro gamer Sitting in front of your computer and playing computer games sounds like a good job. However there is a much more than meets the eye if you want to go pro. This article provides an in depth look into the life of a pro gamer. There is additional context provider on just how large this space is becoming.

I may do a dedicated post on my learnings from Hearthstone soon. That would also work as a primer for anyone who wants to start playing the game.

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!

The Week in Review #28: Everything is temporary

The next goal seems within grasp. Our focus sharpens and the trivialities of our day to day fade into the background. This is the moment we have been waiting for. The day arrives and everything goes just as planned. We experience a deep sense of accomplishment. All the hard work has paid off and life is great…..for a while. It doesn’t take long for us to develop a new set of goals as there is always a next step to take.

Life is something that happens between these goal posts. The scary thing is that it happens all too fast. Standing still actually becomes frightening. Our electronic devices provide us with the much needed refuge from the silence. The day dissipates into the night and repeats itself endlessly. In the hope for an imagined future we have sacrificed the present.

It is only when we begin to realize that everything is temporary, can we truly understand the value of today.

What Calvin and Hobbes taught me about mindfulness I have always been a huge fan of Calvin and Hobbes. This article highlight’s two deeply profound strips. They provided me with a much needed reality check. I hope they make a similar difference to your day, today.

Warren Buffett’s “20 Slot” Rule Following up on the theme above, this article is all about focus. It is based on a rule that Warren Buffet has followed strictly. Spreading ourselves thin over multiple projects is a recipe for disaster. We have to look at all the opportunities that are presented to us very carefully. As Derek Siver’s says, if it isn’t a “Hell Yes!” then it should be a no.

A Dozen Things I’ve Learned from Sam Altman Sam Altman runs Y-Combinator. One of the world’s leading startup accelerators which has produced companies like Dropbox, Airbnb and Stripe. Before running the institute he was an entrepreneur himself and went through the program. Having sat on both sides of the table, he brings together a set of unique insights that are relevant to both entrepreneurs and investors alike.

Recruiting for Cultural Fit Finding strong talent is hard. Getting them to join your team is even harder. The best people want to work with people who share the same values as they do. Most companies use a laundry list of skills to fill open positions. This greatly limits your ability to attract people who will be a ‘fit’ for your company. They may have the skills you need but retaining and integrating them into your team will be a challenge. This article provides a set of questions that you can help circumvent this problem.

The 10x rule for great startup ideas New startups and sprouting at a frightening pace. Every where you turn someone is starting something new. It is ‘cool’ to be an entrepreneur these days. However, starting just another company is easy. Thinking of an business that will be 10x the current competition, that is challenging. This is not something that you can figure out along the way. This article provides a slew of relevant examples and insights on the subject.

Short Investing Philosophies This article is full of advice which is 10 words or less on investing. There are some fantastic quotes mentioned. My favorite one is:  “Less is more. Process over outcomes. Behavior is the key.”

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!

The Week in Review #27: Success is a Question of When, Not If

There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come. As entrepreneurs we are constantly challenging the status quo. Breaking down barriers and working outside of our comfort zones. To the average person our decisions and choices do not make sense most of the time. This is understandable, as we face rejection and failure almost everyday. However there is something inside us that keeps us wanting to push forward. It defies logic and rational reasoning. There are far easier paths that we could traverse, yet we choose to create our own.

We are searching for the perfect confluence of the idea, timing and team. There is a lot written about finding the right idea or assembling an all star team. The one thing that is far more elusive is getting the timing right. There isn’t a formula we can follow. We have to keep our eyes open and search hard for the hidden signs. The subtle changes that are precursors to the changing tides. This requires our ears to be on the ground and our eyes wide open. Like a lion hunting it’s prey, we have to make sure we charge at just the right time. A second too early or too late could be the difference between getting what we want or letting it slip away.

Success is a Question of When, Not If Tweetstorm by Marc Andreessen on the importance of timing and startups. This short burst of insight is filled with great takeaways for every entrepreneur. The main takeaway is to persevere and keep your eyes wide open for the changing tides.

