End of Reading Challenge 2015

 

Book Titles3The reading challenge of the year is about to end. I want to remind that reading challenge was about to read at least 12 books with around 3600 pages in total. The year is ending and I have finished my reading challenge and surpassed the page target by almost 40%. Apart from books several magazines also contribute into this number.

Here is a brief overview what I read in the year along with my recommendation. This is just a partial list and does not cover every book I read in this year.

1) The corner office: A fiction on dirty games of corporate world. I would prefer to watch movie Corporate rather reading this.

2) Sahara The untold story: Why Subrato Roy is in Jail? this question is almost as mind boggling as “Why Katappa killed bahubali” lolzz. Though the book doesn’t answer it exactly but at least convinces us that there is no specific answer of this question. It epilogues the the events finely and aspiring professionals and fresh managers should read this book to understand the importance of values and business best practices.

3) How google works: A great book written by great leader of google Eric Schmidt. The book allows you to look inside the famous google culture. Startups should read it.

4) The day I stopped drinking milk: Sudha Murthy is once again fantabulous with this book. More than anything else she is a great story teller and this book doesn’t let you put it off unfinished. Good read for everyone.

5) The Best place to work: Ron Friedman has done research on work environment, working patterns, disciplines and organizational cultures of some of the famous organizations of silicon valley. He has compiled this book with his findings. Interesting read for HR people.

6) Symphony of Krishna: I had read Gujarati version of this book written by Gunavant Shah. The book is actually his critics on Bhagvad Gita. Though good, there are multiple other options as well on same subject.

7) Jay Somnath: K M Munshi the famous historian, author, political leader and teacher has written Jay Somnath on the event of Muhamad of Gazani’s attack on Somnath temple. Consider yourself anything but not Indian if this book does not increase the force of blood, tears and shame in your eyes. MUST read.

8) Glass is Half Full: A very small collection of sweet memories and stories about professional life of the author. This fast and witty read would be available only in AMA book store at Ahmedabad I guess.

9) Leadership:  A collection of quotes, stories, case and incidents on leadership by Mukesh Patel. Again a Publication of Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA).

10) How google tests software: I strongly recommend this book to every young technology graduate entering in to the world of programming and software. It helps you learn how could google launch such exponential number of products with extreme quality standards. This may help every programmer become fundamentally better.

11) The everything store: The story of how Amazon and jeff bezos has evolved in last almost 20 years. Have a very quick view on this book if you are really interested. As far as corporate learning is considered, you can skip this.

12) Market your way to growth: The Kotler “baba” is back with this book and as like every of his past Marketing books he leaves you full of thoughts. Great!

13) Zero to One: An all time great book on startups, entrepreneurship and business. I don’t think it needs any review as I would be amongst the last chunk of readers of this book.

14) Richest many in Babylon: Age old book on financial wisdom. It is something like Panchatantra and Hitopdesh we do have in India. Author has formed stories of babylon to teach best practices to stay financially healthy. Good for young graduates.

15) Malti Madhav: Malti madahv is Sanskrit fiction written by Bhavbhuti before almost 1300 years. This helps you understanding the human psychology, and timeless principals of love, hate and politics. Refreshes you.

16) Yugdrashta: The Marathi writer B D Kher has written this book in a form of story on the life of Chanakya. The man him self is a fascinating personality and book helps you understanding his life and views in better way. In fact it motivates a lot. I must admit that this book only has prepared me for my Bangalore stints!

17) 64 Summar Hill: A sizable novel written by Dhaivat Trivedi and same was published in local news paper as a weekly series. I have heard praise for this book from several people and indeed it deserves same. But typically not a book of my taste.

Thus is end of my reading challenge of this year. Preparing for the 2016. Stay tuned!

10 Things you should do before being a Professional (Do these as Student)

Though education is a never ending process and one should remain a student for life, actual student life for everyone ends anywhere between 20 and 26. Yes 30 is too old but in few courses it happens. Core focus of our education is always the grades and marks. We start learning the lessons of life once we come out from university and actually go into the professional world. In my career i have seen students or freshers not knowing things like

  1. How to take print outs from a word document
  2. How to save a PDF file from internet and bring it to a different PC
  3. Counting a bundle of notes of mix denomination
  4. Depositing their first salary check in to the bank
  5. Getting beans sprouted for next day breakfast
  6. Formatting a computer

This proves our Education has prepared us for university exams but not for life. There are several other things which educates us for life and i recommend teenagers and youngsters doing these as early as possible in their lives. You would never get a chance to do majority of these things after student life.

