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Monday, 3 October 2016

Know How and Confidential Information

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They used to say, "Know who is more important than know how!"

That's because in a competitive landscape, players get advantages from their networks. Their connections and people that they can call upon become their advantage. When I joined a networking organization some years ago, they promised to turn my network into my net worth ... they believed in the power of building relationships, for business purposes.

Sometimes having the right connections can help get you the contract.
The idea of networking is, very simply, something like this. You are looking for your ideal client. Perhaps you sell pots and pans, and your ideal client would be the army, because they can buy a lot of pots and pans from you. You sit down and think... who do you know in the army? You keep scratching your head, and a few hairs fall out. Your bald patch grows bigger. And you conclude that you don't know anybody in the army. Does that mean that you have no way of selling to the army? 

Au contraire, my friend. In adversity there is opportunity. And so, you ask around. Your neighbour. Your son's schoolteacher. Your gardener. Your secretary. Your client. Do they know anybody in the army? Bit by bit, connections pop up. Somebody has an uncle who works in the nearby army base. Somebody else happens to be related to the director general of operations. And yet somebody else is an ex-classmate of an up-and-coming rising star in the army. Bit by bit, you ask for introductions, and then, when everything seems dull and uneventful, you land a deal. Congratulations on your networking skills.
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Thursday, 29 September 2016

Blackberry's Future

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Blackberry will not be making phones anymore.

Today I read that BlackBerry is shuttering its hardware side of the business. Its future will be in software development. Here are some thoughts on Blackberry's future.

Past Popularity

The mobile phone company from Canada, Blackberry, used to be the most popular business phone. When I took up my masters, many of my friends were businessmen who ran their own companies. Some of them were working for others, doing sales or management. And they all had one thing in common: They smoked.

Just kidding ... The one thing they had in common was their use of the Blackberry. It was like a club for them. In those days, I owned a cheap Android phone. They used to laugh at Android. Most of them encouraged me to pick up a BlackBerry for its "secure messaging". But then they would tell me about how there's a small bill every month where their messages would be routed through a server in Canada. I was turned off by the idea of a subscription that I could not opt out of.

But those were the days before Samsung became the world's number 1 mobile phone maker. Before iPhones were the popular thing. Because companies wanted security and performance, and the Blackberry offered that. 

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Sunday, 11 September 2016

If a fan uploads your music to YouTube

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Imagine if you were a rock star. 

You write songs, perform songs, and sing on stage. You give concerts. You go on international tours and roadshows. People really love your songs, and some of them come up to you saying, "Your song changed my life. I was going through a hard time when I heard your song ...."

The music executives love you. They want you to crank out hit after hit, year after year. And you've already gone platinum with a few of your past albums. Never mind that you had a tough life for half a decade singing incognito in nightclubs. Never mind that you scrimped and scraped with a half hungry stomach and a smile. You've made it. And the millions of adoring fans everywhere love you for it.
Imagine if you were a famous singer, and someone uploaded your music videos on YouTube.

Then one day, you see your music video on YouTube.

Whoa. Some people really love your music. But then they've decided to upload a bunch of music videos to YouTube. The general public also loves your music so much that the videos have a few hundred thousand views. And to think that it was uploaded only some months back. 
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Thursday, 8 September 2016

3 Lessons from Project Ara

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The modular pieces that could be swapped in the Project Ara mobile phone.

Google just axed Project Ara. 

Just letting you know what happens in the end. 

But first ....

The idea behind Project Ara

You might not know what Project Ara was about. So let me tell you about it. Think about your mobile phone.

Most people change mobile phone once every few years. Maybe the battery's not functioning so well anymore and they don't make the same battery any more. Maybe they want a better camera phone for selfies. More RAM for games.

But every time somebody changed a phone, an old phone would go to the landfill. It was causing an overload of electronic waste.

That was the idea that sparked Project Ara. Why change the entire phone if you could change only the part you need? Thus was born Project Ara, "the modular phone".

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