The single biggest reason why startups succeed (Video) Bill Gross is the founder of IdeaLab. An incubator that has created hundreds of companies and huge successes. Using all the data from his past experience, he delivers a great 7 minute talk on why some startups succeed. Not to give anything away, however the topic of this week should give you a good idea!

Plausible Hugeness Great article on pivoting and refining your idea. The quote that resonated with me was “it’s better to suffer and struggle through disappointing traction along an interesting path than to have significant traction on a path that leads into a fog or nowhere in particular.”

7 Rejections The story of Airbnb is now known far and wide. Two entrepreneurs who had a crazy idea that people will want to rent out rooms in their houses. When they went looking for money in 2008 7 VC’s flat out rejected their pitch. However the founders having personally experienced their product knew there was more than met the eye. They could sense the tide changing and they persevered. Today Airbnb is worth over $25.5 billion and continuous to keep on growing.

Lessons Of Success And Failure: How Startups Change People Startups are inherently challenging. If they were easy everybody would be doing them. Through the process of succeeding and failing, it is inevitable these experiences shape our perspectives. This article has some interesting insights on the changes that occur and some realizations entrepreneurs have had along the way.

People love stories, not decks This was an interesting talk. The post contains a video and a slide deck. The article has a good summary of the key takeaways from the presentation. There are lots of great quotes and advice from top venture capitalists. The core takeaway is that the story behind your startup is what brings everything together. Without a story, you are just another company that is hoping to get lucky!

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!

The Week in Review #26: Keeping key employees from quitting

Attracting top talent is hard. Hiring them is an even greater challenge. Some companies manage to pull of this miraculous feat and are faced with the toughest challenge of them all. Retaining your best people. There are countless articles, books and workshops on how companies can retain their best people. When I come across a company who does an exceptional job on retaining their best employees they usually have four things figured out. They have successfully discovered their purpose, values, customers and story.

If any of these pieces is missing, one’s ability to retain these employees becomes exceptionally difficult. The first three factors have been discussed in detail by a variety of people. It is the last component that doesn’t get the recognition it needs. When a company isn’t able to articulate their story, it loses narrative that gives people a daily doze of inspiration. A company could have a world changing purpose, however without a story it will be like an empty container.

Telling your company story A great article talking about the importance of establishing your companies story. It has a lot of advice on how to structure your story correctly and the benefits that it will have. If you are starting a company or already running one this is a very important concept to grasp.

How Adobe keeps key employees from quitting This article is about the one change that Adobe did to dramatically boost employee retention. The core takeaway from this article is that times are changing and we have to adapt. Using antiquated methods of assessing performance is not going to help us hire or retain the best people.

The Servitude Bubble Umair Haque is a great writer. I enjoy reading his pieces as he talks a lot about purpose and meaning. Both topics which interest me tremendously. This article is his take against the current deluge of on-demand companies. He takes a contrarian approach to what is considered the business model of choice these days. This was an interesting read and definitely makes you think.

The One Learning Technique That Scared The Heck Out of Bruce Lee James Altucher is back with a great post on focus and perseverance. He uses stories to get his points across very effectively and is always an entertaining read.

How to choose and hire product people Hiring people for a product role within a tech company is very challenging. Assessing whether someone has all the skills needed to be successful at the job is daunting. This post is one of the most thorough write ups on how to make a better decision.

Using Growth Stacking To Improve Your Startups Product Marketing Finding the right marketing strategy to grow your company is tough. In this article Dan Martell outlines a simple framework to help find the right steps to take to find that strategy. Comprehensive read with many examples.

You’re not a failure, you’re just failing Being an entrepreneur is hard. Most of the times things do not go as planned. Getting through those rough times is critical if we want to succeed. This is a letter written from the perspective of a founder who fought hard to make it through the tough times. Whether you are succeeding, surviving or failing this is a great read.

The Week in Review #25: The Difference Between Culture & Values

Saying something and doing something are two very different things. Take Enron for example. The company had a 62 page manual on their code of ethics. They had aspiring values such as integrity, respect and excellence. Yet, everything they did within the company was completely the opposite. Defining values for your business is just part of the equation. The true test is how those values are manifested in the day to day operations of the company. Employees will make decisions based on the culture before identifying with the organizations core values. There in lies the over arching difference between the two.