Here is my list of 10 things every student and fresh graduate must accomplish before they enter the professional career.

1) Work long hours and nights

Work life balance is just a sweet phrase and a bitter lie, specially for achievers. You have a lot of free time with almost zero responsibility. Put up your consistent 24 hours, 34 hours or 40 hours for something, some interesting project or activity without sleeping breaks (Mind your health as well). Do it at least 2 times in a quarter. Increase your limits, increase your efficiency. Build a desire to “Finish” something and feel satisfied with that. This will actually help having some work life balance later in the life when you have a spouse and kids to share your time with.

2) Talk in Public

Yes communication and public speaking is essential for corporate growth and i have seen hundreds and thousands of aspiring professionals struggling with this, hence with their career. It is very easy to get a chance to speak in public as a student. You have several options like college functions, class talks, competitions, project presentations and discussions within your own groups. Be courageous and build some guts of public speaking at this age. There would be too little chance to learn this essential corporate skill in corporate world.

3) Visit companies and people

Do you if any company in this world will let you enter their shop floor while you are working as a software engineer with some different company? absolutely not, but as a student you have that privilege to get through the scrutiny and see various factories, companies, offices and institutions. You can absolutely start this with organization where your parents work. Go inside,  meet people, see those giant machines and understand the processes. Interact with professionals not only of your domain of interest or education but with all others. try to meet few good doctors, few architects, supervisors of factories and software test engineers of IT company. this will broaden your vision and help you making better career decision. Yes only thing you need to learn prior is better human antiquates and skill of asking right questions.

4) Do Jobs, Projects and Training with industries

Being an Intern is a matter of pride and working on various projects with or without any payment is a great way to learn. Again you should diversify your training experience starting from a cake shop to a restaurant to a factory to an accounting firm to a software company to a great startup like Milople to a huge organization like Google. Everyone will help you for sure if your behavior is polite, you are sincerely committed to your work and your intentions are good for being there.

5) Getting fired

I have fired fresh graduates sometimes and learnt that getting fired is an important event in life. I have observed people getting fired in one job doing very well in their next job. Because they have learnt “What not to do” at profession. Be it a performance issue or behavioral one, getting fired should be considered as a lesson with punishment, which otherwise you might not learn. So if you are getting fired, thank god for this and learn everything you need to learn here. Yes this should not happen second time ever in life!

6) Managing Accounts of Time

Be it money or time, managing accounts of everything helps you tracking how you actually use (and misuse) your valuable resources. You should keep a book or app in which you can write about your usage of time and money and make totals everyday. Build a spirit to improve it on everyday bases. This may make you most productive person from the day one of your professional career.

7) Be an expert

Start with smallest thing like sweeping your room and expand it to anything like repairing a complex wrist watch. Be an EXPERT of something. There are hundreds and thousands of functions in this world tobe entertained and you should start being an expert of many things right away. Be an expert in cleaning the home, preparing garden, repairing bicycle, algebra, graph theory, machine drawing, shopping from streets, preparing breakfasts, designing web sites and making mobile applications. Anything but many things of your choice.

7) Cultivate many hobbies

Having hobbies is good and being an expert is superior but being a student you have more options to do at this age. You are not yet fixed into a professional discipline and hobbies will give you closer view of many disciplines and identify your real talent. Don’t limit yourself to one or two but expand your hobbies and get interest at least for sometime even if it doesn’t interest you at all. Gardening, sports, swimming, chess, painting, making movies, photography, playing flute, learning new languages. There are many.

8) Be a backpacker

Being a backpacker and wondering the streets of unknown places is a ultimate teacher. We have very very little or tends to zero awareness in India for this but I feel one of the main reasons of success of western countries is backpacking culture of their people. Arrange for your own expenses. be in group or be alone and leave the home for sometime anywhere between 1 to 4 months. Yes travel is a costly stuff but you can make it cheapest. Travel by general class of train, leave in Dharmashalas, Eat beans and vegitables, walk 10-15 kilometres everyday in the city, these are all the ways to save a lot while travel a lot. Nothing will prepare you for life better than this. Believe me this is something I regret most for not doing in my life at student age. This I realized during my early days at Banaglore.

