Strive for clarity and results will follow

Strive for clarity and results will follow

On a typical day, us programmers and software developers spend most of the time staring at our computers. We could be churning out code, working on a bug ticket, improving the test suite or refactoring existing codebase.

Due to the nature of our work, it can be hard for us to fully grasp how our work affects the company as a whole. Even if you are working in a tech startup, you may be working on a small portion of a larger system. 

Successful entrepreneurs are great at capturing value

Successful entrepreneurs are great at capturing value

Most would say entrepreneurs are job creators. Businesses and companies they build, employ workers and drive the economy. You could also say entrepreneurs are value creators. Their ventures create and deliver value to their customers.

In my mind, an entrepreneur is someone who is exceptionally good at identifying gaps in the market, fills it and captures the resulting value of this exchange.

Thirst for knowledge

Do you have the urge to find out more about something new you learned about? The curiosity to know how and why things work. The drive to learn more about the world which we all once possess as kids. With power of Google and the vast amount of information found on Wikipedia, it's never been easier to satisfy your thirst for knowledge. You can even learn stuff they teach in school online through the Khan Academy.

As I've said before, everyone needs googling skills and there's no excuse to not learn something new everyday. The web is the best teacher you'll ever have since you can control the pace and the topic of your study.

The best way to secure your future is to invest in increasing your own personal value. Turn your thirst for knowledge into your motivation for a brighter tomorrow.

Growing is for everyone

In a business, growth can come in different forms. You can grow your customer base, increase your production capability or you can expand into other revenue streams. Ultimately, a business aims to be profitable and growth is one of the ways to increase profits. As an individual, you will also need to grow not just in the physical sense. You can read books to increase your knowledge or invest in better equipment so that you can perform better in certain tasks. You could also explore uncharted territories to experience something new.

Like how companies strive to increase their stock value, you should also do what is required to improve your own personal value. Growing isn't just for kids, it's for everyone that wants a better life.

Too many ideas, too little time

If you have too many ideas and you don't have enough time to execute them, you should check out this article by Scott Belsky on how to overcome the idea-to-idea syndrome. By now, I hope you understand the real value of an idea is in its execution. But there's another problem that arise while you are executing your idea. You might get bored and lose your initial momentum and creativity. And being addicted to ideas, you come up with a new one to keep yourself interested and abandon the old one.

Scott proposed some tips on how to stop yourself from going from idea to idea. First we need to restrain ourselves from coming up with too many ideas. Execution of the idea is still the main goal. Stop being addicted to inspiration and start the perspiration.

We also need to run our idea through the others, the ones that live in the real world. Their input is invaluable if you want your idea to go mainstream. Scott calls them the sober monitors.

Try skipping meetings and appointments that doesn't align with your goals. Because when idea-lovers get together, all they can do is just generate more ideas and prevent you from actually bringing yours to live.

I suggest you keep an eye on the next article of the series to get more tips on how to turn your ideas into reality.

Are you a mapmaker?

In Linchpin, Seth talks about how we are trained and brought up to read maps. We expect our teachers to tell us what to study and our bosses to tell us what to do. We are taught to be map-readers and we are damn good at it. However, if you want to be indispensable, someone that is able to chart your own destiny, you need to learn how to make your own map.

You have to be someone that decides what to do next, not the one who awaits the next instruction. By creating your own map, you can create value. Value that only you can add to the equation.

Following someone's else map won't get you far. The map to success can only be drawn by you alone.

Importance of price

Ever wondered what if there's no price tag on things we buy. How will it affect our buying decisions? Will we end up just getting the best or will the removal of price also removes the need to have different choices and we all end up buying the same thing? Some things are free, which means by definition they don't have a price. If you were to choose between a bunch of freebies what would you do? If price is no longer the differentiating factor or guide, will we be able to make better decision?

Price is important because our notion of value is based upon it. Without a price, we will have to judge products solely based on their specifications. Something we are supposed to do but apparently not many can due to the lack of domain knowledge.

So if the target of your product is the mainstream (e.g. clueless), should you use price as the guide to educate users on the value of your product in relation to your competitors? And if you are aiming for the early adopters, will being free makes it easier for them to see the true value of your product?