The Human Brain Hijacked: The Stockholm Syndrome of Digital Content

Unleash Your Brain: A Call to Action to Break Free from the Digital Media Monster

Rajesh Soundararajan on LinkedIn

The world is witnessing a catastrophic shift in how human brains consume and process information. The fast-paced, visually arresting, audio-blasting digital media has taken over, leaving behind the once-cherished art of reading. The human brain has become the captive of the digital media monster, with the captives exhibiting symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome.

Gone are the days of slow-cooking our minds with a good book as we feast on unhealthy fast food for our brains. The video content, with its ability to control input, visuals, narration, audio, and speed, has left nothing to the imagination. Over time, the brain cells and sense organs become numb, losing their ability to connect the dots and relate to things, which are essential human functions.

YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and countless other social media platforms, as well as mainstream television and OTT platforms, have all contributed to this brain-hijacking. The consequences of this shift are dire, with the average human brain losing its ability to engage in critical thinking, imaginative reasoning, and introspection.

The digital media monster has taken over, and it’s time to regain control of our brains. Here are some steps you can take to break free from the clutches of the brain-hijacking monster:

  • Limit your digital media consumption – Set limits on your time on social media and other digital platforms. Instead, spend that time reading, engaging in outdoor activities, or pursuing a hobby.
  • Pick up a book – Reading is a slow-cooked meal for the mind, helping it to grow and develop to its fullest potential. So make time to read a book daily or at least a few times a week.
  • Disconnect to reconnect – Turn off your devices and disconnect from the digital world. Instead, spend time with family and friends or enjoy nature.
  • Be mindful of the content you consume – Be selective about the content you consume online. Avoid the constant barrage of negativity and choose positive, educational, and uplifting content.
  • Seek professional help – If you feel overwhelmed or addicted to digital media, seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can help you develop a plan to break free from the brain-hijacking monster.

The Stockholm Syndrome of digital media is accurate, and it is high time we take action to free our brains from the shackles of this all-consuming monster. Instead, let’s embrace the art of reading, which provides a slow-cooked meal for the mind, helping it to grow and develop to its fullest potential. The time to reclaim our minds is now before it’s too late.

#ReclaimYourMind #BreakFreeFromTheMonster #LimitDigitalConsumption #PickUpABook #DisconnectToReconnect #MindfulContent #SeekProfessionalHelp


10 laws to becoming a Productivity Pro

10 laws to becoming a Productivity Pro, Published on 2022-10-22

1. Take A Break – Pomodoro

If you work non-stop beyond the 25th / 30th minute, your performance starts to dip drastically. And it a slide downhill on productivity. So, this is what you should do – Work in 25-minute intervals. Take a break for 5 minutes and do something fun – call a friend, talk to a child, speak to a parent or roommate, enjoy some music – something that is the reward for the 25 minutes of hard Work. Now go back to the next 25 minutes slot and finish the task. Keep repeating, and you will be amazed by this magic! Your efficiency is near 100% consistently. Most people work longer and longer without a break, and they do not realize that their productivity dips rapidly to even 20%. Hence, they now take much 5x longer and make much more mistakes. The frustration and exhaustion only compound. All this without their knowledge. So, the trick is simple – keep a timer/ work for 25 min/ take a break for 5 minutes/repeat.

2. 80-20 Pareto Principle

This Pareto principle says that 80% of results get done with 20% effort. So, it would help if you had figured out that 20% is the driving agent of your 80%, and you can ignore the rest. Practising Pareto consciously allows you to focus only on the critical 80% in a short time.

3. Newtons First Law – Start Something – Keep Moving

Newton’s first law of motion says that an object is at rest or in uniform motion until an external force act upon it. So why not kick off something into kinetic action and START doing it? The momentum will take off. For example, if you want to start running for 45 minutes each day at 7:00 am, all you need to do is have the discipline of wearing your running shoes at 7:00 am. Automatically your momentum takes the song for the next 45 minutes. On the contrary, not wearing the shoelace will build inertia and send you might not even step out for the entire day.

4. Sleep Well

Oh, well, you may belong to the 5 am club. Or maybe you belong to the Night Owls club. Or you may pride yourself on sleeping 3 hours a day for months. And still, you are busy. Well, one of the reasons why those = who do 18-hour workdays are not productive is that they do not sleep well. Sleeping well, say 6-8 hours is what the body needs to function optimally and be productive. Mounting evidence suggests that a good night’s sleep seriously boosts productivity. Sleep deprivation leads to “significantly lower productivity, performance, and safety outcomes”. Well, this one should be easy to sleep well, well enough to recharge and nourish your mind and body.

5. Buridan’s Ass -You Can’t Do Two Things at The Same Time

Buridan’s ass refers to a hypothetical situation wherein an ass (donkey) equally hungry and thirsty is placed precisely midway between a stack of hay and a pail of water. Since the paradox assumes the donkey will always go to whichever is closer, it dies of both hunger and thirst since it cannot make any rational decision between the hay and water. We often do nothing because we cannot choose what to do first. We want to do both simultaneously and cannot decide what should be. Start –pick any choice and keep moving. You will have finished the task.

6. Do Important / Not Urgent Things First – The Q2 Quadrant

We do a lot of things every day. Do the laundry, cook, clean, email, and make phone calls. Each day you check everything off your To Do. That is efficient. Great. But to be ‘effective’, you need to do essential things. You may not do as many things, but you do one thing that makes a substantial difference. The Q2 quadrant is about doing things that are Important but not Urgent. This is where you should spend most of your time—planning, prevention, capability improvement, relationship building, recognizing new opportunities, etc. Spending time on these important things should lead to an unclouded vision, balanced life, discipline, control, and fewer and fewer crises.

7. Work Expands to Fill the Time

Work expands to fill them if you want to get things done in a sustainable fashion here\. Parkinson’s law says Work expands to fill the time we allocate to it, so if you get something attractive giving us less time, allocate less time to it. Try to time-box it into smaller and smaller time capsules instead of giving yourself a liberal ‘evening’ or ‘post launch’ to do your task – slot yourself 230-255p or 415-440p. You will see the Work magically take a short time and contracts into that time.

8. Tame Your Mind Towards Infinite Leverage

We live in an age of infinite leverage. Your actions can be multiplied 1000-fold by writing helpful content, podcast, investing capital, having people work for you, or writing code. The impact of good decision-making on what can give the best multiplier effect now is that you can influence thousands or millions of people – through your decisions, your code, and your start-up. So, clear your mind to better judge the ‘infinite leverage’ you do with your mind. You will also be happy and calm with better decisions, peak performance, and outcomes. You must learn to tame your mind just like you train your body.

9. Visioning W/ Absolute Goal Clarity

Why do you see your car everywhere after you buy it? Science has an answer for this, and it involves the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. There has not been an increase in similar cars around you — you rarely noticed it before.

Your subconscious can be quite powerful and yet be selective in what it gives attention to or ignores without you realizing it. The Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, more commonly referred to as frequency illusion, triggers your brain into a goal-seeking function. Where subconsciously, it will nudge and strive towards your goals. Now imagine visioning your definitive version of what you want multiple times; you will subconsciously start achieving the same.

10. The Magic Formula

Yes, the 10th is just consistency and following the above – take a break, follow 80-20, start and keep moving, sleep well, do not get stuck like a Bourdain’s ass, do important things first, time-box your Work, tame your mind for infinite leverage, follow visioning with absolute goal clarity, repeat.


12 Steps to Run a Social Media Contest That Converts like Crazy [+Infographics]

12 Steps to Run a Social Media Contest That Converts like Crazy [+Infographics], Published on 2021-08-05 15:37

 Running a social media contest is a fantastic opportunity to amplify your brand, products, and services. With organic reach on the decline, social media contests are one of the few effective ways to boost your brand online with a minimal promotional budget.

Contests can consist of a simple giveaway from a small brand or full-blown campaigns that create an avalanche of media buzz.

