Calling All Student Entrepreneurs: Tell Us About Your Startup

Annual roundup: Top insights, ideas, & strategies of 2012

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Dec 31, 2012
2012

2012 is about to say goodbye. Many of us have already started to review the good and bad of 2012 and started planning to live a better life in coming year-2013. For start-ups, specially Bangladeshi, 2012 was a really good year with too many good initiatives to inspire, support and to accelerate entrepreneurship in Bangladesh. At Future StartUp we've tried our best to come to use to our readers with interesting and insightful interviews, ideas, strategies, reviews and posts on various issues. Obviously, there were many more to do and we are aware of that. But we are neither pessimist nor callous. In comings days we'll review intensively all of our activities in 2012 and we'll take lessons to make coming year, 2013, a much better year for our readers, well-wishers, and patrons. In this post we'll be looking back to some of our popular posts of 2012.

Wish you all a very wonderful 2013.

On Starting-up:

1. Why it is so hard to start your first venture?

What holds us back on our journey to start anything? There are not one but more reasons. One of those is uncertainty. The path of starting up is dark and you can’t see or forecast a thing. And we hate uncertainty more than anything. You don’t know what will happen, don’t know whether it’s going to be a pass or fail. But remember if you don’t start nothing will happen. Start anyway!

2. Streetpreneur (Street entrepreneur): An unconventional conversation with an unconventional entrepreneur

Rafiq, a young man in his 25-30, and a street entrepreneur on his own right! Well, I’m sure you’ve already started wondering that what the hell this “street entrepreneur”thing is. Let me make it clear. If you are living in Dhaka city then you must know them. They sit on street with something moveable with their varieties of accessories, some sells shoes, some sells plastic materials, some sells mobile covers etc.

Rafiq is like all of them. There in Neilkeht, on my bad day, I met Rafiq. Although it’s a off day here, he however, opened his shop (on street). His business is mobile cover, headphones, money bags, and few other trifle accessories that I can’t remember name now. As it was a off day, so there was not many customers to deal with and Rafiq was in a quasi-leisure mode. So, I approached him with a purpose to talk and to know about his life. And we had a long conversation on various things. I asked him about his life, business and few other things. At the end I felt like: this is my best experience of the day.

3. Management decisions on ‘Human Resources’ at StartUp

Human resource (HR) is one of the four most important resources of an enterprise which occupies overall productivity. Among the necessary resources of an enterprise managing human resources is more critical because it deals with ever unpredictable creature-Human. While organizing an enterprise in its startup level, an entrepreneur probably faces the majority difficulties in managing and maintaining human resources. But, what do we mean by human resources?

4. Leadership in action: Startup cases

Working alone and working with a team can never be a same thing.

5. Starting Business in Bangladesh: Documents you need to get SME loan from Banks/Financial Institutions

To take SME loan from any Bank or financial institution you need numbers of document that many of SME loan seekers don’t know. Hope this post will come to a help to them. A checklist of documents you need to get SME loan from a bank or Financial Institution.

6. Starting a Business in Bangladesh: Procedures, Time & Costs

A detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal procedure a startup entrepreneur must overcome in order to incorporate and register a new firm, along with their associated time and set-up costs in Bangladesh. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with up to 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy’s per-capita gross national income (GNI).

Insights:

7. Persistence does not win: Know when to stop

Thomas Edison did not try same thing in same way over and over again. He gave up apparently when he found a way of doing anything is wrong. In fact we know that doing same thing again and again at expecting a different result is insane. The example we often put enthusiastically that, never give up like Thomas Edison is fundamentally flawed. And the way we often put it serves the status Quo not courage and success.

8. Choice

Everything begins when you make a choice. In fact it’s choice what makes us who we are; our day to day choices.

9. Courage and the capacity to take risk are fundamental to entrepreneurship-Ray Stata to MIT 2010 Graduates

Your satisfaction and happiness in life depend on the choices you make and on the principles and values which guide them. So far your choices have served you extremely well. 

10.Do you know yourself sufficiently? What makes us who we are?

