Monthly Archives: January 2015

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The Founding Team Part III – HumbleLab.co

Category : Business

Finally, we’ve been branded, it’s called HumbleLab, HumbleLab.co

This will be our brain child for next 3 to 5 years, minimum at least. And you can see who are the members of the founding team in our website, and also, our vision, mission, strategy, product and services , etc, too.

So the million dollar question is, how do we come up with HumbleLab with the brand logo, brand vision, mission and brand promise.

Well ,We followed below 10 simple branding steps for what we got today HumbleLab.co, our brand-book as well as our brand strategy , a.k.a , G.K.G (Get Keep Grow mechanism).

 Here is the best short video, only a minute about G.K.G from Udacity.

And the 10 steps of branding exercise are…

1) Extract explicit short and long term business goals as drivers of Brand Vision

The important step here is developing long term strategy for a brand. You can create a name, a logo, taglines and a set of graphic elements for brand identification purposes to deal with short term marketing communications needs, but you need brand strategy for the long term.

2) Conduct key stakeholder analysis to capture implicit Brand Requirements

This is getting stakeholder (project team members) inputs for brand requirements and their opinions

3) Develop customer needs – Driven segmentation with perspectives on competition and Segment Economics

In this step, we tried to define the direction as to where the company can take its brand in the future based on the existing or potential profitability of targeted customer segments by not assumptions but scenario-based planning.

4) Develop a Brand Vision Linked to the corporate or business unit business strategy

We created, so called, brand vision statement, which should be complementary to the company’s vision statement; sometimes the two are combined. It is the interconnection between aspirations, values, and the brand that is important. It must be simple enough that your customers understand it, and your people get it – and remember it.

5) Develop a Brand Promise

A brand promise is totally different from brand strategy or performance. It is about people. A promise is conveyed by everything people see, hear, touch, taste, or smell about your business. Most importantly, a brand promise humanizes the mission statement and makes it easy for everyone in the organization to understand how company creates value and how they impact the customer experience directly and indirectly in a way that adds or detracts value from it.

6) Develop Brand Positioning

Three questions must be answered. What is the brand for? Who is the brand for? When is the brand for? and who are the brand’s competitors.

7) Develop Brand Personality

This is the emotional character and association in consumer minds about your brand with certain human personality traits, such as, expression, interaction and behaviors, etc.

8) Develop Brand Narrative

It is all about storytelling of your brand, what people say about you and how they connect emotionally with you product or service.

9) Develop a Brand Identity System

This is all about visual thinking and visual aspects of overall brand and its expressions.

10) Translate Brand Promise into Customer Experience Design

Customer experience design is not one-off exercise, this is ongoing needs and no company get it right all the time. This is indeed an execution step between vision and reality and we should not take any weakness in any particular dimension as an excuse to do nothing.

Enjoy building a brand !!!

With that I conclude my blog series about Founders’ life and move on to the next series, Buddha ways of doing business.

P.S All the credit goes to Idris Mootee, author of 60 mins brand strategist , and G.K.G mechanism from Lean start-up, Steve Blank.


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The Founding Team Part II – Collaboration

Category : Business

It’s all about the team, the team and the team.

Yes, With every team member has day job and family, start-up work needs to be as effective as possible whenever each person is working and collaborating to finish several timelines and milestones.

We have been struggling with collaboration tools, both mobile and desktop, at the same time, trying to map our product road map (vision, mission) with the detail product development timeline, in other words, MVP (Minimum Viable Product). You can read definition of MVP here.

So one side of the scale has the right choice of collaboration tools, the other side has Product road map with the right choice of Project Management (both methodology as well as handling tool).

Since we are bootstrapping, we are not looking for seeding or funding at the moment,  searching for free and quality tools have been pain in the ass. Hopefully, below illustrated mechanism would evolve and mature while we grow further.

Here is a glance of our collaboration mechanism. Picture says a thousand words…

Agile+MVP

CollaborationTools

P.S all credit goes to all our founding team members for tireless searching of the right and the fittest tool for our start-up.


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Founders’ life A.K.A the Founding Team Part I

Category : Business

Like any start-up company, we are going through what all other founding teams have been facing for building a successful and scalable business.

With the trust and support by our key partners in Myanmar, we were asked to start-up workshops which would engage value for Entrepreneurs and their followers. We were responsible for facilitating experienced SME Owners, MBA Students and Professional Executives to learn from each other and find solutions for their businesses collaboratively while coaching them at the same time to use the Business Model Canvas as a strategic tool in the workshop.