  1. Decide on a contest owner.
  2. Set your goals and budget
  3. Choose your prizes and an exciting hook
  4. Build your contest, define contest rules
  5. Determine jury, jury evaluation sheets
  6. Create a promotion and engagement plan
  7. Choose contest entry structure and social networks
  8. Determine the length and frequency of your contest
  9. Test and publish your contest
  10. Use e-mail autoresponders to contact all entrants
  11. Convert
  12. Analyse, reflect, learn, repeat

Who doesn’t love winning a contest?

Would you like to have a detailed document on this? If interested, please do mention it in the comments. Then, I can work on something next week and share it.

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3 Steps towards Building an Amoeba Organization*

Published on 2019-04-04 02:08

Is your organization structured like an Amoeba?

Successful businesses can continually alter its organizational structure to meet the changing demands of the environment in which they are operating. Each of that change helps them propel forward to achieving the goals the organization has set for itself. And finally, it is not bound the rigid boundaries that are prevalent in the industry or in other industries. Let us take each of these with an example

Business is no Biology, Why then are we talking of Amoeba, here?

An amoeba (/əˈmiːbə/) is a type of organism which

  • can alter its shape, primarily by extending and retracting pseudopods.
  • propels forward (and feeds) by using and extending a pseudopod and let’s go its rear portion
  • do not form a single taxonomic group and are found among the protozoa, fungi, algae, and animals.

A successful business means these 3 things

1. Altering the structure:

Altering the structure of an organization is usually a daunting task. It requires a leader to think out of the box and often begets undesirable resistance from HR and other units that look for status quo for ease of administration. Even in the many cases where an organization undergoes reengineering and restructuring, it often is a laborious exercise and involves months of planning and years of execution. It is anything but simple. But then creative leaders know can get this done.

In one exceptionally large organization that I was working, it was boom time and the business team was quite successful in meeting and exceeding targets. We had an extremely capable sales team and marketing team. The technical team was terrific. The Unit was on a super-fast growth. Yet, burnouts and the low compensation started to take its toll. The Business Unit leader was fully aware of the consequence and had many meetings with HR in vain. So, in this case, he hired a ‘marketing manager’ and the job role was clearly defined as an ‘excitement specialist.’ The measurement was about creating excitement in the team and help the unit be a fun place. The new-hire, an ex-advertising professional from a reputed Advertising Agency exactly knew what to do to build that excitement in the team. She was successful and the need for that position had been done away within 12-18 months when intended results of retentions and motivation were achieved.

There were other times, what was needed was ‘just a process to be set in place,’ or entire unit was to be focussed on ‘competitive win back.’ The organization structure changed countless times, where the required people were brought in or moved out and/or roles changed dynamically. Such changes could not have been reflected under the rigid structure, but with a creative leader, we were able to achieve none the less. The organization not only survived one of the worst dot com busts but propelled forward to be a leader in the industry as competition floundered. And that brings us to the second point.

2. Propel Forward:

To propel forward is a simple term but then defining the forward is the key. The forward could mean winning competition even at a short-term loss or it might earn profit maximization. It might mean the need for PR or need for better sales closers. There can be a couple of areas where one needs to move forward, and it only means adequate resources are deployed in those areas for that duration to make them successful. Any less, the effort would go waste. Any more, we might not be doing it efficiently. Propel forward for an organisation unit may be different from the standard industry practices.

The key to propelling forward is to let go of the past that is holding us back. We could have had an organization that was great and successful in the past but continuing the same activity and being tied to the past will slow the unit down. The key to propelling forward is to let go of the tenets that gave success in the past and unbound and unleash itself.

3. Unbound and hence Unleashed:

The core tenet is being unbound and unchained by the dogmas that exist in the organization and unit. Any change like this is seen as maverick and would lead to eyebrows being raised and questions being asked. The only way to address such criticism is to continue to deliver on outcomes. The team would need to be fully aware that they are being taken into full confidence and it needs to work on ‘a mission mode.’ Goals are pursued as a mission, and the team sees itself as a task force and a crack team. Call it permanent beta, disruptive innovators – any name that you wish. The idea is to take the team along and make sure they are unbound and unleashed all the time to deliver their best.

