Posts tagged Making
As a startup founder, most big decisions fall to you. And much of your company’s success depends on how you handle those tough choices. What thought processes are best for making the most informed call—often, at a moment’s notice?
Eleven entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) share which questions they always ask themselves before committing to an answer:
1. What’s the Worst-Case Scenario?
The fastest way to evaluate a decision in business is to try to determine the worst-case scenario and then try to assign a probability of that happening. This method allows you to understand what you could be getting into in terms of cash flow, time, distraction and opportunity cost.
In addition, from a holistic standpoint, it helps to try to imagine yourself already in the worst-case scenario caused by the decision and reflect back on your decision to understand if it was worth it. Would you still make the same decision after having been through the worst-case scenario?
2. Is the Risk/Reward Favorable?
All decisions come down to risk versus reward. If the reward for making the right decision outweighs the risks (in terms of probability and expected return), then it is a decision worth making.
3. What Is My Emotional State of Mind?
It is important to reflect on your emotional state of mind before making any difficult decision. Taking a step back and understanding your current emotions and drives can help your timing on when to make a decision, increasing your odds of a favorable outcome tremendously.
4. What Would (Fill in the Blank) Do?
Small business owners often make business decisions based on the mindset of other small business owners. On the contrary, entrepreneurs who are experiencing the most growth will make a decision based upon the mindset of what we call the “big business playbook.”
If success leaves clues, we look to determine what other successful people have done in our situation and model their achievements. Instead of saying, “Is this a decision another small business owner would make?” we ask: ‘What would Jeff Bezos do? Richard Branson? Tony Hseih? Howard Shultz? Warren Buffet?” (The entrepreneurs we select are the ones most likely to have shared a similar decision to the one we’re facing).
5. Will My Team Be Proud of the Decision?
My barometer for what to do has changed. It used to be, “Can I change my mind later and work hard to reverse a bad choice?” But as we have grown our business, what matters the most is our entire team’s buy-in. Now, for every major decision, the only thing that matters to me is if a choice I make will create a positive or negative feeling for our team.
6. What Would I Say About This Decision Six Months From Now?
In a fast-paced startup, you’re always testing new things and preparing for phenomenal growth that challenges the organization in multiple ways. For difficult decisions, you need to skate where the puck is going. Will this be a critical item in six months? What will have changed by then? The decision is not for now. It’s for the future, and six months is a good timeline as a litmus test.
7. Is It Aligned With Our Values?
Does this help us achieve our vision and is it aligned with our values? I test the question against my company’s vision and values first—then ask what it means in terms of profitability.
8. Are You Doing It for the Right Reasons?
Emotions including fear, envy and anger influence your decision-making processes. Taking your time to make important decisions can dramatically improve the quality of those decisions.
Over time, the quality of those decisions determines the quality and success of your company. Try to take petty, short-term emotions out of important decisions by consciously asking yourself if you came to that conclusion for the right reasons.
9. Why Am I Doing This?
It is never easy to make any decision that affects a company, let alone a really difficult and important one. I always ask myself why I am doing something, and that usually adds a layer of clarity. When you factor the “why” into the decision, it often makes you realize what the decision is really about.
You may find that the reason was to earn a huge contract, or you may find that it is because it will open up doors down the road. But until you fully understand why you are doing it, you can’t have it relate back to the mission of the company and see how it aligns with that mission. When you really understand the mission and why your company exists, you will see how the choice is aligned, and your decision will be much easier.
10. Will It Create a Win-Win Situation?
We focus on creating win-win-win situations for everyone—shareholders, employees, partners and customers. If something ultimately isn’t a win for everyone involved, maybe there’s a better option.
11. How Will This Affect the Company Later?
With every tough decision there will be consequences on either side, but I always make sure I ask myself where my decisions will put the company and its employees in one year, five years and 10 years. Forward thinking is always one of the most important factors.
—Daniel Wesley, Creditloan.com
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Smartphone maker HTC is making a smartwatch based on the hardware and design of Qualcomm’s Toq smartwatch.
Two Qualcomm engineers told ReadWrite in January at the Consumer Electronics Show that HTC had licensed the hardware and design of the Toq smartwatch including its Mirasol-based MEMS display and internal components. During CES, a Qualcomm product manager for the Toq project declined to comment on if HTC had licensed Toq.
Now Bloomberg reports that HTC will be showing off wearable devices to cellular carriers at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week along with a smartwatch based on Google’s Now semantic search services with an AMOLED display. HTC is also said to be planning as a touchscreen smart wristband music player.
Scoop: HTC will likely make a smartwatch based on Qualcomm’s Toq hardware and designs.
— Dan_Rowinski (@Dan_Rowinski) January 7, 2014
HTC getting into the smartwatch game is not much of a surprise as every gadget manufacturer in the world appears to be exploring wearable devices in one fashion or another.
Qualcomm wants to place itself at the center of the wearable universe by supplying technology, software and components to wearable manufacturers in much the same way that it sells the computer processors that are embedded into smartphones and tablets. New Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said during a press conference at CES that the Toq was a proof-of-concept device to show off its technology (like the Mirasol display) to show off to its manufacturing partners. Qualcomm does not have major ambitions to enter the consumer gadget space on its own.
HTC is not announced plans for its potential line of smartwatches and Bloomberg reports that the wearable devices it will be showing to cellular operators at MWC next week will not be available for public display.
Top image: Qualcomm Toq by Dan Rowinski
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If the changes going on in local search are giving you a headache, you’re not alone. Google Places is still transitioning to Google+ Local, and there are several types of local listings being created in the process. Google Maps and Apple Maps are both vying for consumer attention on mobile devices….
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FREE Workshop at Westport Library, "Making SEO Work," Feb. 18
SCORE Fairfield County and Co-Sponsor the Westport Library Present a FREE Internet Marketing for Small Business Workshop, "Making SEO Work, "on February 18, 2014 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. with check-in starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Westport Library, …
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At Covario’s INFLECTIONPoint event last week, several marketers gathered to talk about search analytics today, how to get a handle on tracking a multiscreen world, and what to do if you’re sifting through mounds of data to help you make better data-driven
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Pictures maybe worth a thousand words, but for e-commerce companies they can be worth a lot more. According to Bing, nearly 10 percent of all organic searches are for images and 40 percent of all search results contain “some kind of visual component”. Since image search was launched by Google in 2001, it has grown […]
The post The Visual Economy: Making Pictures Pay In E-commerce appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
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After forecasting a third straight annual loss on Friday, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said the company is considering a big shift which could possibly—finally—place its hit game franchises like Super Mario Bros. and Zelda in the hands of iOS and Android users.
But such a move could threaten Nintendo’s own hardware business, and scare away the developers who still write games for its Wii console and handheld 3DS game player—which is why the company has long hesitated at even suggesting such a move.
“We are thinking about a new business structure,” Iwata said at a Friday press conference in Japan, according to Bloomberg. “Given the expansion of smart devices, we are naturally studying how smart devices can be used to grow the game-player business. It’s not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone.”
That may sound like he’s hedging, but even broaching the idea is a marked reversal from what Iwata said in late 2011, after Nintendo announced its first-ever annual net loss.
Porting Mario to other platforms “is absolutely not under consideration,” Iwata told the Nikkei at the time. “If we did this, Nintendo would cease to be Nintendo. [Making mobile games is] probably the correct decision in the sense that the moment we started to release games on smartphones we’d make profits. However, I believe my responsibility is not to short-term profits, but to Nintendo’s mid- and long-term competitive strength.”
Nintendo was not expecting another annual loss for the current fiscal year, which ends March 31. Prior to Friday’s report, Nintendo projected profit of 55 billion yen ($529 million) based on Christmas and holiday sales, as well as new Mario and Zelda games for the Wii U and 3DS consoles, respectively.