9) Reading

Apart from your studies, you should read a lot of other stuff. Cultivate the habit of reading a daily newspaper first. Go for magazines and books then. By any means you should spend an hour every day for reading new things. Books, magazines and authors I strongly recommend to read at early life are

  1. Shreemad Bhagvad Git. Dont chant, read and try to understand.
  2. Biography of Swami Vivekanand and at least 5 other people
  3. Safari magazine which comes in Gujarati and English language
  4. A magazine or Blog of your domain of education
  5. Few books on Indian history
  6. Chanakya, Savarkar, Shivaji, Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, K M Munshi, APJ Kalam
  7. Robin Sharma, Warren Buffet, Dipak Chopra, Joseph Murphy amongst International authors
  8. Stories of organizations like Tata, Google, Apple, TCS, Amazon

10) Educate others

You should learn lessons from social and charity work specially by educating someone. This passes knowledge to next level and helps you improving your communication, having empathy being a good manager and a future leader.

I wish if we can have many students trying to accomplish all these during early life when they are students. This will not only help them kick starting their career well but also help us building a better society and stronger country.

Though there are several other things you can do as student, my list covers 10 most important things as per my knowledge and beliefs. One can suggest more new topics as well as discuss the points I have written in comment section bellow.

All the Best!

A new challenge for buyers and e-commerce companies in market place model

Indian ecommerce is booming and growing leaps and bounds every day.
Smaller players are coming out every day and selling niche products. Yet market is not very mature for specialized products stores like western countries. e-commerce is dominated by 2-3 large players only and they are now adopting marketplace model.
As ecommerce companies like FlipKart, Amazon and Snapdeal is changing their model to Marketplace, it is rising a new challenge both for companies and users. People experience different prices of the products on search result and on product page it self.
Flipkart and Amazon
This is being experienced because of different algorithm implemented to fetch e best price for the product. When buyers observe this specially on FlipKart it seems like they are putting all responsibility on seller and buyer only. This approach to marketplace model may hurt the business as buyer has an additional responsibility to check seller’s credibility as well and not only of product quality. Earlier we were all set to buy a product on the name of ecommerece site it self but that is no more a fact. You will have to settle for lower price against a seller who you don’t know how exactly is. E-commerce companies need to find a way to help buyers making buying decisions easier and faster.

As per the screenshots Amazon algorithm is a bit better and they also mention range or start point of price from various sellers. “Amazon fulfilled” is also very important sign for buyers

Here now the comment section is open for discussion about Pros and cons of Marketplace model. Happy Discussion!

Who Exactly a Milopler is?

It is Saturday today and as usual I am alone in office doing some stuff which otherwise is not possible to attend on weekdays due to other important stuff. Naturally those other important stuff are issues, queries, questions and ideas from fellow Miloplers.

Even though it’s Saturday Bhupendra and Jaydeep were here almost for whole day, working an some Angular.js application. I have not invited them neither forced them to be in office on this off-day but still they joined me for the day to learn things and move an important product ahead. All credits go to them for this enthusiasm they are showing towards their work and Milople.

It has been 11 years now I am running technology businesses earlier Indies and now Milople. I feel i have spent a lot of time (obviously) in recruitment and selection during all these years. More than 20,000 applicants would have been screened during all these time and hundreds of them were offered jobs. I would love to share today the real definition of “Miloplers”, How do we want them to be and what we would be looking for while recruiting a new one. Any person not fitting these fundamentals is not a Milopler.

While explaining this I randomly used He and She to address Milopler

Knowledge

He is an expert of what he does. Technology, Marketing, HR, Designs, Programming or anything, he is the master player of the stuff he is doing. He has the burning desire to be one and to remain there for long. She knows how to use technology and tools she has for excellent output. We don’t expect her to be an M.Tech by education but a Master by profession. anything less than that is not acceptable.

