Thursday, November 18, 2010

From The Silicon Valley to Social Networking - Takeaways

Yes. You guessed right, the motivation behind this post! If you haven't, then I am sure by the time you would have finished reading this post, you will understand. WORRY NOT. Read on....

It was just plain coincidence that I happened to watch both "The Social Network" and "Pirates of The Silicon Valley", recently. Both happen to be amazing movies in their own right. While "The Social Network" talks about how a very simple idea revolutionalized the face of social networking to a whole new level (Well. The movie, per se, talks about the rivalry within the "co-founders" of Facebook. But the underlying, i.e. Facebook, certainly has changed the face of social networking! So much so that I have even incorporated a similar "like" button for each and every post on this blog!), "Pirates of the Silicon Valley" talks about the intense rivalry between two very ambitions groups of people trying to get complete access to an industry that has changed the way the world works.

But in both these movies (Which are actual stories, though the story depicted in "The Social Network" has been denied by Mark Zuckerberg), there are a whole host of takeaways for you and me, the viewer, other than the fact that you may have just seen a very good movie. And had great pop corn. Not surprisingly, there are a lot of similarities in all these stories, and also in other success stories, like Youtube, Twitter, etc.

And here I am, like Lord Krishna to Arjuna, to show you the light. Hopefully, these words of wisdom will actually be what it is... words of wisdom! A Bhagwad Gita to good business, some may say!

Takeaway 1 : Nerds are my new best friends!

Let's face it. With the growing number of "enlightened" souls giving the CAT every year, and relying on the survival kit to get their coveted "jobs" in the market, there is as hell no shortage of businessmen to befriend. But, nerds who do cocky stuff and get caught hacking some computer or car or whatever? Few and far between! And all you need is some money in your pocket. Well, your post-graduate degree takes care of that! (Well, considering what I and my batch of fellow MBAs went through, I myself would beg to differ. But, to get into these B-schools in the first place, you would need lots of money. And I am pretty sure you will have enough to make your nerdy friend happy!)

All you engineering programing people who can program the complexest of codes. I AM YOUR NEW BESTEST FRIEND! The same applies to nerds in any other field/industry too.

Takeaway 2 : Never go solo.

Other than the fact that you don't have the expertise to come up with a great idea (at least I think as of now I don't, especially after my post-graduation), there is no way that you will be able to make your million billion gazillion dollar idea work, if you do it alone. In all the success cases described above, you see more than one brain behind it.

Group dynamics of the group is also very VERY important. There is always that bespectacled, freckle haired, bearded nerd grouped with the outspoken, suited up businessman. Which is why Takeaway 1 is all that more important.

Takeaway 3 : It's always in the simple ideas.

The concept. The thing that makes the mind of a nerd work. That is the thing that distinguishes a Facebook from a ...ummm.... BeOS (What in the world is THAT?! BeOS- The Wiki, for those who want to know. Apparently a disaster.) 

YouTube is a classic example of this. A simple idea. Sharing videos with everyone else. What does it fetch? A cool $1.65 billion dollars to the original founders.

WHY CAN'T ANY SUCH IDEAS COME TO ME!!! Again, I think Takeaway 1 is very important, for this takeaway to work. Let the nerds come with the ideas. As long as you have the initial money, this is something that we, the now extremely common MBA, need not worry about.

Takeaway 4 : GET INTO HARVARD!

What's Harvard got that IIM/MDI/FMS etc. ain't got? What's this with people studying in Harvard and getting these amazingly brilliant ideas? Is it that they cannot get it anywhere else? Why do these people get it ONLY AFTER GETTING INTO HARVARD? Why not before? Why am I asking so many questions? Why is there a lion standing right in front of you? (HA! If you had fallen asleep reading all those questions, then GOTCHA! If not, then.. still would have read it! HA!)

Bottom line. HARVARD ki jai ho!

Takeaway 5 : Word of mouth works!

There is a very subtle difference between gossip, and word of mouth (or word of e-mail, in this day and age of technology)

With gossip, the initial message sent will be completely different from the final message received on the other end. And with it, goes the idea behind sending the initial message in the first place. A message like "A has a crush on B", almost invariably ends up becoming "A has proposed to B and has also slept with him/her!!". 

With word of mouth, on the other hand, the exact same idea/theme/message is sent across. And this goes on and on and on, till  a whole lot of people get to know of the idea. This is exactly how Facebook/Gmail/Youtube/Kamikaze's Konundrums became famous (I keep high optimistic expectations, you see.)

Takeaway 6 : The girls come alongwith the idea.

Get the idea. Or buy the idea. Just be associated with an idea. And the girls will come flocking to you! (OK. This probably was taken just from "The Social Network". Nevertheless, a notable observation it is! Even otherwise, once you have the moolah, the women come along, no?)

YES! That everlasting non answerable Konundrum that has been screwing my head up all these years has been answered!! Well, WHOOPDEDOO!!

Only one slight problem. The idea. It still eludes me. Hence, every woman eludes me. It's akin to saying "I don't have the idea. Therefore I am single" (You know, similar to "I think. Therefore I am." Get it? No? OK then ...)

I am pretty sure that someone will copy these takeaways and come up with some big idea of their own (Again. High expectations I have of blog viewership.) And that is when I will....

Takeaway 7 : Cash in when you get the opportunity.

Suing gives you the opportunity to make millions. So what if the other party concerned is making billions? If there is something wrong, and you are involved. CASH IN! And live a life of AWE...wait for it...SOME...wait for it again...NESS.

Well, these are the takeaways that I took from these enterprising, amazing discoveries/inventions. I am sure that you would have also taken something away from these movies/stories. I would love to hear them out!


sid said...

Dude, you dont need any money to get into FMS. :-) :D
FMS rocks

Kartik Krishnamoorthy said...

True. FMS is really cheap. But still, you earn enough to have a nerd as a friend! :P