Friday’s announcement was a humbling reality check for Nintendo. Instead of a profit, the company forecasted a 25 billion yen ($240 million) loss for its fiscal year. Instead of selling 9 million Wii U consoles, as the company hoped, it now expects to have sold 2.8 million units by the end of March. And instead of 18 million 3DS units sold, Nintendo now expects to have sold 13.5 million units. Even price cuts couldn’t help.
But Nintendo isn’t just contending with new consoles from Microsoft and Sony; it’s also battling Apple and Google, which have disrupted the casual gaming space with their respective app stores that have enjoyed almost 100 billion combined downloads over the last five years.
Contending In The Mobile Space
More than 20% of the world’s total population owns a smartphone—that’s 1.4 billion people—and that number only continues to grow. With Android and iOS leading all other smartphone operating systems in the world, the mobile games available through their app stores continue to explode in profitability.
The video game business is still highly lucrative, with the potential to be a $100 billion industry in the next three years. According to Gartner, the market could even reach $111 billion in revenue by next year, with mobile and online gaming representing the biggest portion of that pie with $22 billion in revenue.
So far, Nintendo’s best attempt at “mobile,” besides its 3DS ($169) and 3DS XL ($199), was the tablet-esque 2DS, which was released in October at $130. Unfortunately, while that product was mobile, it was not very accessible, or portable, for that matter. The 2DS was $40 cheaper than its 3D sibling but couldn’t do nearly as much—the odd form factor stood out for all the wrong reasons. For example, unlike the 3DS, it couldn’t fold in half to protect the screen.
Compare these hundred-dollar portable machines to an all-in-one smartphone, and there’s no competition. Android and iOS devices offer its users a myriad of diverse features, from calling and texting to games and work tools, in a smaller, more portable form factor.
Maybe it’s time Nintendo gives up on creating mobile hardware, and simply focus on software. But that combination of hardware and software is what has long powered Nintendo’s profits.
In “The Wheel,” a 2007 episode of Mad Men, adman Don Draper said:
In Greek, “nostalgia” literally means “the pain from an old wound.” It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards … it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the wheel, it’s called the carousel. It lets us travel the way a child travels—around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know we are loved.
As one of the oldest gaming companies, Nintendo benefits from one of the largest game libraries of all time. Many of these games can be played on Nintendo’s new machines through a feature called Virtual Console, but those who don’t own a Wii or Wii U don’t have access to Nintendo’s classic titles.
But there’s the hitch: While Nintendo has released some 3,600 games for its various platforms over the years, it only has rights to its own game library.
Still, its best first-party games would likely top Apple and Google’s respective app stores. Nintendo owns beloved characters and properties like Mario, Donkey Kong and Zelda. Mario, the mustachioed plumber, stars in 100 games of his own. Nintendo could offer just its oldest and simplest 8-bit and 32-bit classics from its collection—Nintendo owns 129 first-party titles between the NES and SNES—and they could still succeed on smartphones and tablets. (They’re already succeeding on the Web.)
“We cannot continue a business without winning,” Iwata said at Friday’s press conference. “We must take a skeptical approach whether we can still simply make game players, offer them in the same way as in the past for 20,000 yen [$199] or 30,000 yen [$299], and sell titles for a couple of thousand yen each”—or about $19.
Let’s not break Iwata’s spirit by telling him that smartphone games typically sell for $1.99 or 99 cents.
Nostalgia hurts. And yet, one way or another, Nintendo desperately needs to go back to a place where it knows it is loved.
All images via Reuters
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As part of our SEJ interview series, Matt Siltala of Avalaunch joins us to discuss how to make a piece of content go viral. Matt explains to all of his clients that everyone wants to hit a grand slam with every piece of content they publish. But the reality is not many people actually hit […]
The post Consistency is the Key to Making Content Go Viral: Interview With Matt Siltala by @johnrampton appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
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Last year, Google began adding 360 degree product views to Google Shopping ahead of the holiday season. This year, the search giant continued to tout the 360 views and have expanded from toys to other consumer products that consumers typically like to examine closely such as cameras. Users can move…
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