Learning

Either of 20 or 80, a person who does not learn is dead. A Milopler is a Learning Animal. She travels a lot, meets new people, keeps interacting, Reads extensively and surfs the web to learn new things in her own domain and others as well

Execution

She is the master executor of plans and projects. He just not talks but converts ideas in to actions and actions into results. He knows how to convert learning into output. He believes in delivery and he is committed only to delivery irrespective of time, place and anything. He is obsessed to finish stuff at its best and feels restless until he does so. He performs brilliantly not just in 9 to 6

Innovation

He is the fire hose of new Ideas. He starts his day with lot of new ideas and ends with a lot of work done. She finds problems everywhere and loves finding creative solutions for these. She is passionate doing this in most innovative and creative way.

Business Smart

She loves data and knows how to analyse this data to make better business decisions. Be it preparing menu for the Annual day dinner or delivering next version of a product, he senses data very well and makes better business decisions based on that. He is business smart and knows how to bring knowledge or innovation to user and covert it into profit. Milopler is not a nerdy guy waiting for next task and instructions tobe performed every second. She knows how to use her time into most profitable way.

A born leader

He is a change agent and hates things not being executed well. She takes initiatives, hugs the challenges and carries the responsibilities. She does not wait for a title in order to make an impact but makes an impact because she feel her existence is useless otherwise. He builds a team of A-Grade people around him and builds super successful solutions for consumers.

Excellent Individual

He is not great just at work but at life. he is passionate not only for programming but for many other things at well. Be it cooking, driving, repairing Bicycles, football, cricket, playing guitar, dancing, teaching or anything, she is passionate for stuffs, she is passionate for life. Quality for her is living a wonderful life with discipline and not just a job profile.

Collaborator

She collaborates with team. For learning, for training, for better customer experience. He communicates well. He expresses his knowledge and idea in flourishing way during one-to-one and one-to-many.

Motivation

Yes Milople promises for the finest rewards and remuneration in the world. But all these she is doing is not for money but for work. She is not motivated of money but of work. This is something which I have said to Jaydeep while awarding a project. I don’t want a person whom I could tell to work late nights and in weekends. Rather I want person who keeps working days and nights just because he is obsessed of things he is learning and results he would be delivering. Day doesn’t end for him till he achieves this.

Brand Ambassador

She is the super model and brand ambassador for Milople. She is the power user of all products we deliver and passionate to keep the cultural bar highest at company. He bites any action or behavior that is unhealthy for company immediately and would not tolerate anyone breaking sterling standards of the company. Business values of Milople is at her heart and follows herself and makes other following same.

Impact

Every person may not have 100% of all these but they strive achieving these as part of living a successful life. With all these, a single point is to make an “Impact”. Their Impact on the company, society, customers and world. He consciously knows how much impact the vision of Milople would have on this world and he is consciously striving and acting to make her own impact on this Vision itself.

The way forward is much clearer now and I hope for current and future Miloplers as well. I would be happy discussing your views and suggestions on this further in the comments section bellow.

Google, Facebook, Airtel, Reliance, Flipkart are you Net Neutral?

Since last few days a debate about Net Neutrality is going on among Netizens. Airtel Zero, TRI, Government, DOT, Flipkart, Inertnet.org, Facebook and Reliance geo are the important entities involved into this. Let’s see what the case is.

The public infrastructure should be equally accessible to everyone. Irrespective of gender, nationality, or wealth a person should be able to access the same which others can. This is the fundamental of Net Neutrality. Internet should not be governed and controlled by anyone and you should not be forced to see or not to see any content on the Internet. The Free Internet is a term related to accessibility of it and not Cost.

Now we know the ideology of equality and Neutrality exists in theory only. Be it temple, roads, air or water the richer have more privilege then the poorer, or at least one would have to settle with less or no choices. You love to drink Pepsi but still you will have to settle with Coke, why? Because you get it “free” with the burger you are buying. Though it is not free, you are already paying cost of soft drink in burger only. But you still will have to buy it because you are forced to pay for it. In some cases you can buy Pepsi as well but at additional cost. And again only if they sell both.

That is what Airtel Zero, Facebook’s Internet.org and Reliance Geo is doing.

