Why leaving the word “entrepreneur” is difficult for me!

Definitely been long since I wrote in! And though still not in the writer’s mood as of now, part of my application for Jagriti Yatra is something that gives me a good starting point to validate my obsession with the word “entrepreneur” – it appears so many times there! It has started becoming a part of me now. Read on, probably you’ll start knowing why this occurrence in my life just doesn’t seem to fade ! ;)

Do you have role model/models in your life? (Mention not more than 2) Why do you admire her/him/them?

Not actually any role model, but any successful entrepreneur has been a huge influence in my life – be it Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs or probably the local students’ group founder who has started out to make a difference in his own might. What makes me in awe of them is the zeal & the ideas and the creativity they are brimming with. And the best part – they don’t once stop from doing things in the direction of their dreams or their goals ! Imagine – the combined potential of all these awesome people if put together – it would be a magical land of everything-that-you-think-is-possible ! Fortunately these people have left or leaving a legacy for people to follow and be able to replicate every bit of their ideas to actually make huge impacts all over the world. A true leader in any case is the one who creates hundreds more – that is what these thought leaders have done – created a generation of people who now believe that nothing’s impossible, the world is hugely connected to enable you to make differences anywhere, in your best potential & that there’s power in simplicity !

Would you like to be a Social or Business Entrepreneur? Why?

In the times to come the line between a Social Entrepreneur & a Business Entrepreneur would definitely fade. I say this because by the basic definition of an entrepreneur, only working & earning money is never the desired end-result. Until we are able to impact an appreciable part of the world around us we have not done justice to our being entrepreneurs. I have been an advocate for entrepreneurship for a significant part of my life now & would definitely be running a business 5 years down the line – creating more entrepreneurs to multiply the passion of bringing change.

Which do you think is the single biggest challenge India/your community (choose any one) will face in the next decade? How would you address this challenge?

We are already working on the education sector in India & hope to have a good number of literates in the country by the next decade, but what we still don’t have in place is a platform for them to utilize their education to have the essentials of living – food to eat, a roof to live under & clothes to wear. While there are many Indians still below the poverty line & education seems the most likely solution to bring them above the poverty line and make them a part of the skilled work force of the country, there seems to be a lack of the entrepreneur culture in India – something which wholeheartedly supports the growth of an entrepreneur, growth of jobs. Because frankly it is a vicious cycle – no work, no money, no interest in educating the children, no skilled manpower. Our next big challenge is unmistakably to utilize the potential of our young generation to the optimum, to generate the country’s GDP through the crores of educated individuals. And what better way than promoting entrepreneurship & enabling a huge part of this workforce to self-sustain the increasing challenges given by the world at large.

Would be happy to know what you think about entrepreneurship & the culture in the country. :)

Whoever thought of cashing in on public actions is sure a genius – wait isn’t that Zuckerberg ?!

Well, it’s February now – and though people might have expected a post saying something on the “love month” or probably something related to – even minutely – the Valentine’s Day – they should know my love for Facebook (Social Networks in general ;) ) is way more than any person beyond my family ! :P

Na – this isn’t a trap for the Facebook people to be enchanted into giving me a job amongst them (though that would be great ! :D ) but more to appreciate the fact – no the uncanny reality – of how intellectually great that person is who thought of cashing in on the whole scenario of “friends talking” ! And since it’s Mark Zuckerberg, Founder/CEO – Facebook (ya ya I know introductions or citations aren’t needed – but still designations with names sound fancy – even now ! :P ) – this surely gives rest to the reasons behind my apparent “love” for dear Facebook ! ;)

And this post is well timed (well, I made it to be so ! :D ) with the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Facebook – the company which in it’s SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) filing is “seeking” to raise $5 billion – though it might as well be valued at over $100 billion as per the industry talks ! Whoa ! All this based on just the 845 million monthly active user-base which generates around 2.7 billion likes & comments per day, uploads 250 million photos daily & which has formed around 100 billion friendships ! OHKAY ! That isn’t less ! :O

But imagine the thinking behind creating the whole platform which holds all this ! The start itself was very mature – that of Zuckerberg’s approach towards building Facebook – to make the world more social and connected. And it has – for the better part of it’s existence – been successful in achieving it’s this mission. According to reports (part of the study by Facebook’s own data team & University of Milan) the traditional “six degrees of separation” (that researchers have historically observed between all people in the world) has been dropping since 2008 on the site, from 5.28 then to 4.74 now. So there is a public directory finally in place – to look at it that way – which will obviously have loads of benefits to many in the domain – any domain for that matter.

Though this sure is overwhelming, more appreciable is the entrepreneurial approach to it – or to call it the business money-making approach to it. So while you go on using the platform for interacting with your friends & family, sharing your achievements or thoughts for the day, there are people who are benefiting from these actions of yours. Given the IPO filing, each user has been evaluated at $5.92 worth. Obviously Facebook saw the major picture of it all + I’m worth a large Dominos Cheese Burst Pizza ! Yay ! :D :P

It sure is the era of change, while there was a time when people used to keep interactions with far away friends and family limited to emails or hand-written letters or rather phone calls, the rise of the social networks has surely given them a richer platform to engage on. There’s LinkedIn to keep your professional network under activity, Twitter to voice yourself to the public in general, Facebook to engage with friends & family, and now Google+ too, though I think commercial establishments would benefit from it better – given the leverage they would get in the search results by being on Google+ – again “I think” – don’t quote my words anywhere – NO; never ! :/

That said, everything free sure comes with some benefit to the platform organiser – and this is what Facebook (or any other social network for that matter) cashes on – your information & the data you generate while on these sites – due to your activity. So, your each click is of value to the company, your each comment has value – as that is what it is basing it’s algorithm on – what you talk about, what you do ! So, as Facebook suggests in it’s IPO filing, if you’re talking about flowers for the Valentine’s Day (blah ! It did occur in my post ! :P ) – there will be ads about florists in your area (again an information that you’ve already provided in your profile) which you’re pretty likely to click (especially if you’re an online buyer, obviously having access to the internet). Benefit to the florist – benefit to Facebook, as it generates its income from its “pay-per-click” ad pricing system. Man ! A superior commercialisation method for a simple (though not now) PHP/MySQL website ! But that is what entrepreneurship is all about – earning from your own passions – geeky passions here. And no, I won’t blame Facebook for being commercial, for at its best it has provided us with a massive platform to be along with our friends & people of concern – I myself have found many old friends over Facebook & strengthened many more friendships over time – just because of Facebook, because frankly speaking, I surely would have forgotten wishing my friends on their birthdays had it not been for the calendar ! O.o

So, all in all, while it was and will remain a challenge to figure out what to do with the huge amount of information generated in this “Information Age” – we do have a potential winner – Facebook, or probably Mark Zuckerberg. A Harvard-dropout. Wish India takes in the trend of dropouts more liberally – see Apple (Steve Jobs), Microsoft (Bill Gates), Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg), Virgin Group (Richard Branson), Dell (Michael Dell), and I could go on an on about it – ya the list is that long ! :|

Well, riding on the belief that “an idea can change your life” saying almost always wins hands down – rather billions down – hope we see more of the Facebook story developing over time – it’s a pretty good blockbuster type script story ! :D
Disclaimer: I’m not much of a Sooraj Barjatya/Karan Johar movie fan – so my interests need not be much spicy – the masala kind if you say ! ;)