Go ahead try it! Build your own Amoeba Organization*.

If you like such articles – You can follow some great resources on

 This above article first appeared in the Times of India on April 03, 2019

Rajesh Soundararajan is an entrepreneur and co-founder of Futureshift Consulting, a boutique consulting outfit that helps organizations chart their business, marketing and technology strategies that generate demand, drive predictable revenue and achieve impactful outcomes.


*I am not talking here about Amoeba Management, which is a system designed by Kazuo Inamori, the creator and current honorary chairman of Kyocera. Amoeba Management is different from building an Amoeba Organization that I am talking of and is primarily composed of personnel in a company, with a clearly defined purpose of making a profit for itself.


5 simple lessons – Build a culture, the Starbucks way

5 simple lessons – Build a culture, the Starbucks way, Published on 2017-09-19 04:05

I have always been fascinated by Starbucks. Who is not? I am a coffee addict, and what better place to have those gazillion start-up meetings and those brain storming sessions other than Starbucks. The Wi-Fi is incidental, and so are the Espresso-double shots. What fascinated me is the experience in a Starbucks that is consistent – it does not matter whether I am in San Francisco or Singapore, Bangkok or Bali, Hanoi or Hyderabad, it is the amazingly same experience with the Baristas.

Being an entrepreneur myself and also having managed global organizations in the past, I have always been curious and passionate about building cultures. I believe that building a strong positive culture is one of the sustainable ways to makes an organisation successful – short-medium and long term. I also believe that culture plays, a bigger role on impact than building a skill-set.

A strong ‘culture’ in an organization might take a long time for it to show, as it needs to be ingrained into the DNA of the organisation. Unlike a skill, that can be incorporated by training its workforce at any point, culture requires continuous focus from the moment of an employee joins the organisation. The employee is exposed to a ‘ways of the world here’, and pretty much adopts that particular way as their own.

It is in this context, that I wish to use the Starbucks example. What makes Starbucks do something that is so insanely simple and yet, delightfully magical? It is not their covfefe for sure!

Every employee that joins Starbucks, is given a small 4″X5″ ‘the green apron book’ on the first day with the company. In a simple lucid way this booklet explains the culture of Starbucks. Since this culture is immediately manifested across the organisation, it is easy for the new employee to adapt and adopt these practices.

‘Culture drinks strategy for coffee’ Drucker would have said, had he seen Starbucks.

At Starbucks, every employee follows this green apron book, which has five values. These values can pretty much be applicable to any organisation. However Starbucks, has made it ingrained into their culture and not surprisingly it isas successful as what we see today. 

1. Be welcoming:

Being welcoming helps people share their concerns openly without inhibitions. It helps customers return to the store repeatedly. It helps build a sense of belonging between people and share their thoughts openly. Such a simple phrase, when inculcated in a culture can put 1000 strategies to shame.

2. Be Genuine:

Being genuine is a simple way to ensure that everything, everyone does an organisation has a sense of connection to the other person. It helps establish trust between its employees and between its employees and customers. Being genuine means being responsive to the needs of others. We can call it by any other name, but these two words ‘be genuine’ puts it succinctly.

3. Be knowledgeable:

Love what you do, share it with others. Loving what you do is being knowledgeable on your job. When your knowledge is shared between yourselves and the community, the overall level of engagement increases.

4. Be considerate:

This is the way Starbucks ensures that everyone within the organisation and its customers have a sense of being cared for. This philosophy that drives Starbucks and I would think this is something every other organisation can adopt.

5. Be Involved:

When you’re involved with what you do, your productivity increases. You effectiveness improves. Imagine spreading it like in eponymic across your division, your company, and the community and you have a surefire answer to success.

 What makes Starbucks do something that is so insanely simple and yet, delightfully magical? It is not their covfefe for sure!