They are offering free internet access to users. But finally we know not even meals are free how Internet can be. There are many apps, websites, stores and Internet based companies selling their products and services online. The Telcos and these so called “Free Internet” providers charge these companies. Companies would be paying to be accessible on the Internet and against which the Telcos will block their competitors or will charge users if they use them. Like on Facebook’s free internet you will access Bing for free and that way Microsfot would fulfill their dream of being “No 1” Search engine. Or may be on telcos’ free internet you will be able to access Flipkart.com for free and wont be able to access amazon.in or will have to pay to use it. Mind will they will block hundreds and thousands of smaller sites as well during this.

The primary rules of Net Neutrality are:

  1. All sites and services must be equally accessible
  2. All sites must be accessible at same speed
  3. The cost of access must be same for each site

But none of the big or small companies are in mood of following this.

There are multiple views and consequences of this and here are my thoughts on it.

  • Cash reach Companies would be able to block competitors and this way will kill competition
  • There are chances Internet Startups having less cash in their pocket wont be able to compete for bandwidth. So this kills Startups and young entrepreneur with less financial backup.
  • Users are getting free internet access but wont have many choices. Will have to settle with whatever they are receiving
  • There are chances free internet plans would be slower and will open up a new consumer segment who gets used to Internet and will move to faster, paid plans.
  • Free internet will help Internet companies increasing their customer base and revenue.
  • Companies would be diverting their marketing money to block competition so advertisement segment may impact adversely
  • As competition is removed there are chances of buyers receiving inferior quality of products and services

Flipkart.com was part of Airtel Zero actually and after being criticized heavily, Just in 48 hours Flipkart has started talking about Net Neutrality. Telcos are really being hungry eating out superb revenue flow of Internet based companies and trying out all the ways to do so. When and how? It is just matter of time.

In the society where the access to god is even not neutral, how can we talk on Net Neutrality.

5 important aspects about Facebook pages

While passing by the journey we come across a point where the roads get diverged and both the paths lead to its desired destinations having their own advantages and disadvantages. In that case we are left with a little option to ask the other people passing by about which path we should take for a better result!

The same happened with us while we were re-branding from Indies to Milople. We re-branded ourselves successfully on website. We were almost done until we reached at a diverging point. The point was social media. Yes, the most important aspect of Marketing and branding for any IT or non IT Company. Social media can make or break your re-branding strategy and online presence.

We have planned differently for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Youtube and other social media platforms as target audience and needs are different for all these. We decided to merge our multiple profiles into single page but the tough question was what to do with HR profile which manages recruitment, events and other HR related activities. While target customer segment of Milople is quite different, it also needs to be in live touch with college grades and Young professionals. We also organize an HR event named “Avishkar” to engage with young graduates. We understand this would be case with many of the IT and Non IT companies as well and hence here is excerpts of our discussion and conclusion.

Considerations:

Audience: An IT company’s target audience on HR front comprises of Students, IT geeks and developers. So, posts such as Current openings, latest digital news gather more engagement then that of corporate posts. Considering students and early developers as target audience, will they be interested in Technology and corporate posts? Obviously yes, since both the segments will be curious in knowing the latest news related to HR, their favorite area updates and overall information about the company. So, providing separate pages for HR and technical areas will make them distributed leaving nowhere with half-information. Single page solves the problem as needed information gets available at single platform itself.

Event post: Milople like few other major IT Companies conducts IT-fest/Tech-fest events in order to encourage students in their favorite area of expertise. From company’s perspective, it’s an HR cum branding event. Infosys has got AAGAAZ, TCS has got SHAASTRA, and we have AVISHKAR. So, whether to have a separate Facebook page of these particular event was the next question! It looks good at first sight. Separate page will have overall branding of the event. All the posts related to the event would be made available on a single page and many other boons, too. But, the question is for how long will you make your Facebook event page active with the posts? During the season of events, we will be having a perfect flow of the posts. But, what once the event is over? What will we post? Will the likers still like the post if it’s not related to event? To answer this question we came up with the solution to make event posting on the single corporate page itself and create a Facebook event for the same. Doing this will make the audience know about the event and they will even get additional information such as company details, HR news, technical knowledge etc.

