Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s 3 arguments for favoring partnership

In my previous post with the title: “Solo Entrepreneurship vs Partnership“, I favored having a partner as opposed to solo entrepreneurship, (i.e. solopreneurs).

A few minutes ago, I have seen a tweet from Rosabeth Moss Kanter who is an influential author and Harvard Business School professor whose studies I admire: Three Reasons Everything Goes Better with Partners

As I agree to all of the arguments she has highlighted, I would like to share this article with you. Thanks to Rosabeth Moss Kanter.

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Power and Authority

Power means “the ability to influence people“. For example, if you have the ability to persuade your friends to move in the same direction as you do, then you have the power.

Authority is the “official power“. For example if you are assigned to a manager position where your subordinates are obliged to follow your orders then you have the authority. Military officers have the authority.

French and Raven identified five bases of power as: legitimate, referent, expert, reward and coercive. Legitimate power is authority. For example, police has legitimate power. Referent power arises from personal authority. It can be someone whom you like and want to follow (e.g your role model). When someone has expert power, that means this person has knowledge which others respect. Reward and Coercive power is the classic definition of carrot and stick. It means the person who holds the power to reward or punish has this type of power.

Tonight, I observed my father who has the ability to influence people around him. Regardless of his position (authority), his opinions are highly respected and considered in any kind of social setting. Why?

I think this is due to his integrity. That is; his character, his firm adherence to the codes of especially moral values. He has power because people know that he is:

  • sincere,
  • rational,
  • fair to anyone,
  • has common sense,
  • courage to tell the truth,
  • respect for self, for others and for his actions,
  • dependable because he is honest and ethic,
  • has experience and can apply his knowledge in a logical manner

The people who do not possess integrity, frequently faces with what psychologist call as “cognitive dissonance“. That is, holding conflicting ideas or behaviours simultaneously. For example, trying to deceive someone with an idea which you do not believe.

On the other hand, people with integrity means they “walk their talk“. Those people who have integrity can influence people in a good fashion that is both beneficial to everyone. They are respected and admired. They are “role models”.

Moral of the story: Leaders with integrity have the most desirable power. In order to lead, you must ask yourself first: “know yourself”. second: “Do you have the integrity?”. third: “do you have good intentions?”.

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Seven sins that “engineer entrepreneurs” should unlearn?

I am an engineer entrepreneur. I am proud to be an engineer and I use most of the excellent principles of engineering. But there are some habits of engineering that I needed to unlearn to be a better entrepreneur:

Seven Habits(**) that engineer entrepreneurs should unlearn:

  1. In engineering, there are trade-off’s (*). For example if you increase flexibility you decrease performance, if you increase security, you compromise comfort. But as an entrepreneur I experienced hundreds of situations where customer demanded both speed and quality. Thus, my mindset shifted from “this or that” to “this and that”.
  2. Engineers are trained to evaluate the constraints first, and then work to solve the problem within those constraints. As an entrepreneur, I learned how to change my assumptions and shift my paradigm to see the opportunities in those constraints. I try to change the constraints rather than conforming to the constraints or try to introduce a product/service to the market that makes use of the constraints. Thus, my mindset shifted from “solving the problem within the constraints” to “seizing the opportunities that all those constraints offer”.
  3. As an engineer, I always liked challenging problems. That is like trying to park your car into a very narrow slot where most drivers can not able to park. However, as an entrepreneur I learned that “to be effective” is as important as “to be efficient”. I learnt that grasping the “low hanging fruit”  is not a sin.
  4. In computer engineering, we have learned the importance of “know-how”, in business we have experienced both “know how” and “know-who“.
  5. Leaning the ladder to the right wall is more important than climbing to the ladder of success (even it is in the right wall).  – Thanks to Stephen Covey.
  6. In engineering “failure” means “failure”. In business “failure” is a one step further towards “success”, like losing the battle but winning the war.
  7. As an engineer I can control all or most of the parameters. Thus, as an engineer I try to avoid “uncertainty“. But, as an entrepreneur I learned how to accept and embrace uncertainty. I learned that “chaos after order” is as natural as “order after chaos”. I learned that dynamics of business is not linear, but non-linear.

(*) Trade-off: Losing one quality or aspect of something in return for gaining another quality or aspect.

(**) I apologize for using the word “sin”. I aim to get more attention by choosing the word sin in the header but I choose to use “habit” in the article, which is a more appropriate term.

Posted in Engineer, Entrepreneurship, Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Simple Strategy: Do it FIRST (and/or) Do it BEST !

First advice: Do it FIRST, do it BEST.

Second advice: If you can not do both, then choose either one of them.  If you can not still manage to be first or to be best, then try to be unique and DIFFERENT.

Third advice: Never accept mediocrity. Think BIG, start SMALL and move FAST.

Implications for businesses: If a company achieves to be the first in the market, then she will be either succesful or will gain a lot of experiences which will help her to be succesful in the future. If a company is best then she will be a brand and enjoy profitable returns. If a company produces unique products then she will attract attention.
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Is luck a coincidence?

In one of my previous posts, I have talked about the role of luck in Entrepreneurship. This is one of questions that I ask to entrepreneurs. Zeki Çalışır, is a successful and experienced businessman whose ideas I respect. When I asked him the role of luck in entrepreneur’s life, he said “if luck is not with you, it does not matter how hard you push”.

Last day, we were having dinner with Gülay and Ekim. They are both entrepreneurs. Gülay is skeptic to the idea of “luck”, but Ekim and I believe in the role of luck. Ekim told that he is connecting the dots in his life (just like Steve Jobs did) and told us how he had been involved in publishing business and his innovative product called Botego which uses natural language processing. Gülay thinks that people create their luck.

After the dinner, I asked the question: “is luck a coincidence?”. Do you create your good luck or is it just a coincidence? I think both is relevant. What do you think?

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40+ approach

In this post, I would like to just quote Brian Tracy’s 40 plus formula:

You work 40 hours per week for survival.  Everything over 40 hours is for success. Every hour over 40 is an investment in your future. The average self-made millionaire in America works 59 hours per week and some of them work 70 and 80 hours. The average self-made millionaire in America works six days per week rather than five, and works longer days as well.”

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Evolution of Mobile Internet

In 1999, when we have founded Done Information and Communication Systems, mobile Internet equated WAP and mobile messaging channel was composed of only SMS. In those days, it was possible to store applications in 3,5” 1,44 MB floppy disk.

While we were moving our headquarter to its new office previous week, I have found those disks. Here they are:

Those floppy disks made me think of our 11 years of Valued Added Service (VAS) experience during which we have witnessed the evolution of technology:

  • Mobile Internet: WAP over CSD first and then GPRS, EDGE and 3G
  • Mobile Messaging: SMS, EMS, PushtoTalk and now MMS
  • Mobile Client Applications: Palm, Symbian, BlackBerry and now iOS (iPhone, iPad) and Android.
  • Wireless Communication: Bluetooth and now NFC.

In 2000, our new start-up had envisioned the evolution of mobile Internet in our web site (thanks to waybackmachine) as follows:

Mobile developers in 1999 resembled Commodore 64 developers in early 1980’s. Everything was limited, there were only two colors and the only image format was WBMP.

Thanks to the evolution of technology now that we can develop User Experience rich applications for iPhone, iPad and Android.

Posted in Management, User Experience | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments