Abhishek Rai

Head Boy, Shack. Making Build Your Community for #cmgrs .

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Not all that technology replaces is obsolete

I admire Kathy Sierra. She is a programmer, activist, speaker and writer.

I have learnt a lot from her blog ’Creating Passionate Users’. She always stresses that the best go to market strategy is to out-teach your competitors.

In 2012 I started working on ‘Build Your Community’ . I had a mission. I wanted to empower social media professionals. I wanted to build a tool for them. Using the tool they could assess the health of their communities, take right decisions and showcase their importance.

I faltered.

I did not engage the community of social media professionals. I did not educate. I did not explain why am I building the tool. I am working on that. I keep going back to her blogs and talks.

Kathy reiterates in her keynotes that the bigger mission or the context is more important than the tool or the product. Recently she wrote a book; Badass: Making Users Awesome. It’s a must...

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Secret Of Overnight Success

Overnight success is a scam. The idea of instant greatness, richness and fame lures many. A philosopher said that life is a pathless land. Similarly building a business, big or small, also is a pathless land.

Instagram looks like a breeze, Snapchat seems like an undergrad project and the guy next to you got funding in a jiffy. In reality it takes endless hours of hustling. Uncertainty is the order of the day. Vulnerability is the name of the game.

It’s counterintuitive to embrace the constant hustle, uncertainty and struggle. Though, that is the only way to find one’s own path. Following are three examples how people built something through gruelling hours of work and incessant grinding.

Pinterest “That wasn’t how it happened with Pinterest. Its early gains were the result of laborious word-of-mouth marketing, with Silbermann leaning on everyone in his network to spread the word...

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80% Of Success Is Showing Up

Tren Griffin writes an interesting blog called 25IQ. Every weekend he shares a dozen or so sayings from successful businessmen, founders and personalities. It is not just interesting, but very inspiring.

Recently he shared Steve Blank’s sayings, a VC who is credited to floating the idea of lean start up first.

He writes that 80% of success depends on showing up, starting, putting things out, shipping, doing …

You don’t have to be the smartest person, but showing up is 80% of the game. My career has been all about just showing up and people saying, ‘Who’s here? Blank is here. Let’s pick him.’ Volunteering and showing up has been a great thing for me. But all along the way, I’ve always been very good at pattern recognition. Picking signal out of noise. Not smarter than everyone else, but more competent perhaps at seeing patterns.” Things like being on time, being there when leaders...

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What’s a brand?

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Three words maketh that question.

Today I came across a post by Ashish Sinha of Next Big What. He writes,“You Know You Are A Brand When You Are Part of Conversations.”

On reading the post I asked him what about other brands which are not as big as Facebook, Google or Apple? He answered that the rest are utilitarian brands and not part of everyone’s life.

It got me thinking. I looked around.

So, what is a brand?

Let’s hear from the experts.

Simon Clift says,“a brand is the contract between a company and consumers”.

Dan Wieden, legendary ad-man and founder of advertising agency Wieden & Kennedy says,“ Brands are verbs. Nike exhorts. IBM solves. Sony dreams”.

Good read: How Brands Were Born

Well, it’s all about the market. The market can be of carriages, cars, garments, perfumes, electronics, computers, software, ad platforms disguised as social platforms or anything which...

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If you only do one thing, do this

Immediately after every lecture, meeting, or any significant experience, take 30 seconds — no more, no less — to write down the most important points. If you always do just this, said his grandfather, and even if you only do this, with no other revision, you will be okay.

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Focus on product or marketing? None.

There are so many questions. 6a00d83451b44369e200e54f0d40ff8833-800wi.jpg Image–> Creating Passionate Users

Should I focus on sales? Should I focus on customer care? Should I build more features in the product? Should I look for speaking assignments? Should I reach out to the editor of the magazine and offer to write free for her?

When you have built a product, and you are looking to find the users and eventual customers, the mind plays games. I have recently launched Build Your Community. And, the quest is on to meet more and more users and sign them as customers.

Recently I met someone who asked me to change the architecture of the tool so that he can use it as white label for his brands. The offer was exciting, but then we would have lost control. Then I have been thinking of asking a magazine to write about us, but then there are no free lunches. I am sure I will have to return the favour many times over.

Then there...

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Are Community Managers Dipshits?

1337574015585_7701277.pngLong story short: A blogger picks up seven random examples from the brand pages, writes witty comments on them and declares that the entire social media thinks that customers have the power of the baked potatoes. He also cites the example of an ad man, who taught him that one should always think of customers as smarter than themselves. Profound words of wisdom.

I have two things to say to ‘copy ranter’. In other story these very people you are dissing might be your customers. Two, a wiser zenmaster said that one only sees the projection of the self. I rest my case here and will briefly describe why social media managers or community managers are not what you think.

One, it was not as if the game changing iPhone arrived the day cellular communication was invented. Before that there were phones from Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson and Sony. Some of them sucked and some did not. But, you see...

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How to stumble upon your passion and then work of your choice? Both may be different.

What is passion It’s always fascinating to watch Steve Jobs’ videos. Most of us must remember his Stanford speech, where he stresses to follow one’s passion. Listening to him one tends to believe (a good example of reality distortion field) that finding one’s passion and pursuing it will be an easy task. Well, it is definitely not easy, it is hard.

In simpler words passion happens when you kick ass in something The question arises how to kick ass in something? You can not kick ass in something just because you are having fun doing something. You will only do it more. Watch this video by Kathy Sierra to know more about passion - http://businessofsoftware.org/2013/02/kathy-sierra-building-the-minimum-badass-user-business-of-software-a-masterclass-in-thinking-about-software-product-development/

Find your passion in 4 Steps There are people like me who are trying to build things or people...

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