Our characters are not like building that does not move rather it is life’s walk that shape us through out. As we walk through hard and soft paths of our life we become who we are and we change our colors time to time based on varying conditions and Eco-system we live in. Our behavior is largely a reflection of what we read, where we go, what we watch, and with whom we are. Popular believes that goes with the idea of self control and the character can largely reshaped by this idea. Shaping our character is useless rather we should focus on shaping something else, and that is our environment, our bookmark tabs, our bookshelf, our friend list, our cloths, and our watching list.

11. In the age of ideological perplexity

Every success requires some sort of impetus from an ideological ground. For sustainable and long term survival and growth an initiative must have it philosophical and ideological feet. Culture, values, traits of particular society coupled with other attributes construct viewpoint of particular person within that society. While globalization, social media, massive information flow, use of modern web-based technologies, etc have opened large window of opportunity for our young generation at the same time overwhelming amount of information flow makes them ideologically perplexed.

Strategy +Insight again:

12. The only thing that matters is the only thing that last

There are things that start brightly and end quickly and there are things that do neither of both. You have to choose either one. What do you want? Things that are bright but unsustainable or things that live long. For start-ups challenges lie in creating a culture, working on a certain goal without losing the ground and in delivering something remarkable that talks about itself and that does not require a continuous push to sell.

13. Lessons from Sir Fazle Hasan Abed on building high performing Enterprise

“Find new ways of responding to the needs of the people you serve”, and always remain a “learning organization.”

14. An Essential Guide to Pricing Strategy

A 1% improvement in your pricing strategy equates to an average increase in profits of 11.1%. It’s that important.

15. Management decisions on ‘Human Resources’ at StartUp

16. Common sense and the Un-cool ad of Kool

What to tell to ignite a conversation or provoke a thought or what to tell to convince someone to make a purchase or what to tell someone to do the job is not rocket science. It’s mere common sense. From that point of view, BBA (major in marketing) alone does not make you a better marketer.  

Doing right thing when required is not a skill, it is willingness, consciousness, responsiveness. It’s both good and bad news that, marketing, as a popular science, is largely an act of common sense.

17. Shortcut and the Destiny 2000 Ltd

No matter how much we like or dislike taking shortcuts, we do seek shortcuts. In almost every sphere of our life, sometimes, we intend to find a way that may make us millionaire overnight, or brilliant instantly, and so on. We love to have best mark in exam by studying only in night before exam, we want to have best writing standard just by writing few articles and so forth.

18. Imprudence

Every Brand has promises to fulfill. Acts to be performed. Purpose to be driven by. All these are good. And when you fulfill your promise, perform your action, walk your purpose, don’t hesitate to tell them loud. But wait before telling aloud when you fall short.

19. Quotable: A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.

We search for information when we need to decide over what movie to watch, what fish to buy, what car to choose, what song to listen and so on. It is interesting that we have access to information to make better decisions, in our personal life, social life and in our professional life. However, is the information, for making decisions, always good? Answer better be drawn from back.

20. 10 ideas on making something happen

We often wonder how some people are capable of extraordinary feat, what draws the segregation line between people who make things happen and who can’t and how can we, average people, accomplish more? the answers to these questions are not simple. However, we have people and examples to understand the underlying magic of what it takes to make things happen. Entrepreneurs like Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Jack Dorsey, Ben Kaufman, Joe Kraus, Max Levchin, Sabeer Bhatia and organizations like Pixar, Studio 7.5, Google, tell us how to make ideas happen. By decoding their approaches to work and initiative we can get comprehensive clues about what it takes to create momentum, how to build successful businesses, and how to chase dreams and catch them.

21. People matter: why you should have a great co-founder

Start-up is a lot of work. Down the line to underpin your world together you must have support and a co-founder can be the best source of energy and sauce you need. Any start-up typically takes two to three years to stand, this time can vary both in up and down, and throughout the path it is like riding a roller coaster, once you got up you just wait to stop and to get out. Having great people who can handle both the speed of roller coaster and support each other is important.

22. Startup hiring: how to hire great people

As a start-up you must have a well thought plan on how can you hire great people. We are here to help you to make your hiring job smoother. Pick any of following tips or all to pick and choose your right person from the crowd.