Data Analysis: The most important and crucial analysis of having a single page. We can track posts, its reach and user-engagement. Accordingly, conclude on the following points:

  • Which type of post fetches more “likes”?
  • Best suited time for posting according to post reach
  • What’s the overall user engagement of the page?
  • Who are our active users?
  • Segment the right target audience

Postings: Sometimes it happens (especially when you are dealing with product side) that one of your products is updated and we need to show the updated benefits on Facebook. If we are managing multiple pages then same post needs to be done on multiple pages such as corporate page, customer page and even the technical page of that particular domain. This results into division of reach resulting into decrement of the post visibility. Moreover, the common likers of the above mentioned pages might get irritated and leave the page. So, maintaining single page will solve the above issue. But, single page is liked by everyone – Whether student mass will accept these kind of post? Whether it will attract rising developers? Most probably yes, because seeing today’s world people are more attracted towards practical knowledge then that available from books.

SEO: When a company has its presence of different verticals such as Ecommerce, Web and software, Mobile apps, Magento etc. it becomes difficult to maintain single Facebook page from SEO’s perspective. Because single page will have diversified post with none of the two posts having same keywords in sequence. Now, it becomes tough for Google while ranking company’s Facebook page. Whereas, the same is not the case if you are into single vertical (say for example Magento) or have multiple Facebook page. Here, each page will have its own uniqueness and thus it will become a cake walk for a company from SEO’s perspective.

At the end of the day it doesn’t matter whether a company maintains single Facebook page or multiple pages. What matters most is the user-engagement, the conversions and the reach. Infosys maintains a single page whereas Congnizant have multiple pages. But, both the companies are successful in their own takes. Finally, we took decision of maintaining a single Facebook page with name Milople after a crazy, long discussion. The above mentioned facts were all discussed in that meeting which we thought should be passed by and thus marked this blog. And yes one more thing, there was one valid point from brand’s perspective: “It’s good to have 25k likes on a single page then to have 5k likes on 5 different pages ;)”

Note: I Thank all my fellow Miloplers tobe part of this discussion and specially Het Vaghela for drafting this post.

Five types of people work with organization

As Philip Kotler is best known for Marketing, I was happily surprised how he pointed out 5 type of employees in any organization and connected it with marketing and brand identity.

Here is his list with just few edits of mine.

Ambassadors: The most active level. They are strongly committed to the company’s brand identity, organization itself and its customers. They behave and communicate in a consistently positive manner towards the company, both inside and outside. They work hard to resolve any negative thought about the company. Subject to their abilities they would be the future leaders of organization.

Positive Loyalists: They have overall positive feeling for their work and are emotionally attached with company. However they don’t communicate and speak-up the same with others very frequently.

Positive Contributors: They are generally satisfied with their job but hardly attached with the organization itself. Their communication is seldom.

Seat Fillers: They lack interest in company, its products, brand and job even. Employment for them is just a job and will do very little more.

Saboteurs: They are the one who, though still drawing a paycheck from the company, are very active in spreading negative news about the company. They are the frequently vocal detractors about the organization, its culture, policies, products, customers and services. They communicate unflattering opinions and unfavorable perspectives to both peers inside the company and to the customers and outside the company.

I feel every organization would love to have the top category people but it is also a fact that no organization can neutralize either of these categories. Impossible I say. So overall responsibility of organizational leadership is to create an environment and culture to develop/attract and retain talent of top categories.

Reading Challenge 2015 – at Indies

prashant-mamtora-reading-challenge1

I read books and many other stuff. Here I have thought to extend this to everyone specially my fellow colleagues at Indies. Accept this 2015 reading challenge and read any 12 books of your choice. Books needs to be of around 300 pages. You can adjust the pages in the count of books off-course. Accept the challenge by commenting here or on my facebook page or on my twitter account and keep everyone updated about your progress. All the Best.

Mahatma gandhi – History of 1914 to 1948

9th January was celebrated as the 100th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s return to India. After a successful “Satyagrah” in South Africa he returned back to India on 9th of January 1914. The rest is history! on that day few of the the very excited and creative team members of Indies put their time in to learning that history and prepared this nice info-graphic to let everyone know about Mahatma Gandhi’s life in India after 1914.