A polar opposite to Enron is a company called Zappos. For the first 6 years of operation they did not have formal core values. It was actually the employees at the company that pushed to outline them based on their stellar culture. The company not only outlined their core values, they built a slew of reinforcing structures. This included training programs, paying people to quit and their own culture book.

Ultimately, the success of any company depends on the people. Having the right values and culture in place is usually a precursor to achieving great things.

The Difference Between Culture and Values This article inspired this week’s post. It is a very well written piece outlining the differences between culture and values. Brad Feld who is another great VC and blogger wrote a response on his own experience with this topic. It is also a great read.

How to Prepare For Any Accelerator Interview While this article is positioned to help entrepreneurs with their pitch at accelerators, it is generally good advice for pitching. The author breaks down the common mistakes made and what makes good pitches.

How Companies Can Avoid the Innovator’s Dilemma Disruption and business models is what is discussed in this article. It is a long read with several great case studies ranging from P&G, Facebook and Netflix. The primary take away is a set of rules that companies can adopt to avoid disruption.

The Art of Waiting I could relate deeply with this article. As entrepreneurs we are always in a rush to get to our destination. The only problem is that reaching it usually takes a lot longer than expected. With a mix of bad direction, delays and unforeseen disasters; everything takes longer. Learning how to wait it out is a key skill that every entrepreneur needs to have in their arsenal.

How Startups Should Get Their First 1000 Customers Customer acquisition is the life blood of every business. Knowing how to acquire your customer is key to your success. Dan Martell outlines the vital elements that your strategy needs to include.

Lessons from the front lines: building Fetchnotes This article is from the founder’s perspective after his company was acquired. This is a long yet very enjoyable and insightful read. Topics range from product development, managing cash, raising funding, marketing, people and most importantly being a founder. Take the time to sit back and read this post in it’s entirety.

The Inside Story on How SurveyMonkey Cracked the International Market SurveyMonkey has enjoyed phenomenal success expanding it’s product. However operating in new market’s isn’t as simple as just opening an office and hiring some people. This post outlines in great detail about their international strategy. What worked and what didn’t. Lots of great lessons to be learned.

Have a great week everyone!

Book Review: Beyond Measure

Why it’s time to forget the pecking order at work. The premise of this Ted Talk was intriguing. The speaker mentioned several studies I wanted to learn more about. I promptly bought her book and enjoyed reading it. The book revolves around research on teams and working together. The future of work is going to be heavily reliant on collaboration. With a large majority of individuals working as contractors, we are going to have to leverage on each other’s skill sets to achieve large goals. This change reduces our dependencies on superstars and increases the need for people with the right attitude.

The book focused heavily on how companies were able to leverage their entire workforce to achieve remarkable results. A good example would be of Apple. Often the success of the company is attributed to the genius of Steve Jobs or Johnny Ive. However, the author showcases how everyone at the company plays a key role in making beautiful and user friendly products.

My main takeaway from the book was how the future is dependent on our abilities to unlock the ideas within each of us. While machines can replace the manual work done by humans, it is our ideas which are going to propel us forward. Creating a culture within our companies and even our lives to foster and nurture the growth of these ideas is key to our success.

Listed below are some of my notes and highlights while reading the book:

1. The paradox of organizational culture lies in the fact that, while it makes a big difference, it is comprised of small actions, habits and choices.

2. The quality of connectedness and the flow of ideas is a great indicator of how healthy a workplace is.

3. A simple exercise to build trust and openness within colleagues starts with being honest about who we are. Two people sit down face to face and they take turns asking each other a non-trivial question. For example ‘what is it you most want from life?’ ‘What do you fear?’. One person listens intently for 5 minutes and then trades places and answers the same question.

4. In truly creative debate, self-interest is always a liability, but selfness is power.

5. Ensuring dialogue requires information, great questions and diversity on your teams.

6. Questions are the heart and soul of constructive conflict. They open up the exploration, bring in new information and re-frame debate.

