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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Five Questions Before Starting a New Venture

When I started Crafitti (www.crafitti.com) I asked myself 5 questions. Recently a friend asked me to give my inputs about his first venture that He is thinking. I dug in my old files and came out with the 5 questions and my answers. Reproducing below verbatim - may be of interest to all

Five Questions

Creating and building a new organization is a statement of what I am to myself as well as may be to the world at large. It however requires a mind shift as I am not used to an unpredictable, unstructured and unknown economic, intellectual and social environment, and work conditions. To really take a decision I need to answer the following 5 question:

Q1 How much willingness do I have to forego the position, pay-package, environment & brand name of a big company with its associated benefits in pursuit of building an organization that I want to build with like-minded people?


Ans1 Building anything requires strong focus and perseverence that comes through passion and a craving for freedom. I think there is heav dose of passion in me to build an organization that creates the difference in the world without the support and safety of big company environment. I think I have very strong belief and willingness to forego big company benefits.

Q2 How much willingness do I have to get down to working out the tasks, jobs, work items that in my existing environment I take it for granted to be done by others? This also ties to how willing I am to work in a non-hierarchical structure where no one reports to anyone i.e., a peer-peer all equals working together leaderless organization. Or at least very close to leaderlessness based on trust, confidence and respect for each other.

Ans 2 I have failed miserably in pyramids. Hierarchical structures doesn’t go well with me at all. I believe in flat organizations and am extreme comfortable in leaderlessness.

Q3 How much patience, trust, confidence and respect do I have for my peers in a leaderless organization where decision happen through collective resonance? However, enough leeway is given for an individual to experiment, explore and encompass variety. Am I willing to experiment despite opposition from my team mates? When an individual is putting in effort am I willing to go-along with him/her path to the extent possible, despite knowing clearly why the idea will fail? Democratic decision making may lead to delays am I willing to suffer delays?

Ans 3 I can onlywork with people whom I trust. This is a weakness which I need to build into a strenght. The new learning I have is to go along with people who I may think are going towards failure till the very end. This way who knows we may get a new path. Earlier I was also too black-hatted. Now I think I have become more and more exploratory collaborator. Yet many times my Ego comes in between. I have to retrain my mind. This was very difficult earlier, nowadays It is much less!

Q4 How much I am willing to put my 100% in a venture where sometimes I may get a feeling others are not putting in 100%?

Ans 4 The feeling that others are not putting 100% comes from a perception that continuous work engagement is the only way to grow. It is possible for some people to do in 2 hours the work I do in 8 hours, however they may need 6 hours to do something else. So the effort is not the right measure to see 100%. Commitment and the results being produced also should be taken into account. Having said that, I think people will put in 100% in any activity that they enjoy. If I am not enjoying some work then anyway there is no point. I hope I will not have time to evaluate who is putting how much etc, may be actually that doesnt matter to me.

Q5 How much willing I am to let go of extremely lucrative opportunities in terms of package, position and profile that are bound to come to me during the pursuit of building the organization

Ans 5 Freedom to do what I am doing along with like minded people is what I seek, that will be available in an organization that I build from scratch I think. I don’t think Lucarativeness of any offer will matter, it will be a dedicated focus on building the organization that I want to build.

National Institute of Design - Awareness Programme

National Institute of Design - Awareness Workshop's on Industrial Design Protection @ Bangalore 13 Feb 2010. Please see the invitation from Prof. Bhavin Kothari.

It will be great to meet you there.

Awareness Programme on “Industrial Design Registration and Protection”

Dear Madam/Sir,

The National Institute of Design (NID) is an internationally acclaimed as one of the foremost multi-disciplinary institutions in the filed of design education and research. NID has been a pioneer in industrial design education and is known for its pursuit of design excellence to make Design in India, Made for the World a reality. It is our endeavor to facilitate and sensitize design fraternity about Intellectual Property Rights as a part of its activities of IPR Cell.

We are pleased to announce series of such one day awareness programmes on “Industrial Design registration and Protection” jointly with office of Controller General Patents, Designs & Trademarks, Government of India. These one day programmes will be held at five different cities viz, 16 January 2010 at Ahmedabad, 23 January 2010 at Pune, 13 February 2010 at Bangaluru, 13 March 2010 at Delhi and 20 March 2010 at Kolkata for Design Professionals and Innovators.

There are no fees charged for the participants to attend this programme. However, the registration is mandatory and participation is allowed on first cum first basis. We herein enclose the registration form. Filled registration form having indicated choice or your city can be send through email at ipr@nid.edu. You can register online through our website link; www.nid.edu/ipdesignws/

The programme will enable the design professionals and innovators to gain a comprehensive introduction to the fundamental areas of Intellectual Property with specific reference to registration and protection of Industrial Designs under the Designs Act. The topics covered under the workshop will demystify the myths prevailing with regards to Intellectual Property.

We would further request you to kindly circulate this information to other interested beneficiaries. You may also like to put these up on the notice board of your organization. Thanking you in anticipation of your active participation. Looking forward to an overwhelming response from your end.

Season’s greetings and a very happy new year to you and your family.

With warm Regards,

Prof Bhavin Kothari

Anchor Faculty & Head, IPR Cell-NID


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