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little vision + small goals + small steps = BIG SUCCESS | by Richard St. John, (cool reading)


Richard St.John logo
http://www.richardstjohn.com

Some successful people have big visions, big goals, and take big leaps. But many do the opposite. They don’t look ahead, set small goals, and take small steps.

Issy Sharp, founder of Four Seasons Hotels, said to me, “People ask what my big vision was for Four Seasons Hotels. But I had no vision ­– ever. I didn’t do this to build a business. I did it to build one hotel. I wasn’t even thinking of doing it again.” And with that approach of little vision, small goals, and small steps, Issy built Four Seasons into the world’s top premier hotel chain.

The problem with setting big goals and taking large leaps is they can be very intimidating, and actually discourage us from ever getting starting. The other approach of setting small goals and taking small steps makes it easier to get going and keep going.

Forrest Sawyer told me the small approach is how he went from being an unknown radio announcer to becoming a famous TV news anchor:(…) Leer más “little vision + small goals + small steps = BIG SUCCESS | by Richard St. John, (cool reading)”

6 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Product Launch

You don’t probably have deep enough pockets to make that mistake even once.

These days it’s pretty common to get a product to 33% launch-ready before releasing. That’s an acceptable, proven practice, but you can still suffer from perfectionism when it comes to beta testing.

How? There are two ways:

Define exactly what 33% is – Do you and your team have a clearly defined picture of 33%? Did you work this into your business plan? Do your investors understand that picture, too?
Who’s responsible for identifying 33%? – An important aspect to a good team is someone who can hold you accountable. If you have a partner, he or she should hold you accountable. If you are a single founder, then you should appoint someone, maybe a mentor, to hold you accountable. If you don’t have this person, you can fall into perfectionism.
It’s important that you communicate clearly what stage your product is in when it launches. Everybody knows that the first generation of Apple products is going to be buggy. That’s why only innovators and early adapters are the only ones who typically pick them up.

Conclusion

You have to work hard to be a successful entrepreneur. You have to put in 80 hours a week and sacrifice time with family and friends. Don’t let a delayed product launch flush all that work down the drain!

What other things can stall a product launch?

About the Author: Neil Patel is the VP of Marketing of KISSmetrics and blogs at Quick Sprout.


 

http://blog.kissmetrics.com

Over the past 10 years I’ve created many businesses. If you looked at my business life on a timeline you would see that my first few businesses didn’t do too well, however, as the years went on I slowly became more successful.

Why? Because I’ve learned from my mistakes.

One mistake I learned to avoid is that you have to move fast when it comes to a product launch. Dragging your feet will kill your launch. Here are six common mistakes that lead to procrastination, and how to avoid them.

1. Not Working Fast Enough

Not meeting your product launch deadline can be deadly. A lot of people are anticipating the launch, including the press and your investors, and if you fail to meet it and don’t have a really good reason, people may doubt your ability in the future.

Even if you and your team think that six months or nine months or whatever time you’ve promised seems like a long time…don’t waste it! Get to work right away as soon as you can. It’s much better to finish before your deadline than it is to finish after.

I think we are all probably guilty of wasting time when we think we have a lot of it. Here’s my recommendation to avoid doing that:

  • Give your team an internal goal – this is the goal that you are not sharing with the public. The purpose of this goal is to keep your team motivated early on.
  • Give yourself time to re-evaluate – Your internal goal should be far enough from the real deadline to give you time to evaluate. As things may not go well.
  • Give yourself meaningful landmarks to hit – Your internal goal should be made up of five or six landmark goals that gauge your progress in a meaningful way. For example, you could set a goal for prototypes, user testing round one, etc.

Also, try to avoid one of the most common mistakes that new entrepreneurs make: never make promises you can’t keep. Leer más “6 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Product Launch”

How to Stay On Track for Your Goals

What big goals do you have at the moment? Perhaps you’re trying to lose weight, get fit, write a book, redecorate the house, or start your own business. Maybe you’re tackling several different goals all at once.

Often, it’s easy to feel motivated and inspired at the start of a new goal: we start new diets on Mondays, or begin new years’ resolutions on January 1st, and things go smoothly for a few days. Sadly, that initial enthusiasm soon wanes – and it’s easy to end up abandoning our goals.


Written by Ali Luke - http://www.pickthebrain.com

What big goals do you have at the moment? Perhaps you’re trying to lose weight, get fit, write a book, redecorate the house, or start your own business. Maybe you’re tackling several different goals all at once.