7. “If you can’t talk about mistakes, you learn nothing. If anything, it convinces you that you’re perfect – which is dangerous. If you can own up to mistakes, then others can, too. And that’s how you learn. It’s how the whole organization learns.”

8. Mutual reliance and an underlying sense of connectedness is what builds trust.

9. Creativity requires a climate of safety, but without social capital, no one will risk the fresh thought, the unpredictable idea, the testing question.

10. Helpful teams prevent problems before they arise and they won’t let colleagues become isolated or cut off.

11. We need to make it a habit to listen actively. Look out for people who are constantly interrupting other’s to get their points across.

12. For teams to have break through ideas they need quiet time. Moments when they can completely detach themselves from endless notifications and alerts. It is in within these moments that sparks of creativity and genius are created.

13. Get team members to sit in on different functional group meetings. Isolating people to only their expertise limits innovation and growth within teams and people.

14. The Pygmalion effect argued that it is is expectations, more than innate ability, that influence outcomes. Never mind who’s gifted, who’s talented. Expect great things and you are more likely to get them.

15. Performance management system that stack rank people kill your corporate culture. The real challenge has to be how can we motivate people across our company.

16. The best managers take an interest in the lives and careers of their direct reports. They help puzzle out problems, not by giving answers but by asking the right questions.

17. Respect flows from capability, not position. Once you work from the simple assumption that everyone counts, everyone contributes more.

18. What small change made a big impact on your work? On your culture?

The Week in Review #24: Forgetting Super Chickens at Work

As entrepreneurs, a large majority of us aspire to be superstars. It starts when we enter school and the teacher gives out stars to the best students. The cycle repeats itself endlessly as we move up the ladder. In our quest to reach the top, collateral damage is a necessary evil. We delude ourselves into thinking that this is the only way to reach the success we desire. However nothing could be further from the truth. These isolated examples of success cloak the larger picture. Research has shown, superstar status achieved at all cost is transient in nature. It is only when we focus on bringing out the best in others, is when we find the best in ourselves. This advice is contrarian to most that is given to ambitious entrepreneurs and individuals.

This week’s topic is around a brilliant Ted talk I watched this week by Margaret Heffernan. She shares her research behind what makes the best teams and companies. On the surface it would seem that having a team of all-stars is the best way to have a strong team. However the research suggests otherwise. She found that teams that had a high degree of empathy towards one another, far out performed those with a focus on individual stars. These teams had stronger communication and were far more likely to come up with innovative solutions.

As the world becomes smaller, the need for collaboration is key to our success. We need to change our focus of solely wanting to become superstars. By realizing everybody has value, we unlock the energy and momentum needed to achieve the extraordinary.

Why it’s time to forget the pecking order at work (Video) This week’s top pick is a Ted video on how to create high performing teams. The speaker shares great insights with the use of vivid examples and stories. She shares the top three things that the best teams have in common and how we can build similar teams ourselves.

Good Work Isn’t Enough This article follows a similar theme to the highlighted video. Doing good work without having the right attitude is not sustainable. The best opportunities go to people who have great attitudes. This all comes down to how they work with others and their own disposition.

Why Successful People Focus on the Bottom End of the Funnel This article builds on the theme of doing good work. It is more tactical in nature and discusses specific strategies to achieve excellence. It all boils down to being proactive, starting with an end in mind and putting the first things first.

Isn’t LeBron Amazing? This article shows the flip side of the argument being discussed this week. Lebron James is one of the most valuable sports players in the world. His impact on joining a particular team is massive. To the degree that the success or failure is completely dependent on his shoulders. This extreme example shows that hiring a superstar on your team has a major impact. However, there are several trade offs when you become overly reliant on a single person.

Overpriced Seth Godin talks about the value of assets in this article. We can apply a similar analogy to talent as well. Scouts are used in sports to look for the best undiscovered talent. All these teams make bets on people and their potential. Once a player’s worth has been validated, the market value adjusts itself.

Talent Hunt: Lessons learned about finding the right people This article breaks down 6 strategies you can use in finding talent for your business. The tactics shared in this post differ from the usual advice of finding talent. Recruiting top talent for your business is critical to your success. We have to do everything we can to ensure we keep our pipeline full.