22. The Economist’s pricing: The art of using free in your pricing

Pricing is an intricate decision indeed. Purchasing behavior of customers are largely affected by the price when a customer expose to a product. Although, economic theory adequately put that, price and demand has an inverse relation and higher price induces lower demand but in the field things have been blurred too much due to groundbreaking changes and now, then and often higher price induces higher demand, but one has to be strategic and a bit more calculative.

23. Organization Vs Person: Focusing on Growth & Sustainability

Here lies the essence of decentralization of power and authority that makes an organization strong  in every bit and makes it sustainable. By this way a leader can be great even not being indispensable. Ultimately, a person can create an organization, but with a great culture and system his organization can turn to be greater than him.

Face to Face:

1. The Rise of Women Entrepreneurs: An unlikely conversation With Sabila Enun of DCastalia

Sabila Enun is an entrepreneur and a woman-a combination that our society does not see often. Currently, she’s working as a Project Manager at DCastalia, a company she engaged with since its birth. Along with her entrepreneurial pursuit Sabila also serves to number of national and international organizations as a consultant and trainer. We spoke to Sabila to understand what makes her different and we are amazed after knowing her spirit to deal with challenges and works. She pursues things that she wants to the end and she said she is a doer-two attributes we love most.

2. Face to face with Selima Ahmad, Founder & President, Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Selima Ahmad is president and founder of the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI), which represents the interests and supports the initiatives of women entrepreneurs. As a successful businesswomen herself with long-standing experience in the private sector, she took the initiative to form a chamber of commerce devoted exclusively to facilitating the advancement of women entrepreneurs. As a recognition of her work she has won prestigious Islamic Development Bank (IDB) prize 2012 for best women entrepreneurs along with number of other recognitions. Recently we talked to her at BWCCI office to share her experience and ideas on entrepreneurship, women entrepreneurship in Bangladesh, success and many other issues.

3. “Don’t let anyone tell you can’t do it – not even you”: Q & A with Maya Founder Ivy Huq Russell

I would say my purpose in life changed from the time to time but my underlying passion has always been helping people in any way possible. Since leaving the world of Finance I really wanted to explore my inner creative side and I embarked on a journey to help women in Bangladesh in way that hasn’t really ever been tried before.

4. Face to face with Iraj Islam, Co-founder and CTO, NewsCred

I fell in love with design and programming early in life and later discovered my true passion, entrepreneurship; the art and science of creating disproportionate value from limited resources, also known as “creating something out of nothing.” It’s one of those things that takes a long time to master because it’s the intersection of many different disciplines; ideation, innovation, product development, design, marketing, management, psychology, finance etc.

5. Face to Face with Nazmul Hassan, Founder & CEO, Watermelon Communication

I believe in using and harnessing other people’s knowledge and experience, which is why I like to work holistically, within a team. I also believe that, if you want to transform your life, you need the help of others – powerful relationships with people who give you support and access, and push you to exceed your potential.

I trust my own instinct and ability to do almost anything I set my mind to. If an idea or project is good and worthwhile, I’ll always consider it seriously, even if I have never done it, or thought about it before. Looking, Listing, Learning – these are the things we should do all our lives, not just at school.

What to Read: Books

1. Talent is overrated. Without focus and endurance you can’t accomplish anything: Haruki Murakami

Everything holds philosophy. What you need is eyes to see them. Somerset Maugham once wrote that in each shave lies a philosophy. With regular attendance to an action we makes it ritual and subsequently turns it into contemplative and meditative work.

2. A 5 step formula for producing ideas

In learning any art the important things to learn are, first, Principles; and second, Method. This is true of the art of producing ideas. So with the art of producing ideas. What is most valuable to know is not where to look for a particular idea, but how to train the mind in the method by which ideas are produced; and how to the principles which are the source of all ideas.

3. Tuesday with Morrie: Life’s greatest lessons from death bed

“Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing, but you are bound to do something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it should not. You take certain things for granted, even when you know you should never take anything granted. A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. And most of us live somewhere in the middle.”

4. “Tastes like chicken” isn’t a compliment: be remarkable

What if you’re the cheapest, the fastest, the slowest, the hottest, the coldest, the easiest, the most efficient, the loudest, the most hated, the copycat, the outsider, the hardest, the oldest, the newest, the . . . most! If there’s a limit, you should (must) test it.


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