Yes, we facilitate Business Model Canvas (invented by Alex OsterWalder ) in our workshop, so far we ran 3 workshops in Yangon, Myanmar and 4 workshops in Singapore, with catering to the local flavor (Myanmar Economy).

Here is a brief 2 minutes video about BMC.

 

 

This is really challenging work and even adding more pressure on us as we have to be well versed with the tools, techniques we are talking about and the real world business cases as well.

That is the reason that one of our main strategy is Workshop for Workshop , Start-Up for Start-Up, in other words, what we coach in our workshop are the techniques, models that we adopt, use in our start-up.

And here is BMC model of our workshop and I will leave explanation to the readers as a thought provoke.


Business_Model_Canvas

P.S All credit goes to OsterWalder for the techniques, modelling and 9 building blocks of BMC.


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2015 – The Valley of Death

Category : New Year

I know, It is not good to have  a word “Death” in title especially 2 days after New Year , but bear with me, this is not about actual “Death”, Ah, not an artificial death either.

Again, Bear with me.

I have been seriously busy , super duper busy with all my works in the past 8 months  since I joined the start up group (in My Road to Entrepreneurship II post). Even though I am quite used to my IT work at HP, when everything else is add-on, my daily life , weekly life, monthly life and quarterly life becomes full of schedules. And not to mention, my baby girl Zelda (in Conscious Parent post) has arrived on Oct 2014, which adds in extra duties on mid nights, you know what I am saying if you are a parent.

I do have several goals and schedules like reading, triathlon training, volunteering, corporate training, blogging , day to day HP work, start up work, and last but not least, having family time.

My reading goes like this currently, Dale Carnegie (The Art of Public Speaking) in my home toilet (I have book basket in my toilet), Shefali Tsabary (The Conscious Parent) at my desk at home, Time &&  Business Week at my living and dinning room) and Diamond Cutter (which I read every weekdays over and over again) on my way to work.

I need to remind myself though, to choose the right kind of book to read in my toilet because, right now, practising of famous quotes and speeches is not really a pleasant one in the toilet. You can imagine….

My work out schedule is quite simple one to explain since I am targeting for Triathlon (in Triathlon post). 3 or 4 days a week, each day must include a pair of work out (swim+run) or (swim+cycling) or (run+cycling), any combination will do, with the minimum of 30 mins on swim, minimum 3 km run, minimum 10 km cycling. And I run to Mount Faber (Sentosa), every once in a week, as my office is near by Sentosa.

If I am too lazy or too tired due to work (Gym and swimming pool is at HP office), I skip the routine for the day with just a swim, because, swimming gives your muscle relax and a break away from gravity , will give your body a boost.

Yes, I will come to a death valley thing, bear with me. But, I am sure, right now, if you are reading this, you sense a bit of death, don’t you?

Back to scheduling, as for volunteering (in Volunteering post), I try to find time within a year for one or two events,as for corporate training, I plan to attend at least one or two training related to my corporate career,  and this blogging , plan to publish at least one post on every 2 weeks.

Last but not least, as for my start up work, our group meeting is on every Wednesday and Sunday and the timeline and schedule for this is the most unpredictable one. We do have project plan, but the work done by individuals is based on each person own scheduled time since all group members are like me juggling with day job and start up work.

If I am not doing any of the above mentioned, I am peacefully breathing with my baby girl Zelda. Moments with her are the precious one. All the babies were born attention seekers, if she sense that I am not paying attention to her, she’ll cry or make sounds. In other words, she is teaching me how to become conscious parent and to increase self-awareness all the time. The magnitude of self-awareness is at the highest when I am with her, the second highest one is when I am in work out session.

Without further ado, here comes the death valley thing.

Every start up must goes through following 3 stages if you are properly building a start up company.

  1. Problem Solution Fit – This is where you fit your solution, to the real problem.
  2. Product Market Fit – This is where you fit your product solution to the customer demand of the market.
  3. Business Model Fit – This is where you fit your whole business model (resource, cash capital, product launch, marketing channel, go to market strategy, revenue stream, cost structure) to the real world of business.

valley-of-death

The Valley of Death is between stage 2 and stage 3, meaning either the company is dead (not floating, losing money) or alive (floating, making profit or break even) after going through between stage 2 and stage 3. If the company is successfully going through the Valley of Death, meaning it’s making profit or break even.

And yes, my start up is passing through the valley of death in 2015 together with above mentioned schedules and goals for my personal life and my corporate career.

So I am sure, my title for 2015 is quite valid, at least for me, and to see either I am alive or dead passing through 2015 is  to pass through 2015.

Here I am 2015……

P.S  I plan to write a post only within 1000 words or more, but this one is exceptional, and I hope you bear with me, ah.. not again..