All Posts in discussion

October 30, 2012 - No Comments!

The Making Of A Team

In startups, passion is your best friend and your worst enemy. It can drive a team towards a solid future and just as quickly tear them apart. The great news is that passion has such a powerful effect when used in the right way.

We (Kickfolio) are a very passionate team. We all have different viewpoints, understandings and directions and passionately discuss them amongst ourselves. Sometimes the passion unites us. Other times, the passion is so strong that the other founder(s) don't connect with it straight away.

This moment naturally creates a small wedge of opportunity for us all to learn, connect and grow. In that moment, we are challenged to find a way to work together and understand where the others passion is coming from. What is driving that opinion? What are the core values behind that passion?

During that time, we are heated. Professionally heated of course, in a way in which we can see the light at the end of the tunnel but we don't know which steps we will take to walk towards it. Ideas are thrown around, concepts are carved into the path and actionable steps are taken towards a combined direction.

I'm not going to lie, at times it's incredibly tense during those moments. Passion is intense. Quite often, the original passion is funneled into an activity that may only be present for a short amount of time before it can be merged into the bigger vision at a later stage. It can be overwhelming, frustrating and exhausting. But often (even during those moments) I am reminded that it has to be this way. We WANT it to be this way.

Without passion, there is a weak connection in any team. Without passion, the direction of a company can be pushed into a completely obscure path, straying close to immoral directions or fad-like areas. This is not what any of us want. We all want to direct the company towards a place that is held in high moral regard and value. We want something we can be proud of just as much as our customers.

This is why we respect our individual and passionate views. This is why we work everyday to align those various passions to strengthen the company from the ground up.

The alignment of passion - this is what really makes a team.

August 10, 2011 - No Comments!

10 Critical Steps To Naming Your App

So you've just come up with the greatest app idea and now you need a name. Do you take the old pen and paper route or do you look for what's available in the digital world? Let's walk-through the 10 critical steps to naming your app.

The Simple Idea:
Side by side discussion platform.

1. Know The Idea Inside Out

Take the time to get to know the idea in detail. Bounce off the people in your team, the path the business is travelling on and who you are planning on marketing to. This will help you formulate the brand in a much better light for the target audience.

The Detailed Idea:
A side by side discussion and debating platform similar to a commenting system. Marketing will be directed to corporate and general users. The team will be focusing on early iteration, organic growth and rapid feedback development.

2. Keywords Are King

Once you know the business idea inside and out formulate a list of keywords that simply describe the app. For this I use the notes on my iPhone, but it really could be any piece of software that allows typing. You could use a pen and paper, but it's not that easy to copy and paste from a physical notepad.

Keywords:
Discussion, Debate, Conversation, Agree, Disagree, Like & Dislike.

3. The Digital Brainstorm

Now that we have our descriptive keywords, work with them one by one in a tool like nxdom.com and browse the Thesaurus. I used nxdom to string together keywords with random beginnings or endings and often find something I like. While this tool is supposed to find available domains occasionally a claimed one surfaces - just make sure you check for available names with a domain service like Hostmonster.

During Brainstorm:
"Dogfight" was found during research (similar to debate). This lead me down the path to a dog themed name.
Winner: barkles.com

4. Add On The Non-Descriptive

Having no luck with the descriptive keywords or wanting something non-descriptive? Add in some random words (or even just some letters) to get some interesting results. Try with ending letters such as 'ly', 'es', 'ing', 'on' and 'le'.

5. Check The Social

Once you've found an available domain name celebrate a little, then quickly move on to checking the social platforms to see how available it is. As long as you have the domain name, it won't matter too much if you slightly change it up for your social networks. Use a service like namechk.com to see which services have your name available.

Twitter: @barklesapp
(All other social services have been aligned with barklesapp)

6. Does It Fit?

Now just before you get too fixated on the app name, take a step back and work out if it's right for your idea. Pay attention to the readability, the memorability and also how easy it is to spell/say.

Back To The Detailed Idea:
A side by side discussion and debating platform = 9/10.
Readability and Memorability = 9/10.
Spelling & Saying = 8/10[pronounced: Bark-ools]

7. Talk To Your Team

Take a moment to share the proposed name to the team. They will often give you unexpected feedback that can help your decision going forward (i.e. Companies that already have a similar name, words that rhyme and connotations that you weren't aware of).

8. Secure It

Secure the domain and all the social services you need in one swoop.

