Value-Added Aggregation Picking the Best
An entrepreneur aggregates best ideas and practices, and adds value in a unique way. While there are breakthroughs in thinking which happen occasionally, more often than not, the entrepreneur picks up seemingly disconnected ideas from different disciplines, connects them together, and comes out with a unique concoction. An entrepreneur always need to be alert and on the lookout for new ideas which can be assimilated into the business.
Value-added aggregation is a way of life for me. I use my reading, blogging and interactions with other people to feed me with ideas. I know my space and my problems, and am constantly looking for ideas which I can apply in my context. I think of a business as a Samachar of Innovations. Let me explain. When we started Samachar as a portal for Indian news, we had two choices – either hire a group of journalists to put the news together, or write an intelligent software which could parse the news headlines from the Indian websites which had the best journalists. No prizes for guessing the path we chose! From then on, I use the word Samachar as a way to describe the value-added aggregation approach. So now, Pragatee and Emergic are the Samachar of Software!
Knowledge Mapping the Space
An entrepreneur needs to have deep personal knowledge about the field of operation. What is needed is a mental map of the space the technologies, the numbers, the companies, the people, the trends. Until a few years ago, this wasnt easy to do. Going to trade shows and conferences was one way to keep abreast of all that was happening. The Internet has changed all this. A few hours of reading on the Internet can provide a nice overview of what is happening across the space. And yet, the irony is, that few entrepreneurs actually do this. Perhaps, it is supreme confidence or maybe, it is just laziness (with the perennial excuse of Oh, there so much to do.) This approach will not get the entrepreneur very far.
Knowledge, along with Passion, must become the entrepreneurs greatest strength. Because of the entrepreneurs personal involvement with customers and most aspects of the business, few will know the business as well as the entrepreneur does. This must show up in meetings and interactions with outsiders they should realise that the entrepreneurs knowledge will keep them ahead of the curve if they choose to do business with the entrepreneurs firm. Knowledge wide and deep is the magical key to open up new doors constantly. What the entrepreneur needs to do is to ensure that this is sustained even as the venture grows. This prevents the organisation becoming blind-sided by trends or developments that may not have been foreseen.
Tomorrow: Inspiration, Networking, Faith in God