 And these are not just posters on the wall, or some card at deep within the drawer.

Each one has a specific action items for each of these that can translate into everyday activities and they are described in the subsequent pages. It is easy to brush off saying they are just a company that sells coffee. Imagine yourself of a company that sells something as commonplace coffee and some becoming a global name for the coffee experience. And to add to that its beverages are not cheap. To attract that sort of a premium over something that could be domestically available, I believe requires definitely a good strategy, but more importantly a wonderful culture as described above. Wait is time for each of us to take a cue from here and see how it can help us.


Please do share your thoughts and feedback and I will be glad to learn from you. I posted this article first on a blog post on People Friday, that I maintain to help build Human Capital in the community.

The author is an entrepreneur with two decades of senior leadership experience in India and Asia-Pacific and now runs Futureshift, a boutique consulting outfit that helps businesses chart their digital marketing strategy with the @ZMOTly framework to achieve impactful outcomes. He is available at

LinkedIn PeopleFriday Leadership

6 Questions to Build a High Performance Team

6 Questions to Build a High Performance Team, Published on 2017-08-28 14:51

Over the last twenty years, I spent a major part of my career in leadership roles. This had given me an opportunity to work with people in the dozens of roles, that panned across many organizations, countries.

It was also a wonderful opportunity to manage scores of teams and learn from many managers. I was also fortunate to learn many things from my managers and can proudly say that there not a single boss that I did not learn something from or admire for.

I usually, applied those learnings to managing my team. It was also an honour that most teams that I managed were also appreciated by other business units and peers in leadership. The usual feedback was that my team was high on – energy, ideas, awesome execution and good attitude. My teams and its members would receive the most awards in corporate events.

What made these teams A-teams?

We all, in the company had the same hiring process. We all had similar bunch of resumes that HR used to dish-out, based on which we made our selections. In fact, hiring the right person for the right job, was the easier part. Giving the right job for the right person is a lot more involving and effective. I learnt this, from some great leaders, who have imbibed in me the need to pay attention to each member of the team – continuously. It is anything but micro-management. I had learnt very early from some of the great managers, that focus on people is the simplest and most effective way to becoming successful.

Hiring the right person for the right job, was the easier part. Giving the right job for the right person is a bit trickier, and a lot more involving.

It all boiled down to six questions, that I would ask myself each time.

Do they know what is expected out of them at work?

This by far is the reason, that affects an employee’s productivity the most. Often, an employee may end up with a vague idea on what is expected out of them. After each 1-0-1 meeting I would ensure that we were on the same page on what was expected of them and, what was not. I would usually request them to summarize the understanding in writing on an email, whiteboard or scribble on a piece of paper. And yes, always – it would be rule of three. Never would it exceed three points. That helped both of us to remember the points and action items for the next meeting.

Do they have the materials and equipment required to do their work, right?

Once the team and its members had good clarity on what is expected, I would ensure that they had the right tools. There is little, that a woodcutter can do without his axe, however well-defined his goal is. I would give them all the necessary tools to make them effective. It could have been a faster IBM ThinkPad ®, it could be an extra resource to pre-qualify leads so that they focus on closing the deal, or, at other times by giving that approval to travel under budget constraints.

Do they do what they do best, every day?

Allowing an employee to work on their interest and passion is the easiest way to make them productive. There are times where I moved a team member from a ‘behind the desk number crunching” role to a customer facing role. and vice-versa. I have juggled the team structure and reallocated roles to accommodate the job for which that person was the best. I did spend a good amount of time understanding each employee’s strength and passion. My question would usually be “what do you usually love doing”, or “what is the best part of your job” or “what are your most memorable moments this quarteryear“.

In the last 7 days, have I recognised or praised them for their good work?

Irrespective of their seniority, it is a good idea to find that one good reason or act that deserves appreciation each week. While one could definitely focus on areas on improvement, it works like a charm if it is balanced with that one genuine appreciation of good work. It might be a simple friendly statement during the discussion like “I liked the way you presented your case to X“, or “I love the way you have control on this Y account”.

