Micro versus macro businesses
What if everybody did a microISV and nobody was available to work for large organizations. What if every individual was a business entity. Well in a perfect world, people would work towards a common cause and build airports, skyscrapers, malls, we would have a perfect eco-system. But seriously not everybody's personal goals and thoughts align towards common goals. The very idea of running a micro business is the ability to think and act on your own. So does that mean we should never have large projects at all? So how did the GNU and Linux movement fall into place to build a complete operating system. A lot of Ifs and Buts is what we have out there.
We do need macro businesses to pull of large projects, personally I do enjoy strolling through a large mall and eying all the fancy products out there. These kind of projects would never happen 'easily' in a micro business driven environment. But there is a time and place for macro and micro businesses. Micro businesses are lean and offer an advantage of nimbleness, especially useful when trying out new things that demand an ability to adapt quickly. But take a look at a large airport project, you wouldn't be changing the runway plans on t-10 days, you wouldn't change the passenger lounge overnight, Its mostly about making minor modifications, this is where macro businesses excel. What I'm driving at is that macro businesses and large projects are a necessary evil to accomplish large tasks. For an individual who feels out of place in a macro model, its mostly the need to control the creativity and tweak every little thing, like work hours, need for money and the kick of doing the right things, These things can best be done in a micro model. The micro model is small enough to be tweaked at every little place by a single individual and at the same time powerful enough to accomplish fairly complex projects. In short do your right thing as a micro business, and if it works well, it will evolve into a macro biz. But remember the rules when the transition happens.
To be continued...
Save all your money to make more money?
Expensive frappucinos leave a bad after taste of guilt, so does every purchase bigger than your monthly savings. This NYTimes article is right on time to remind one that all those financial advisors maybe making you too much of a miser, sit back and think why you're saving all that money for? OfCourse everybody wants to be a millionaire and then what?
Skip the Coffee? What’s Money for, Anyway? - New York Times
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Portable MP3 Players evolution
The guys at <a href="http://www.mobile-review.com">mobile-review</a> took a slight detour from the usual reviews of the latest mobile phones, and came up with an unbiased article on the current status of the portable MP3 player market. As more and more phones are trying to fit into the portable music player, this article is right on time.
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The swirling morning mist stirred a lot of thoughts. As city dwellers, especially in the third world, we rarely see beautiful scenes like this. Most of the developing world is in a race to build bigger and uglier concrete jungles. It is scenes like these that remind me that many a child may never experience the serenity of living in nature. Is that the cost we are supposed to pay for being urbanized?
We have created a society where speeding through life is considered fashionable. People drink coffee, drive and call office to say they're late. Then there are others who repeatedly press elevator buttons, as if some magic hand will make it go faster. Its business at light speed.
The result is stress and pressure in the most unexpected of situations. Our body and mind cope with pressure only to some extent. Then the usual after effects kick in.
In a way our mind is also an organ like any other in our body. And to keep it healthy it needs the right inputs and good dose of exercise. I've figure out that the less you multitask the easier it is for the mind to handle situations. As for exercise a weekly schedule of meditation and yoga goes a long way in keeping it healthy.
Another technique that works great is the 'be-here-now' method. How many times has your mind wandered off as you read this post, think about it. Do things that you want to and your mind will stay here and now. But regular mind-exercises will train it to do the same with boring tasks as well.
Set your priorities, do things one at a time, and have a regular time for some mind training, You can beat stress and have it all nice and easy
Do you enjoy your corporate life?
I remember a line from the movie 'Gods must be Crazy', it goes like this, "Man has invented a system so complicated that it takes 18 years of schooling to get through it". And he hit it right on the spot.
The closer you get to the last few years of schooling the more you would have forgotten about our natural abilities to be creative and self learning. Now, I'm not against a good education, but I'm disappointed at our system that only preaches what others have done and not how to tap into our creative potential. And living a 'corporate life' is the culmination of these efforts.
A vast majority of the people I have met in my corporate life are groomed to think like a typical cog in the organization, no matter where in the hierarchy they stand, they go by the mantra 'Put up with the idiosyncrasies of running an organization and be rewarded'. Very few people would confess that they would rather be doing something else.
I'm sure there are lot of people who say that they love the tight scheduled globetrotting and frenzied late night phone calls in the name of productivity. But Its blogs like ripples and slackermanager that put us back in reality. Its only a matter of time before the truth catches up with anybody who's enjoying the spoils of a lost creative personal life.
What I'm trying to get to is that we spend a huge amount of time at our day jobs, and we better realize what we are giving up. The usual victims are family life, hobbies and of course health. What we gain is usually money and that feeling of being part of a bigger 'succesfull' community. Trying to balance work and life in a corporation will only get you some distance.
I have myself tried doing strict 40 hour weeks, mid afternoon jogging sessions, it does'nt go far. I was never able to stick to it for more than a week. There is always a false sense of urgency in every business task and there's really no space for balance. I used the term 'false sense' because not every cog in the wheel agrees with the need for urgency. Now if you could set the pace of business according to your needs, then you could decide how much of work is good for you and what you are willing to give up for a good life.
Day jobs are a necessity for most of us, we need to earn a living. But not at the cost of an enjoyable livable life. Think of a day job that does'nt feel i like a drag and thats what you should be doing for a living. I look at 'earning a living' as the fuel, once you're full tank, use it to go somewhere, otherwise all that fuel will wasted in a few years.
Think about it for a while and if you think you value your life and passions more than your job. Then hitting it on your own is the right way to balance what and how much you want to work on. MicroISVs are something that is going on in my mind, will put up a separate post for that.
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A day in chaos
I always feel that an average day in my life is a journey through chaos. And there are days when things happen like clockwork. So today I set out to figure what creates this flow of changes, what could change it.
Chaos theory describes something called "order in randomness", using that as a metaphor I can see a pattern emerging in my daily life. Eat, sleep and live are actions that I do everyday at more or less regular periods. Its the things that I do in-between, that seem to summarize a day as chaotic. And what goes on in between?, other than the physical needs of the body which are addressed at regular intervals, its the flow of thoughts in my mind which make up a typical day.
Interesting, so chaos and order are right there in my mind?. Maybe, Now is there order in chaos. Yes, I alternate between work, play and entertainment, but if we alternate between these activities at a very rapid pace, say every few seconds, then take a look at it over a time frame thats much larger, it appears chaotic, dont know which one I'm doing when and for how long.
The trick in finding order in chaos is to know that there are a limited number of things we do, and to see it from the level/distance which will make it look like a set of repeating activities in a day. From this perspective the duration is all that seems to be random and the tasks are just repeating. Hmm...If we can somehow fix the duration everything suddenly transforms into a rhythmic repeatation of well known tasks.
Now is'nt that what we call focus? working on a task long enough to meet some milestone.
What I'm trying to get to is that chaos is just another state of exactly the same set of thoughts and ideas. And all I have to do is use bigger timeslices for the same set of tasks to transform it into orderliness.
Crazy?, well thats what I am.. Cheers!