Monday, June 28, 2010

Back from a sabbatical!

I have been gone from my blog for nearly 3 months and during that time, much water has flown under the bridge. I earned my third degree and walked in one more commencement ceremony, travelled to 5 countries, 8 states and made some life decisions. Not bad for 3 months...

During the time, I have been blessed with the opportunity to see entrepreneurs in different walks of life, and expanded my vision of entrepreneurship considerably. I also came to the conclusion that my cup of tea is definitely innovation + technology and one without the other is not quite as exciting. So here are some random thoughts:

- Warning bells should sound when you’re initially recruited by people other than founders for early stage start-ups. They should sound even louder when only 1 of the founders speaks with you... either they’re not quite as interested in you as you think, or it’s an indication of internal challenges the company is working through.

- Acquisition of a start-up by a larger company inevitably results in indigestion. The question is how bad is the indigestion. It’s almost never a good idea to work for a recently acquired start-up within a big company. A lesson learned after many hours wasted doing the back-and-forth dance the past couple of months.

- Companies innovate yes, but make sure the kind of innovation is the kind you’re comfortable with! I have come across companies that innovate to lower cost (buying older machines and retooling them, innovating manufacturing techniques etc) and others that innovate and create bleeding edge products that will help them attract new customers and gain market share. I find I prefer the latter.

- Sometimes, life makes you choose between the proverbial devil and the deep sea. I came across this excellent article on how to make good decisions - some I had already learned through experience, others I was grateful to get a heads-up about. I am still puzzled though how one can apply foresight to distinguish between a big decision and a small decision. Sometimes, the things I have thought of as minor decisions have had huge implications and sometimes even changed my perception, and others that I spent hours mulling over ended up being moot points in the journey of life.

What are your thoughts on the decision making process and what lessons have you learned?

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