Recruiting – The 3rd Crucial Startup Skill Wrapping up this week is one of the most comprehensive reads of recruiting. David Skok’s blog is a goldmine for information on running a startup. This post provides a complete overview of a recruitment process that every company should build. This is a must read for any business owner.

Have a great week ahead!

The Week in Review #23: In the Future, Employees Won’t Exist

The future of work excites me. Technology is rapidly breaking down barriers and changing perspectives. Millions of people wake up every morning and decide what they will work on today. Platforms like Upwork and Uber have freed them from the traditional concept of being an employee. They decide when to work, how much they would like to work and most importantly whom they would like to work with. While this is reality for only a select few people today, this is what the future is going to look like. This will require a fundamental shift in how companies attract, recruit and retain the people who work for them. The balance of power will now solely be with the individual. Companies will have to pay far more attention towards defining who they are and what they stand for.

For the individual, honing on your craft is now more important that ever before. What you do, how you do it and what makes you remarkable matters. In a sea of people all of whom could do the same job faster or cheaper, why would someone pick you? As these changes slowly permeate throughout our world, there will be a lot of disruption. The average companies and people will rally hard to maintain the status quo. A place where they can hide behind the covers, just chugging along. However, revolutions do not work that way. Just like the industrial revolution changed our world forever, we are on the brink of a similar event.

In the Future, Employees Won’t Exist This article talks about the rise of the on demand economy. The article mentions many platform that are enabling people to choose how and when they work. In the next 5 years nearly 40% of the workforce is projected to be contractors. This will radically change how organizations work and structure themselves.

The Freelance Economy This article follows a similar theme to the one above. It is based on a company called WorkMarket which aggregates knowledge workers and helps companies manage them. The most interesting part of this article is actually found in the comments. There is a very lively debate around this change and what it truly means for everyone of us.

What’s one thing you’ve learned at Harvard Business School that blew your mind? I learned a lot from this article. It breaks down the first 10 classes you take as part of your HBS curriculum. There is a single lesson from each class which breaks down the class in greater detail. For anyone who is interested in the inner workings of an organization this is a great read.

43 lessons growing from $0 to $1+ million in revenue, twice This article is full of useful gems. The author shows with clear examples how he was able to break the $1+ million revenue mark with two products. Key pieces of advice include charging straight away and what price levels you need to break. If you are a SaaS based business this has to become a book marked resource.

Performance Data and the ‘Babe Ruth’ Effect in Venture Capital Many people do not exactly get the economics behind a venture capital fund. This article provides some great insights into key aspects like the power law and other important aspects of how a fund operates. Understanding the workings of venture capital is important for any entrepreneur.

On writing Writing well is a skill I am working on this year. The internet is awash with advice for up and coming writers. Paulo Cohelo is a true master of this art. This article on writing was a very enjoyable and insightful read. This quote stood out for me “Above all else, the writer has to be a good reader.” If you want to get serious about your writing skills, I would definitely recommend this article.

Customer Interviews: So you’ve decided to take your startup seriously Customer validation is a critical component of starting a new venture. If you want to build something customers want, you need to speak with them first. Running a customer interview well is a challenging exercise. This article provides a great break down of how to run one well and what to look out for.

Have a great week ahead!

The Week in Review #22: Let me not die while I am still alive

In a past newsletter I wrote about the passing of David Goldberg. Earlier this week his wife Sheryl Sandberg wrote a very moving piece about her husband. The line which stood out the most was the headline of this post. Dealing with the loss of a close family member is always very difficult. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to lose your spouse. Throughout the entire piece you can see someone who is struggling intensely, yet doing her best to keep it together. Far too often we get caught up in the details of our lives and lose sight of the bigger picture. I know there have been several moments when I have been guilty of doing that. It is in these moments that we really aren’t living, just holding on until we get to the next goal.

Unfortunately, it takes getting the rug pulled out from under us to snap us out of this trance. All of us have the ability to make the necessary changes before that happens. The first step in doing that is to become aware of where we are today. Often our goals and priorities blind side us from paying attention to what truly matters. By taking control of our lives we give ourselves the best opportunity to enjoy the present for what it is.

