#MentalNote, business, communication

Opportunity In Crisis: What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Tesla and Alphabet

Hurricane Irma devastated Puerto and created a humanitarian disaster rarely seen in the United States. While the federal government’s response hasn’t been the best (based on infrastructure challenges, over stretched FEMA, leadership, etc), we’ve seen the private sector companies like Tesla and Alphabet step up to be partners in crisis response. While these projects are small in comparison to the larger needs, they are a step in the right direction and serve as models to how companies can work with customers in challenging times.

  1.  While crisis sucks for those who are involved, it’s a great opportunity for companies that have solutions ready to help. Natural disasters are an extreme example, but consumers, businesses, and governments all undergo crisis of varying magnitudes and need the help right away.
  2. Crisis often means the breakdown of barriers to entry for new participants. After destructive hurricanes in Puerto Rico, the normal distribution networks for electricity, internet, and water were destroyed. Not only was there a sense of urgency to get those services operating as quick as possible, the downtime provided an opportunity for distributed solutions like Alphabet’s stratospheric balloons nicknamed project loon, or Tesla’s powerpacks powering a rural hospital to jump in as a solution. As a founder, be on the lookout for key areas where an incumbent’s strength becomes an inherent weakness.
  3.  Understand the long term value when you successfully deliver a solution in a crisis situation. Compensation is important but the larger priority is proof of concept and a customer that’s fully invested in the success of your deployment. Crisis situations can be used as a transformational case study and will speak more within an industry than a clever advertising/ marketing campaign. Some short-sighted companies will look at a crisis situation as an opportunity to increase the cost of services or products. I believe the value derived from assisting customers in a crisis situation with a long term view in mind trumps the short term gain from exploiting crisis to drive revenue.

 

 

#MentalNote, communication, Holiday Weekend

31 Day Writing Challenge

I’ve always enjoyed writing. It’s something I do casually via this blog and my personal journal. I’ve realized through conversation and interactions with colleagues that there’s ample benefit to writing consistently for professional reflection and synthesizing emergent trends.

Aside from professional/ personal goals, I really want to push myself this month to create and ship on a daily basis. A lot of my thoughts and ideas tend to stay in my brain. For this reason, I’m going on a creation spree in July. I’m challenging myself to publish one blog post a day for the whole of July. I’m most likely going to be talking about hip-hop, politics, vc, product management, education, emerging technology, and some random poems, Nigeria, Africa, International Development, current events, and anything else that comes up. 

Lets see how it goes.

communication, Technology

Agile Tasks: My New Favorite App

AgileOver the weekend, I randomly stumbled upon (Didn’t find it using StumbleUpon, but someone should make a StumbleUpon for mobile apps) Agile Tasks, a light-weight project manager app that makes it easy to manage your day-to-day projects and to-do lists. I got really excited when I found Agile Tasks because it takes a stab at the challenge of making a universal task app that everyone will appreciate while still understanding that people have unique flows when it comes to managing tasks. As a product manager, I can appreciate the agile process and how it applies to getting tasks done. The interface and the flow of Agile Tasks makes sense to me and makes it way easier for me to apply to my daily routine.

agile Agile Tasks separates tasks into specific projects, tasks that are in the queue, in the process of doing, and done. It’s a pretty simple set up. Agile Tasks also includes the ability to record voice tasks and time sensitivity/ reminders.

So far, its been a pretty smooth transition from my other task manager. (I used Zoho Task Manager because it connected to my email and project platform) While there’s no special integrations for Agile Tasks, I still find its use worthwhile. I’d love to see a desk top version. The more I think about it, Agile Tasks reminds me of a simplified Pivotal Tracker. Pivotal Tracker has been my primary project manager for my dev teams so that is probably why I find it so easy to use Agile Tasks.

I’ll keep on playing around with Agile Tasks and I’ll report back in more detail my experiences.

communication

On writing

During my application process to business schools, I realized  my writing quality had decreased since my college days. In college, I would crank out papers almost mindlessly and overtime I became efficient in making bloated papers focused on pages than quality. It wasn’t until I took an introduction to geopolitics in my senior year  that I worked more on concise writing. We would create memo-like one pagers on our readings which meant I had to summarize forty or fifty pages in one page. For the first time, I had to really focus on main points and leave out irrelevant material. I wish I had more experience in college writing this way.

I feel like I am slowly losing my ability to write in a meaningful way.Two years out of college and working in a setting where most of my writing is emails or in less than 140 characters,I want to get back to the place where I write often and even get better. Here are a couple of things I plan on doing to improve my writing:

Practice

I will write more. By writing in my journal and on here more often, I hope to gain some confidence and get back to where I was at the end of my college career.

Read

I will reading more fictional books. I reading a lot of informational texts but  I need to branch out to the fictional book space to practice identifying style and tone.

Edit

I will take opportunities to help others edit their writing. Practice makes better but helping others practice helps on a whole other level.

I hope to take my writing to the next level and to do that, I have to become a student of words, structures, tone and messaging. Writing, reading and editing more will definitely help me become a great writer.
CU