Do I show them that I care about them as a person?

Showing people that you care is a strength. I was posted away from my hometown and my first boss, very early in career, enquired about my parents and how they would manage alone. He would regularly enquire if I had called them and spoken to them and not just be focussed on work. Sometimes he would ask the if we had our lunch, before starting the afternoon meeting and order for some food. I learnt to practice genuine care from him. I practiced it myself, throughout my career. I did not trust my memory, so I bought had a small notepad where I jotted down small details like their anniversary date, their favourite music and their children names. Occasionally I would ask about their family, about them. If they had gone on a vacation to Disneyland we would talk a bit about what rides kids enjoyed. I realise that it is never out-of-fashion to show concern and appreciation for the person, their family. And yes, show of concern does not mean being intrusive, or faking it.

Finally, I would encourage their development and pursuit of their goals.

Everyone, I believe, wants to learn and develop themselves. One of my very first companies that I worked for had a plan in place for Individual Development and that had a huge impact on me. For the rest of my work-life, I religiously practiced and inculcated Individual Development – whether the company had followed that policy or not. I share two examples here – in one technical person that wanted to learn and enhance his career by using Digital Marketing; and in another and a star Salesperson wanted to write a technical book. In case of former, the person ended up doing one of the best webinars and podcasts and, that drove sales and satisfaction levels of customers. In the other case, the sales person writing a technical book, built his credibility and insights and ended up reducing his sales cycle and conversion rates dramatically.

As I look back, these six questions that I ask myself, has been crystallised by observing different managers that coached me, and I had and put them into practice myself. If not for them, I would not have seen half the success that I have seen, but for these. Thank you!


Please do share your thoughts and feedback and I will be glad to learn from you. I posted this article first on a blog post on People Friday, that I maintain to help build Human Capital in the community.


**The author is an entrepreneur with two decades of senior leadership experience in India and Asia-Pacific and now runs Futureshift, a boutique consulting outfit that helps businesses chart their digital marketing strategy with the @ZMOTly framework to achieve impactful outcomes. He is available at **


8 Bullet Proof Hacks for Enterprise Digital Marketing Strategy

8 Bullet Proof Hacks for Enterprise Digital Marketing Strategy, on 2017-08-17 14:29

#Technology #B2B #Enterprise #DigitalMarketing #ContentManagement #Online [Free Infographic Download Link at bottom of article]

1. Content

Content is the core to any digital marketing strategy. Invest in creation and curation of relevant and useful content. Maintain a ‘stock’ repository of whitepapers, product brochures, datasheets, point of view, customer stories, infographics. It is a imperative that you also maintain a entire repository of ‘flow’ content – tweets, status updates and images that link the user back to your blog or your repository of stock content. (Related Article – Is your Digital strategy all knotted up?)

2. Contacts (Database)

One of the key pillars on which the entire B2B strategy is based on is about maintaining a clean and actionable database – name, organization, email ids, titles, phone numbers – of contacts and prospects. Without a clean and actionable database, your entire strategy will crumble like a pack of cards. A good database of contacts and prospects is extremely helpful in analytics and maintaining targeted funnels

3. Communication/ Dissemination Plan

Communication in digital marketing is not a random act. Create a structure, content calendar (with clear plan on medium and frequency) of the ‘flow’ content – electronic direct mailers, blogs, webinars, online forums, LinkedIn, etc.

4. Execution is the Strategy

Execution of a digital marketing plan is as important as the strategy. Execution and evaluation of a planned campaign, day-after-day, each day, helps you identify trends to ride on and avoid expensive mistakes. The online medium, unlike an offline has much higher potential to for amplification and virality. It can also offer much better flexibility to do course-corrections, unlike an offline medium. You can be a hero or a zero, depending on your execution plan.

