Being an entrepreneur

People Hate Change – 6 Tips for Making it Easier

  People Hate Change? People generally like the idea of change, but they really hate the effort that goes along with it. The idea of change brings with it feelings of hope, opportunity and the promise that things can get better. But sometimes it can be hard work and require a lot of perseverance. The challenge to any organization is to get good at change – because as your company grows, change is going to have to happen, whether you like it or not.  You might as well get used to it, and get good at it.     I’m probably like most people in that sometimes I can be good with change and sometimes I’m pretty crap at it. I recently, for example, had to get a new laptop. I was avoiding making the change for a long time because: I was dreading having to reload applications and transfer all the data from my old laptop I hate shopping So, I suffered with my ancient laptop (4-yrs old) as it gradually fell apart.  I could visualize that day in the future when I had that shiny new machine that was fast and clean, but I just couldn’t bring myself to go through the hassle of making the transition. The defining moment came when the cooling system broke down and it overheated. Disaster.  After that, I could only run it for ½ hour at a time before having to shut it off for 20 minutes while it cooled down. You could say I left it a bit too long. It started seriously affecting my work and life.   Most organizations behave pretty similarly. They know they need to upgrade their technology, systems and processes, but

The Innovative Customer

Having worked in technology for many years, I’ve come across numerous diverse opinions and positions on how best to make roadmap decisions on a software product. Well, in fact, I’ve come across a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Most people, I find, are quite full of opinions.      You might find this odd, but I actually get a lot of enjoyment out of listening to people’s opinions – regardless of the topic: politics, religion, food, music, the latest tablet, parenting, books, movies, sports and whatever else comes to mind. People can be quite interesting if you give them a chance to rant-on about any topic they feel passionate about. I don’t always agree with them, of course, but for the most part, it is interesting to listen.   Being in the business of delivering innovative technology solutions, the prioritization of new software features to build into a product is a very important aspect of our business. So listening to people has become a vital part of making those prioritizing decisions. Many in the technology world will however, strongly advise us to not listen to customers when it comes to setting the urgency of one feature over another. The thinking behind such a stance is that customers who are using the software on a day-to-day basis are only going to make suggestions/demands for features & fixes that will make their own little world a bit better. They’re not too concerned with long-term strategic planning.  So, as the thinking goes, if we expend all our development resources on tiny items that will help a handful of people - but will have negligible effect on the broader customer base (both current and future) -

Where Preparation Meets Opportunity

Luck I’ve always had mixed feelings about whether or not I believe in concepts such as “Luck” and “Destiny”.  My dad always told me that there’s no such thing as luck and that you create your own destiny. He was very much a realist and firmly believed in taking responsibility for all the good and bad that happens to us in life.  Regarding luck, he probably said it something like this, “Luck, ha, what a load of crap. Luck is nothing more than where preparation meets opportunity. You make your own luck. Now go clean your room.” Being a business owner, I've had a lot of conversations with other entrepreneurs that share their stories about how they built their business, the struggles they endured and the choice moments of success that made it all worthwhile.  The amount of hard work, commitment and passion that’s required is always far greater than anyone ever imagined or expected.  Interestingly, however, almost everyone that’s built a business will tell you that, in addition to the intense amount of hard work, there’s a certain amount of luck involved with business success.  When I hear this of course, my dad’s voice chimes off in my head saying “ah what a load of crap”, but I keep this inner voice to myself and just listen and agree. In some ways, unlike my dad, I do believe in a certain amount of luck – there are things that happen in life and in business that just seem to come out of nowhere, that give a sudden boost in success. It’s tough to explain events like that in any other way than as pure luck.  For the most part, however, I don’t think luck