Let me not die while I am still alive A moving piece by Sheryl Sandberg on the passing of her husband. The post talks about dealing with grief, gratitude and having the courage to moving forward. There is great advice on how to interact with people who have experienced tragedy in their lives.

The 9 Box Matrix Talent Model How would you categorize all the employees that work at your company? This post introduces us to a helpful 9 box model that can be used to answer that question. It provides employees with context as to where they are and how they can level themselves up.

The Organization is Broken The next 20 years is going to fundamentally change the way all of us work. With the current rate of technological advancements, robots are going to be taking over a large range of jobs. This post includes a deep dive into these patterns and where we are bound to see the largest changes.

Why A Values Fit Matters More Than A Culture Fit What are your organizations core values? This is a question that is usually very difficult for most people to answer. Very little thought is given to values in a majority of businesses. Yet, they form a critical foundation that is key to building a sustainable organization. This post talks about the importance of values and references some key examples.

The unproject culture (PDF) This is a fascinating presentation on project management. I specifically enjoyed the part where the author talks about the methodologies used by Spotify. If you are an entrepreneur or a project manager you should definitely review this presentation.

How to validate a startup idea? This post provides a great break down on how to assess whether a business has legs. The author used an actual example which made it more tangible. There are several great takeaways here for startup founders who are just getting started.

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!

The Week in Review #21: Raising Kids to become Billionaires

Quora is one of my favorite websites. It is full of knowledge and insights that is usually inaccessible for most people. This week I stumbled across a great answer to a rather peculiar question. The question asked was whether there was a way to raise your kids to become billionaires. Every parent wants success for their children. The definition of success however varies from parent to parent. Some want their children to be happy and others push them very hard to achieve excellence. To become a billionaire it is not only a question of becoming the best in the world. Many people occupy the 1% of their respect industries and are not billionaires. Out of all the answers the highlighted one below really stood out.

The author provides a dozen points as to what he did to give his kids the best chance of becoming a billionaire. The list isn’t your usual work hard and aim to become the best. Rather it is contrarian in many ways to “good” parenting advice. The list includes not sending them to traditional schools, making them teen outcasts and making them feel worthy. I strongly recommend taking the time out to read the entire answer. In the comments his son has also responded to his father’s answer and the impact it has had on his life.

It was an inspiring read and the lessons within apply to each and everyone of us. Regardless if we become billionaires or not.

What are good ways to prepare my kids to become billionaires? The author provides 12 ways your children stand the best chance of becoming a billionaire. This isn’t your usual list of achieving success in life. Highly recommended.

Peter Thiel on what works at work Peter Thiel is the author a great book called Zero to One. He was also the first investor into facebook and founded Paypal. He is known for his contrarian way of thinking and this interview provides a great insight into his mind. The interview covers a broad array of leadership topics to what it takes to succeed today.

Skating To Where The Puck Will Be… Built Microsoft seems to be on a roll these days. Their latest operating system is getting rave reviews in beta. They have open sourced a lot of their technologies and tools. Lastly, there is a lot of hype about their foray into the virtual reality world. This article discusses the importance for business to skate to where the puck is going. Microsoft, Blackberry and a host of other companies made the mistake to ignore this during the last decade. They each paid a heavy price and now are doing their best not to repeat the same mistake.

The Metrics Every Entrepreneur Should Know by Heart If you have ever watched an episode of Shark Tank, you will know the importance of knowing your numbers. Being an entrepreneur requires one to work constantly with imperfect information. To do that effectively we need to make sure we know all the pieces of the puzzle where we know the answers. This post provides a good round up list of the metrics you should know.

Why you should make things no one will ever use This post has a lot of developer references to it. While the premise of the article applies aptly to developers, there is something we should all be able to take away from it. At it’s essence it is all about learning new skills and becoming proficient in them. When we stagnate that is when our life starts a downward spiral. We need to be constantly putting ourselves outside of our comfort zone and pushing ourselves to become better.

How to go faster Seth Godin wrote this brilliant piece of decision making. This short post talks about how we can stop dreaming and putting things into action. This is a key skill every entrepreneur needs to have.

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!