5. Lead Management

When you start doing campaigns online, leads can trickle in from anywhere. Your lead sources multiply exponentially – twitter, website, email, blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn in addition to your standard phone calls. It can take shape of an enquiry or a complaint or simple click . Speed of response is an essence here. Unless you have designed a good lead and response management system that includes nurturing and analytics, you may well be wasting your marketing dollars.

6. Customer Council

It would be a good practice to build a ‘Customer Council’ of say 12-20 top customer contacts and / or influencers who will act as your ambassadors of your brand. Their insights and inputs can also shape your content and communication strategy.

7. Viral Creators

Build your own set of influencers, Customer Council members, internal employees, who can help your posts go viral. The more people share the link of your content, higher would be the virality of your brand or product and higher the SEO rankings.

8. Measurement

Measurement metrics and KPIs in digital marketing era tend to be seem more complex than they actually are. The basic details like of ‘attendees’, ‘unique visitors’ and ‘clicks’ contribute the basic understanding of the audience. User engagement, response times, net positive score, virality, search engine rankings are some of the other factors. You can choose the right metrices that best represent your success.

Link to FREE Infographic Download – Click Here

Go ahead #GoDigital. Share your questions and feedback and I will be glad to respond. You may also want to refer to a related Article – Is your Digital strategy all knotted up?

**The author is an entrepreneur with two decades of senior leadership experience in India and abroad and now runs Futureshift, a boutique consulting outfit that helps businesses chart their digital marketing strategy with the @ZMOTly framework to achieve impactful outcomes. He is available at **


The #1 Reason on Why Products Fail

Created on 2016-01-11 05:04

Published on 2016-01-17 10:00 –

This is the last part of the three-part series on Entrepreneurship.

In my earlier article on LinkedIn “8 Reasons to Turn Entrepreneur in 2016“, I had shared the both environment factors as well as the that are conducive towards becoming an entrepreneur. In next article I spoke about “8 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Fail”.

In this final article in the series, I will talk about the central essence of any start-up – their product. Start-ups today are building more products than ever before. The ill-fated reality however is that the success rate of these products hasn’t changed much. The odds are still heavily stacked against starting a new business and most of these products unfortunately still fail.

And therein lies the crux of the problem. Start-ups pour way too lot of our time, money, and effort into these products. Especially for a first-time entrepreneur, these failures can be a real setback both emotionally and also financially.

You could have any number of reasons that can be attributed to failed ideas. I am not elaborating them as they are self-explanatory.

But they are not the #1 reason why products fail. The Number One Reason Why Products Fail is because – We simply build something nobody wants. The other reasons are off-shoot and mediocre justifications to this core.

The Number One Reason Why Products Fail – We simply build something nobody wants.

Why does this happen?

In my view this largely happens because most-times new-entrepreneurs are fixated to their ‘singular idea’ and fall ‘madly in love’ with that idea. And love is blind. I personally have been a victim a few times on this bias.

I am not talking of “passion for making the start-up successful here”. I am talking of the blind love for the product that makes us ignore what the market wants.

Look forward to your thoughts and ideas.

LinkedIn Money Control

8 Reasons Turn Entrepreneur (2016)

Turn Entrepreneur in 2016 (8 Reasons), Published on 2016-01-08 12:15

This is part 1 of the 3-part series and has appeared on Money Control SME news recently.

Is 2016 the going to be the year of the Entrepreneur? There has never been a better time to act on your “big idea”. And these 8 reasons will tell you why!

1. Entrepreneurs are the new black

In 2015, USA breached $70 Billion in Venture Capital Funding ($47 Billion in 2014). In 1H2015, Indian start-ups raised a massive $3.5B funding, record of sorts.

Today’s news makers are the 30-something year olds like Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook, 31y), Elon Musk (Tesla/ 44y), Brian Chesky (Air BnB/ 34y), Travis Kalanick (Uber, 39y). They are quickly replacing the likes of Ginni Rometty (IBM), Mary T. Barra (General Motors), a Christopher J. Nassetta (Hilton) or John P. Tague (Hertz), who would have dominated the news just a decade ago.

