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Showing posts from June, 2008

Company Culture - By Sanjay Anandaram

This is about two companies. Or rather, about the cultures of two very successful and well known companies. As invariably happens, the culture of a company, over time, reflects the beliefs and values of the founders and impacts its performance on multiple dimensions.

One company was started by a group of middle class, educated, aware, passionate individuals. The other was a traditional Indian trading company that was inherited by the foreign returned scion. Capital was scarce for the first company and not so scarce for the latter. Both companies had strong value systems and were determined not to become part of or contribute to the endemic corruption and sloth around them. Hard work and attention to detail were common to both. The foreign returned scion hired a professional management team that enabled him to diversify into newer businesses. The first company stuck to their knitting – perhaps not knowing anything else to do.

The first company had a strong awareness of its social milieu …

WHAT BUSINESS AM I IN? - By Sanjay Anandaram

Quick, which companies come to mind when you read the following?

- “Relationships Matter.”
- “Broadcast Yourself.”
- “____________ is a social utility that connects you with the people around you.”

Each of the above describes an internationally leading company on the Internet. I’ve picked these as examples to illustrate a point. Namely, the importance of being able to describe your business in simple language to an average consumer. Or, as one venture capitalist likes to question eager entrepreneurs “How would you explain your business to your grandmother?” This may sound trite and facetious but has a very important purpose. Answering this question requires one to articulate what the objectives of your company are to your target customers in simple language. Many times, entrepreneurs when asked to describe their business use complicated and vague sentences peppered with jargon. I like to term it “buzz-word compliance.” Consider this example, “we leverage technological innovations to …