9. The Logo

While many may point out that a logo isn't part of naming your app, I beg to differ. 9 times out of 10 your clients will see your app name in logo form before anything else. If your logo is hard to read or confusing your well-chosen name will be lost.

10. Putting It All Together

These 10 steps are usually completed within a couple of hours to a few days depending on your team. Take the time to get a great name, domain and logo so your app has a stronger chance at surviving amongst the million and one other companies (even with just a coming soon page).

How Did You Name Your App?

Share your feedback in the comments below.

July 6, 2011 - No Comments!

Not Bad vs Good Thanks – The Power Of Positive Response

When someone says Hello, how are you?, which response is the first to mind, Not Bad or Good Thanks?

If your first response is "Not Bad", don't worry, you're not alone. More people often than not reply with the exact same response. But have you ever stopped to consider the negative impact you may be bringing to the exchange?

NOT

The definition of Not is: Used to express negation, denial, refusal, or prohibition (adverb). In short, it's a word used to describe a blocking or negative situation. Leading your conversation with 'Not' may be commonplace, but often it's detrimental  in generating a flow on discussion.

BAD

The definition of Bad is: Not good in any manner or degree (adjective). Bad is just one of those words that sounds bad no matter how you may try to spin it. By preceding this word with Not, we get a double negative cancellation, and start our discussion with a flat response.

But things get interesting when we our first response is "Good, thanks". If said in the right tone, with a slight hint of excitement it can open up the discussion by intrigue, often leading to a more beneficial exchange.

GOOD

The definition of Good is: Morally excellent; virtuous; righteous (adjective). In essence, the word Good describes a positive emotion, thought or feeling, which extends into our discussion. By leading with Good we openly encourage positivity and motivate the discussion to advance.

THANKS

The definition of Thanks is: To express gratitude, appreciation, or acknowledgment (verb). Ending your response with Thanks has double the value. First, it acknowledges the person asking for their question and second, it solidifies the first positive response allowing the discussion to start on a strong, open ground.

By switching your response from "Not Bad" to "Good Thanks" you will find yourself becoming enlightened allowing the conversation to flow easier. If you are feeling down, try responding with "Good Thanks" to the caring question to coach your mind back to a more positive place.

TRY THIS: Go one week without saying "Not Bad", then move on to 2 weeks and so on until it is completely removed from your conversations. Let me know how you go in the comments.

May 11, 2011 - 2 comments

The Role Of A Speaker

I have recently attended a few business meetings and events where like-minded entrepreneurs speak about their businesses, achievements and give tips. These events happen frequently, so it's now even easier to be around inspiring people. The trouble is however, that many of the Speakers often forget one of the most important roles of being on the panel.

Offline Connection.

Entrepreneurs from all over have travelled to the event to make offline connections with other inspired people. In essence, it's about being in and around the industry, being inspired and connecting with others in a way that bonds stronger than online (otherwise they would've stayed at home and watched a TED talk). The role of a Speaker is to facilitate this exchange, encourage and help it to develop - especially when the audience is listening intently to the speakers every word.

Instead of this, what I see happening a lot of the time is the ego and 'self-worth' driving the connections. Sure, it's important to talk about your skills and knowledge, but never forget to take it further. This is especially evident at the end of a talk, where the Speakers huddle into the 'cool group' instead of mingling with the crowd that came to see them.

What Should Speakers Be Doing?

Get in and amongst the crowd that came to see you. Speak to everyone who is interested in a discussion - not just the movers and shakers that will grow your own business. Realise that the strongest time to build a network is the honest back and forth discussions that happen before and after the talk.  There may be a few weird moments where fans just want to stand in your presence because you inspired them and left them speechless. But it's at that moment you should be working out what makes them tick, what they're interested in and what they got from the talk. It's only then that you will know how well you did, what you can do better and how well you connected to your audience.

Focus not only on the people who inspire you, but also the people whom you inspire.

May 9, 2011 - No Comments!

Avoid The Quick Rome

Rome wasn't built in a day. Neither were the skilled workers taught the art of crafting a wall, or breaking apart rocks and hauling them to their destination. But Rome also wasn't built by mass-marketing the message. It was built one connection at a time, designer to architect, architect to worker, worker to supplier.

In this 'mass-marketing' society it is easy to forget how simple it is to build true connections in favor of a Quick Rome.

A true connection happens with one person, in one discussion, over one platform. It's these mini connections that will drive the core of your social network and create a solid social presence from day one. What's the point of having 1 million connections if you only interact and 'influence' 1%. Avoid mass-marketing and connect with people who understand your message and can inspire you to go further.