23 February 2014

Nokia Layoffs Upside

During the years of Nokia's decline, culminating in the sale of its mobile phone division to Microsoft in September, thousands of workers were made redundant. But the ex-Nokians have now created hundreds of new companies - thanks partly to a very Finnish level of support from the employer to its departing staff. (source infra)

BBC News - The upside to being let go by Nokia: " . . . Ari says the Bridge programme gave BetterDoctor "a few tens of thousands of dollars" but believes the gesture was about far more than money. "Nokia has been - and is still today - a Finnish company and if you think about the Finnish psyche, it's a very fair culture," says Ari. "When we do something we always want to see it through. You don't see Finns bailing out, that's not part of the culture so I think you would expect that from Nokia. "For workers in America, if you worked at a company like General Electric it's more like you get the package - a month's salary - and go. They lock the doors on the day you are fired. "At Nokia there were people who knew they were going to be laid off in six months and they were able to stay at Nokia with a Nokia email address with the Nokia laptop and spend time applying for new things and Nokia helped them. That's pretty fair."

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16 February 2014

Anatomy of one folded startup

Great read (at link below) -- bottom line: what is your business model/strategy? Is it really viable?

Prim: Anatomy of a folded startup - Fortune Tech: " . . . Wu and Cao were ultimately faced with a decision: either seek out other wash-and-fold services to use -- a potentially endless process -- or operate their own laundromat. The latter seemed a better solution in the long term, but involved funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars into leasing or buying a facility and staffing it. And for every new market it entered, the process of building such an infrastructure was essentially rinse and repeat. According to Wu, that would have slowed down company growth. So after two months of deliberation, they pulled the plug on Prim. Wu insists running their own laundromats still would have made their startup a profitable business in five to 10 years, with revenues of $10 million to $15 million, but it was a direction the co-founders didn't want to go. Having studied computer science at Stanford, Wu and Cao held few skills for operating laundry facilities. And doing so would also take them away from their original goal of being a marketplace. "They didn't want to actually have to wash the laundry -- they wanted to be the connector," explains Tan...."

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02 February 2014

Entrepreneurs, Con Artists, the American Dream

As the sociologist Alex Preda writes, “Talent for persuasion is key: after all, the public must be convinced to part with their money on the basis of the simple promise that an idea will yield profit in the future.” Successful entrepreneurship involves hucksterism, the ability to convince investors and employees that they should risk their money, their time, and their effort on you. Like a con artist, you’re peddling optimism. As Mel Weinberg (the model for Bale’s character in “American Hustle”) put it in Robert Greene’s book “The Sting Man,” “It’s my philosophy to give hope. . . . That’s why most people don’t turn us in to the cops. They keep hopin’ we’re for real.” (source infra)

James Surowiecki: Entrepreneurs, Con Artists, and the American Dream : The New Yorker: " ... Steve Jobs, was legendary for his “reality-distortion field,” which allowed him to convince people that improbable outcomes were not just possible but certain. Jobs’s endless rehearsals for his public presentations and his scripting of every moment for maximum effect—these are all straight from the con artist’s playbook. So, too, is the sense of conviction he projected. In Weinberg’s words, “Before you sell a deal you have to live the deal. You have to believe in it, because, if you don’t believe in it, you can’t sell it.”. . . that unquantifiable mélange of risk, hope, and hype provides both the capitalist’s formula for transforming the world and the con artist’s stratagem for turning your money into his money...." (read more at link above)

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Mediocre Entrepreneurs | TechCrunch: " . . . . persistence is not the self-help cliche “Keep going until you hit the finish line!”. The key slogan is, “Keep failing until you accidentally no longer fail.” That’s persistence." - James Altucher

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