Often, it’s easy to feel motivated and inspired at the start of a new goal: we start new diets on Mondays, or begin new years’ resolutions on January 1st, and things go smoothly for a few days. Sadly, that initial enthusiasm soon wanes – and it’s easy to end up abandoning our goals.

Here’s how you can stay on track with your goals, whatever they are >>> Leer más “How to Stay On Track for Your Goals”

Is Gamification Right for Your Business? 7 Things to Consider

This year has lent itself to a slew of new buzzwords, andgamification is easily one of the most buzzed about in the marketing industry.

Businesses clamored this year to understand the concept of gamification and apply it to their digital and mobile products, offering badges and points galore … but how many of them actually understand the point of gamifying or if it’s even useful for their business goals?

Dustin DiTommaso, the experience design director at design studio Mad*Pow, recently spoke about designing meaningful interactions through game design thinking during his presentation at Geekend 2011, a techie conference presented by BFG Communications.

DiTommaso explained his framework for gamification and dished out seven essential steps for approaching the subject. Read on for a thorough encounter of DiTommaso’s model for creating more meaningful interactions and successful business goals, and let us know your thoughts on his method in the comments below.

1. Consider Why You Want to Gamify

Yes, gamification is a sexy word. No, it isn’t right for every business.

DiTommaso recommends that businesses looking to gamify their products or services ask themselves three critical questions before moving on:

What is the reason for gamifying your product or service?
How does it benefit the user?
Will they enjoy it?
If you can answer these questions with confidence, if gamification seems like a good fit for your business’ product or service and if the users enjoy it, then move on to exploring your business goals. DiTommaso recommends exploring the following three questions:

What are your business goals?
How do get the users to fulfill those business goals?
What actions do you want users to take?
If this exploratory phase yields positive feedback, your business is ready to move into user research.

2. Identify Your Users

It isn’t enough to understand your business goals when considering gamification — you also need to understand your users and what motivates them. Research your users before you begin designing your gamified product, focusing on how they use your software, what they want and what motivates them.

DiTommaso laid out a number of questions to help businesses achieve research-inspired design:

Who are your users?
What are their needs and goals? Why are they playing?
What’s holding them back from achieving their potential? Is it lack of volition (belief that completing the task at hand is valuable) or lack of faculty (ability to complete the task)?
What is their primary playing style (solo, competitive, cooperative)?
Who are they playing with?
What social actions do they find enjoyable, and why?
What metrics do they care about?
Game designers must also understand what motivates users to play their games. There are a number of motivational drivers, but DiTommaso recommends simplifying to four key factors. Decide if your users are motivated by:

Achievement of goals or enjoyment of experience
Structure and guidance or freedom to explore
Control of others or connecting with others
Self-interest in actions or social interest in actions
Knowing these details about users and their motivations will assist game designers in determining how the game should be laid out, how much autonomy to allow, what the users’ goals should be and so on. Let’s explore exactly what comes next in the designing process.


by 10
http://mashable.com/2011/12/24/gamification-for-business/

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

This year has lent itself to a slew of new buzzwords, andgamification is easily one of the most buzzed about in the marketing industry.

Businesses clamored this year to understand the concept of gamification and apply it to their digital and mobile products, offering badges and points galore … but how many of them actually understand the point of gamifying or if it’s even useful for their business goals?

Dustin DiTommaso, the experience design director at design studio Mad*Pow, recently spoke about designing meaningful interactions through game design thinking during his presentation at Geekend 2011, a techie conference presented by BFG Communications.

DiTommaso explained his framework for gamification and dished out seven essential steps for approaching the subject. Read on for a thorough encounter of DiTommaso’s model for creating more meaningful interactions and successful business goals, and let us know your thoughts on his method in the comments below.


1. Consider Why You Want to Gamify


Yes, gamification is a sexy word. No, it isn’t right for every business.

DiTommaso recommends that businesses looking to gamify their products or services ask themselves three critical questions before moving on:

  • What is the reason for gamifying your product or service?
  • How does it benefit the user?
  • Will they enjoy it?

If you can answer these questions with confidence, if gamification seems like a good fit for your business’ product or service and if the users enjoy it, then move on to exploring your business goals. DiTommaso recommends exploring the following three questions:

  • What are your business goals?
  • How do get the users to fulfill those business goals?
  • What actions do you want users to take?

If this exploratory phase yields positive feedback, your business is ready to move into user research.


2. Identify Your Users


It isn’t enough to understand your business goals when considering gamification — you also need to understand your users and what motivates them. Research your users before you begin designing your gamified product, focusing on how they use your software, what they want and what motivates them.