Journey-2Bof-2BMahatma-2BGandhi1

Book extract from “Leading Apple with Steve Jobs by Jay Elliot”

The month of chaitra is considered Holy and people devote them selves into the worship of Goddess during the month and specially for the first nine days, also known as Chaitri navaratri. These days have very high Spiritual significance and Hindus throughout the India do “Anushthan” during Chaitri navratri. Basic meaning of “Anushthan” is to devote the time to the upliftment of human in terms of spiritual power, knowledge and health. I was thinking about a way to do Anushthan and later decided to takeup a book and finish it in 9 days. This tradition is very common in India since ages and people even works on epics like Ramayan and Mahabharat during these 9 days. I encouraged all my fellow colleagues at Indies to do Anushthan and 22 of theme took a book on diverse subject and did anushthan for 9 days.

I took up a book written by Jay Elliot titled “Leading apple with Steve jobs”. The 160 pages of work habits of is worth reading for new and young force of managers, those who are starting their career yet. Here are he key learning lessons of the book.

Work Culture Vision and Values

  • Process should not block the road of innovation
  • Achieving goals are important, but we are equally concerned with the way we reach there. Values = Culture. When helm of the organization forgets the values, the organization collapses.
  • Values should be guiding light for all operations of the company.
  • It is important that culture of the company you are acquiring matches with your culture.
  • A made in USA and mac driven factory, that was the dream of Steve.
  • Ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.
  • Secrecy is a prime concern at apple. Even they wear t-shirts with a line – I visited apple campus, that is all what i am allowed to say.

Leader is one who changes how the world live.

  • Innovation Checklist.
  • Innovation should be promoted at all level and not only for Employees. It starts from CEO, VP and team leaders.
  • Have right people.
  • Monitor the team.
  • Be strategic and focused.
  • Have absolute commitment to product.

Rudeness of Steve

  • Nobody wanted to use elevators to avoid question asked by Steve very frequently. “What have you done today to earn what I am paying for?”. And there are cases when employees have been fired if could not answered satisfactorily.
  • The employees were habituate to listen answers like this from Steve: Sentence Tell me something to make me change my mind or else shut up and stop wasting my time.
  • Steve has been criticized a lot for not participating in any charity activities and using huge fortune for betterment of society.
  • The biggest lesson we can learn is You need to know how to digest success. Steve could not and got thrown out of his own company.

Products and customers

  • Design is not how it looks, but how it reflects complete product. OR not how it looks but how it works
  • Creating products so great that they can change the society, doesn’t start with product development, it starts with a vision
  • Create a product that satisfies you first and then your customers.
  • Steve had a nice habit of explaining the product as like he was telling a story
  • Expand your vision and motivate your vendors as well. Not only to employees
  • Great products rarely get created in a bureaucratic environment
  • Starting point of a product is not a chip or design, it is the question, “what would be user experience”?
  • He wanted to create a Product focused and not sales focused company
  • Don’t forget your customers has a dream of having a better life, don’t move products instead enrich life

Work Habits

  • Attention to smallest detail. He explained about washing machine for 15 minutes to a washing machine engineer and the engineer was not known to almost anything of that.
  • As deadline of product launch neared, there were many day whole staff of 40 never went to home and had not full night sleep
  • Zero tolerance to quality, values and time line.
  • He dropped iPod in a fish tank to prove there is scope of improvement in this product. Desire to build product of utmost quality.

People selection and HR

  • Select people whose wavelength matches with your’s
  • Middle managers and middle men always want continuity. They want things not change because it forces them to change and creates risks. Idea of thinkers and designers never gets implemented because of these middle managers who see a risk for themselves.
  • Fire up the team with a long term vision and not short term goals as like John Kenedy said “We are going to put a man on the moon”. That excited the crowd
  • Job of a leader is to push the staff to achieve the best.
  • Most important ingredient of a successful executive is not an MBA but Passion and Vision
  • Give team a vision, motivation and a special identity
  • Find best people, cream of the cream, they must be extra ordinary people, first 10 people decides whether the company will succeed or no.
  • Ways to hire good people
  • Define requirements but don’t be rigid
  • Make the whole team part of hiring process
  • Don’t limit the search to usual methods
  • Effective organization structure is one where departure of a head has less impact on team and organization effectiveness.
  • Jonathan Ive is now Sir Jonathan. It is an achievement for company and leadership that an employee of company is getting knighthood by queen of England for designs he created at apple

You are suggested to discuss and brainstorm on these points and you would definitely come to some real conclusion for your work.