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Posted on: Friday, February 25, 2011 by Rajiv Popat

Your Culture And Art - Part 1.

Most organizations have ways of keeping their employees motivated.

Most organizational motivation looks like this.

If you cannot drop your carrots and your sticks, we won't drink your cool aid.

If your inspiration is backed by an "Or Else", a written rule, a CYA document or a silent subtle threat, it's not inspiration.

The "Or Else" triggers the lizard brain to finish tasks but it won't result in getting people to ship art.

The results are likely to be mediocre and boring.

If you want to build and ship genuine art, take away the "Or Else" part.

What you have left is a remarkable culture with a tribe of motivated artists.

posted on Friday, February 25, 2011 3:50:17 AM UTC by Rajiv Popat  #    Comments [0]
Posted on: Thursday, February 24, 2011 by Rajiv Popat

Getting Comfortable With Silence.

Birds chirping in the trees told the early men everything was fine.

Back then, silence was usually a sign of trouble. A fear signal for your brain.

Even today. Silence scares the crap out of us. Most people get uncomfortable with any period of silence. You walk up to your colleague's desk. Crack jokes. Pick up the phone and call your friends. Get on twitter. Respond to facebook comments. Your birds are singing and you feel safe.

What you forget however, is that today, silence is often hugely productive.

I am not saying that cracking jokes with colleagues, calling a couple of friends, tweeting or spending time on facebook are a bad thing to do. But if you are doing them just because you are scared of productive silence that surrounds you, then all you are doing is generating noise. For yourself and rest of the world.

You are breaking the silence that was making (or could have made) you productive. There is nothing safe about that. In fact, in the long run, that is exactly what you should be truly afraid of.

True, silence is scary. But if you genuinely want to hear the birds sing in the long run, learn to embrace silence and make the most out of it.

posted on Thursday, February 24, 2011 3:14:54 AM UTC by Rajiv Popat  #    Comments [0]
Posted on: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 by Rajiv Popat

Pretending To Be Different.

You want to build an interesting product. Start by building an interesting personality.

You want to build a different sort of an organization. Start by living a different lifestyle.

You want the smartest of minds and mavens to help you market your product for free. Start by listening to them. Stop using funny words like "social media", "web 2.0", viral marketing and most importantly, stop insulting their intelligence.

Random buzz words, power point slides and paid advertising won't come to your rescue when you are dealing with smart people.

When we use your product, or read what you write we can see through you, your effort on the product, your mind, your life, your character and your personality.

The real question is, can "you" see us seeing that or do you think we are idiots?

Most businesses, product managers, marketers,  PR guys and social media experts think its the later.

The others, are successful.

posted on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 9:30:00 PM UTC by Rajiv Popat  #    Comments [0]
Posted on: Sunday, February 20, 2011 by Rajiv Popat

What Will Others Think About You And Your Organization.

What will others think about how you look if you do not dress formally for that occasion?

What will others think if you answer those support calls yourself?

What will others think about your organization if it does not have a formal corporate website?

What will others think about your product if it doesn't even have a name?

Fortunately others do not have the time to think about any of that.

Others, are way too busy thinking about.... what the other others will think about them.

What that means is you can stop caring about others and be yourself.

posted on Sunday, February 20, 2011 6:49:06 PM UTC by Rajiv Popat  #    Comments [1]
Posted on: Saturday, February 19, 2011 by Rajiv Popat

Risky - Part 1.

Doing anything is risky. Doing nothing is riskier.


Roll the dice.

Take a chance.

The downside is you might fail. The upside is you get smarter and stronger...

even if you fail.

posted on Saturday, February 19, 2011 6:02:25 PM UTC by Rajiv Popat  #    Comments [0]
Posted on: Friday, February 18, 2011 by Rajiv Popat

Being Different Or Fitting In - Part 2.

Why is every occasion in your life just like everyone else's?

Why do you celebrate your birthdays in the similar restaurants as everyone else?

Why do most parties you invite us to follow the same predictable patterns?

Why are most of your conversations the same when we meet for the first time or every time?

Why do you strive so desperately... to fit in?

Most of the times you fit in and settle for boring safe mediocrity because you have the fear of the "different" letting you down.

The irony of it is, its the mediocrity that almost always let's you down.

Your desire to "fit in" is why you throw boring parties, engage in boring conversations, build boring applications and above all lead a boring life.

Do you really want to continue trying to fit it or embrace the different? If your answer is the later, start by not being afraid of the different when you see it.

After all, different is a way of life and once you embrace it, different shows up in just about anything you do.

posted on Friday, February 18, 2011 5:28:59 PM UTC by Rajiv Popat  #    Comments [0]
Posted on: Sunday, February 13, 2011 by Rajiv Popat

Fixing Genuinely Kickass Software Development Teams.

Most HR, PR, Managers and organizations like to pretend they know how they can recruit and drive the best of the employees.

The fact is, that a whole lot of it is just luck.

Most managers and organizations around the world, get lucky....

And then they blow it.

A fully functional team is shipping kick ass version after version... yes, but they aren't updating the low level design documents, or punching their time cards.

Someone high up in the pecking order feels like scratching an itch and scratches it.

Tweaks are tried, policies are made, rules are created and before you know it, you are trying to fix something that is not even broken.

And then all you can do is read articles on how to hire the best and bitch about why its difficult to retain the best of the best.

All I can tell you is that you are just wasting your time.

posted on Sunday, February 13, 2011 10:40:55 AM UTC by Rajiv Popat  #    Comments [0]
Posted on: Friday, February 11, 2011 by Rajiv Popat

Being Different Or Fitting In - Part 1.

You really want fit in and gain acceptance from the most people around you.

Simultaneously you really want to show them how wrong they had been all along.

The thing with the seeking acceptance is you almost never prove anyone wrong while seeking acceptance (and you don't get much acceptance either).

The thing with proving them wrong is that you have a strong possibility of gaining lot of acceptance after you have proved them completely wrong.

Here is the really ironic part:

If there is a voice of a misfit disagreeing with the crowd and a conformist struggling to fit in within you, your best chance at gaining acceptance in the long run is listening to the misfit.

posted on Friday, February 11, 2011 7:58:01 PM UTC by Rajiv Popat  #    Comments [1]