DiTommaso laid out a number of questions to help businesses achieve research-inspired design:

  • Who are your users?
  • What are their needs and goals? Why are they playing?
  • What’s holding them back from achieving their potential? Is it lack of volition (belief that completing the task at hand is valuable) or lack of faculty (ability to complete the task)?
  • What is their primary playing style (solo, competitive, cooperative)?
  • Who are they playing with?
  • What social actions do they find enjoyable, and why?
  • What metrics do they care about?

Game designers must also understand what motivates users to play their games. There are a number of motivational drivers, but DiTommaso recommends simplifying to four key factors. Decide if your users are motivated by:

  • Achievement of goals or enjoyment of experience
  • Structure and guidance or freedom to explore
  • Control of others or connecting with others
  • Self-interest in actions or social interest in actions

Knowing these details about users and their motivations will assist game designers in determining how the game should be laid out, how much autonomy to allow, what the users’ goals should be and so on. Let’s explore exactly what comes next in the designing process.


3. Frame Goals and Objectives Leer más “Is Gamification Right for Your Business? 7 Things to Consider”

7 Steps To Motivate Yourself

If you want to achieve success and make things happen, then you probably know that you need to have the ability to motivate yourself. Everyone seeks to motivate himself to achieve success and prosperity, but many do not know how.

How do you motivate yourself?

To learn how to motivate yourself, follow the quick guide below:

1. Have a reason

One of the strongest motives to motivate yourself is that you have a reason. This reason will inspire you and make you do whatever it takes to challenge all of the obstacles, so you can achieve your goals. If your desire and reasons are normal, then you might get motivated temporarily. The strong desires that make you think and dwell on your goals are the strong motives that will keep you moving forward.

2. Have a great goal

Have a goal that you want to achieve. Having a great goal is crucial because it is very difficult to motivate yourself if you don’t have a specific goal that you want to accomplish.


http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/7-steps-to-motivate-yourself/

If you want to achieve success and make things happen, then you probably know that you need to have the ability to motivate yourself.  Everyone seeks to motivate himself to achieve success and prosperity, but many do not know how.

How do you motivate yourself?

To learn how to motivate yourself, follow the quick guide below:

1.  Have a reason

One of the strongest motives to motivate yourself is that you have a reason.  This reason will inspire you and make you do whatever it takes to challenge all of the obstacles, so you can achieve your goals.  If your desire and reasons are normal, then you might get motivated temporarily.  The strong desires that make you think and dwell on your goals are the strong motives that will keep you moving forward.

2.  Have a great goal

Have a goal that you want to achieve.  Having a great goal is crucial because it is very difficult to motivate yourself if you don’t have a specific goal that you want to accomplish. Leer más “7 Steps To Motivate Yourself”

Micro vs Macro: Using “Success Factors” To Manage Your Team

So what’s the secret to great MACRO management? Defining and then reinforcing “success factors.”

“Success factors” are the specific attributes for each person to be successful in his/her job. For example, a great “Office Manager” is (1) extremely organized, (2) has a great attention to detail, (3) understands the operations of the business, and (4) is comfortable working with different personalities. These four attributes are success factors.

A great MACRO manager states these success factors up front to someone hired for such a job. And then, over time, would consistently reinforce them – and support their development – going forward.

Everyone on your team should know (and agree) on the “success factors” for their role. When you check in periodically with folks on your team, you should restate the success factors and discuss what each person is doing to develop them over time. Industry conferences, workshops, and continuing education all lend themselves to addressing one’s success factors.

Rather than obsess over day-to-day performance, consider your team’s success factors on a consistent basis. By doing so, you will develop one of your own success factors – your capacity to MACRO manage!


Every creative leader faces the challenge of building and managing a team. Finding the right folks is half the battle. After you find them, it is your responsibility to manage the team. Great management happens on both a
“micro” level and a “macro” level. Micro-management – not the notoriously negative “micromanagement,” but rather what I call the MICRO aspect of management – is all about the day-to-day management that keeps the team on track.

A great MICRO manager asks questions like:

  • What are the deadlines for a particular project?
  • How do we measure progress (and are we making progress)?
  • Is there sufficient feedback exchange?
  • How do we promote more accountability within the team?

But what about the MACRO part of management? Beyond your day-to-day role as a manager, you must also consider each person‘s career trajectory. Leer más “Micro vs Macro: Using “Success Factors” To Manage Your Team”