2.  The age of Garage Entrepreneur is dead

Entrepreneurs are no longer just two guys starting in a garage. They are everywhere – in Starbucks, in McDonalds, in Airport Lounges, in Wi-Fi Hotspots or even at our work or college environs. They come from all parts of the world. They capture markets across the globe in months and are not limited to looking at US markets. We are going through a global entrepreneurial renaissance as evidenced by the explosion in entrepreneurial programs offered in universities the world over, as well as start-up accelerators, and corporate incubators.

3. Student unemployment is helping new ideas take shape

Student unemployment of those graduating is higher than ever before in the industry. On one side education has become expensive and on the other, there is no assurance of a campus placement. There are just not enough jobs in big corporates to cater to the millions of students passing out. It is not surprising that more students are instead seeking out entrepreneurial experiences while in college – many with aspirations to build the next Facebook, WhatsApp or Tesla. The others go through entrepreneurial education simply to better equip themselves or perhaps, in anticipation of one day taking that big leap from a cushy corporate job.

4. Lifelong employment is a myth busted, forever.

The age of lifelong employment is dead! Period.

With the security of lifelong employment and associated pensions gone, more people are looking to get into the driver’s seat and take control of their destiny. Side business start-ups are on the rise.

5. Disruptive innovation seldom happens in large companies.

There is a lot more scope for disruptive innovation today than ever before. Technology has flattened the world and we all want to see the same changes and fear almost the same things.

The pace of disruptive innovation has been accelerating since 2005. We are not seeing 10-year-old companies any more, let alone 100 year legends. New comers are disrupting previous disruptors. Who could have imagined Facebook forced Google to close Google+? Who could have imagined Samsung and LGs get Nokia to close shop? Such incidents have carved out an amazing window of opportunity for entrepreneurs.

Unfortunately, though, the larger the company, the more they are forced to maintain status quo. Not that they wish to, but that is how they are structured. They are too big to choose a new path and jettison the past. They face too many roadblocks – shift in power centres, employee disillusionment, painful experiences and crumbling organization structures.

6. Failure is the new badge of honour

The Silicon Valley have always prided in its entrepreneurial spirit with the phrase ‘Failure is a Badge of Honor’.

The rest of the world, including mostly Asian economies like India, China and Indonesia that constitute over half of world’s population rewarded formal employment and had a social stigma attached to failure.

Their iconoclastic generation is going back with a vengeance and challenging the tenets of the older generation. The likes of Jack Ma (Alibaba), Sachin Bansal (Flipkart), Bhavish Aggarwal (Ola) have only helped the cause in creating that aura around entrepreneurs.

7.    There is no Better time to start

Internet has flattened the world. Since 2005 the advances in mobile telecommunication, increased bandwidths and broadband penetration have led to convergence of idea centres, funding sources and user clusters. Technologies like Cloud Computing and Mobile Applications have further democratised our world and have given the power in the hands of the common man.

Today, for the first time in history, people all over the world from New York to New Delhi, Amsterdam to Amman to or Jakarta to Johannesburg, London to Leningrad, have access to similar tools, knowledge, funding and people. It is cheaper, faster and less risky than ever to launch a new business, and there is no better time to start than now.

8.  You don’t even need that permission to start

The world has changed and it has changed big time. The approach of Governments has changed. The social structures have changed. The sources of funding have changed.

Just a decade ago, starting up a business was both painful and expensive. Getting Government licenses, software licences, an office space or building team or those dozens of visits to the bank for capital infusion. Today, most of these things are extremely simple or even, free.

The question today isn’t:  “Can we build this?”, but rather, “Should we build this?”

You don’t need lots of money, people, or time to answer that question. What are you waiting for? 2016 is waiting to see that disruptive entrepreneur in you!


You might also like Part 2 of this – “Why Do Entreprenurs Fail? (8 Reasons)

The author has over 20 years of experience in the technology industry and is now a serial entrepreneur. As Managing Partner at Futureshift Consulting, he often advises large businesses and new start-ups to take advantage of their innate potential and generate traction on their ideas to maximise impact.