Time and leverage

Leverage, Productivity, scaling

In one of my A-ha moments recently, I learnt a very useful lesson. I keep talking about using leverage (not debt – for those of you who are exposed to financial markets). There are various kinds of leverage – with say automatic machines weaving cloth versus people weaving cloth. Suddenly you have one machine producing more than a 100 weavers could do in a day.

Your wordprocessor and spreadsheets are all examples of leverage. One of the best examples is 80/20 and its fractal derivatives.

But each of these things have their own constraints. What once started by increasing leverage, then becomes standard operations and then you find the constraints in that.

So what was the A-ha moment. Time is limited and is the same for everyone. However leverage is infinite. The more you keep using leverage the more you can get more out of the time you have.

No wonder Aristotle had said – you give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum and I can move the earth.

All the highly productive people are very highly leveraged and if they constantly keep looking for finding leverage points then there’s an infinite amount of productivity they can achieve. Isn’t that amazing.

So a couple of weeks back I spoke about how I am trying to identify points where my brain gives me resistance and try to work my way through those to improve my outcomes.

Now in addition to that I am also looking at how I can find leverage points and see how far I can go.

Will keep you posted on my progress.

Meanwhile if you know of ways to improve leverage, please share in the comments section below.

Till next time.

Carpe Diem!!!

Competition is a good thing

competition, Marketing, Positioning, scaling, Technology

In marketing if someone tells you they don’t have competition – then either there is no market or our person does not know where to play.

In the technology field you may have a window of opportunity of say a few months or maybe a year with your new product, but if you don’t see competition even on the horizon then you could be in the wrong market and that’s the scariest piece for a product management person in the technology field.

Most technology products or services are not born out of a specific need in the market. Most of the times companies keep tinkering and integrating various sub-modules to create a new product which the Product Management people are supposed to take to the market and convince their sales people to sell.

When you compete, a few things happen

  1. It means that there’s a definable market. You can choose a niche within that market where you may have less competition or where you define the niche. Your positioning improves because someone has already taken one slot in the market.
  2. It also means that you can aspire to pick up a larger piece of the market at a later date, so its not a FAD which will disappear as it came
  3. Competition also helps you fine tune your product or service better. Since you see the challenges the competition is facing in providing the same product or service, you can account for it already
  4. When you fight against a better competition you also hone your skills

I always get scared when I don’t see competition, even if its coming from a technology which is “n-1” from what we have, because then we know that there’s a market for the “n-1” at least. We just need to find enough people who have got disillusioned with it.

On the other hand I always admire how big companies like say P&G, Unilever or IBM etc. like to look at picking up a bigger piece of the market. They have such systematised methods to scale. I get to learn so much when they are in competition or when we join hands with one large company and compete against another large company. Its the best place to see how manager’s react , how decisions get made.

As they say, when you play a game against a better competitor you come out the winner either way – if you win, you win, but even when you lose you learn of the multiple things that you didn’t know off.

So always welcome competition.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!