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Holacracy, Conflict Resolution and the Zappos Experiment

Aug 7, 2017

Holacracy is an attempt at coming up with a solution to diffuse tensions by removing a visible form of hierarchy. Harvard management professor Ethan Bernstein states, Holacracy “replaces traditional hierarchical structure with a structuring process, at least for particularly frequent kinds of conflicts, to resolve conflicts in a potentially less-hierarchical, more self-organized, and more adaptive fashion.”

Bernstein believes Holacracy is more than anything else, an attempt to understand and develop a framework for conflict resolution. The expectation is holacracy offers self-led, self-governed environment for groups - to achieve consensus, shared consciousness and common organizational goals – similar to the concept highlighted by Bruce Tuckman in his ‘stages of group development’ model.

Flatland: Lessons for Entrepreneurs From the 1884 Classic

August 5, 2017

In order to achieve a higher level of satisfaction and create a productive environment, not only that we need to focus on ‘what’ we are doing, we need to be focusing on ‘why’ and ‘how’ we are going to achieve our leadership goals. As for building creative, open and productive workplace, open organizational structure is important, but equally if not more important is the non-tangible incentives that we offer to drive employees to be productive.

I see one way of achieving this goal is by introducing entrepreneurial leadership mindset. I understand that we may have to find the right context to interpret and introduce the aspects of entrepreneurship, especially in different settings: private sector, non-profits, government and para-military organizations. The empirical evidence has shown that entrepreneurial mindset encourages individuals, groups, organizations, cities and nations to think in multiple dimensions.

How Machines Shape our Thoughts in the Conceptual age

July 22, 2017

The subject matter is complex and paradoxical, and debate will continue related to how AI continues to shape our thoughts. Several years ago, Nicholas Carr cited research and thought leaders to present both sides of the argument. For an instance, it was interesting to read the change in Nietzsche’s prose, as for how his thoughts changed after using the new writing equipment. James Olds, the professor of neurosciences makes a case that the adult mind is mold-able. Olds adds that the brain has the ability to reprogram itself on the fly, altering the way it functions; whereas, playwright Richard Foreman presents the risk of turning into “pancake people” as a result of information overexposure.

The Power of "Yes, and"

July 12, 2017

In the world of entrepreneurship, creative “yes, and" attitude is a must. Collaboration and choosing strategic partners with complimenting skill-sets and value-sets are big factors, which could easily define success or failure of an early stage enterprise. As a result of bringing in unique perspectives to the mix, and with the “yes, and” attitude, in this day and age, a startup venture with right idea and a dedicated team could grow to become a large organization within a very short period of time.

Future of Life: The Role of Machines

July 2, 2017

We are entering a new economy that we have yet to define fully. This ‘machine taking over the world’ argument, inquisitiveness among public, and as a part of formal research among computer science scholars is nothing new, and dates to the middle of the twentieth century. As per this article, I.J. Good in 1965 wrote the thesis on the cognitive aspect of designing a smarter AI. Without any doubt, there has been amazing developments in the world of hard science, information technology and artificial intelligence.

The Policy Corner: Raising Minimum Wages, Perspective From California Fair Wage Act of 2016

June 27, 2017

California “Fair Wage Act of 2016” $ 15 Minimum Wage Initiative was intended to be a part of November 8, 2016 ballot in California as an initiated state statute. Proponents of the initiative withdrew the bill on June, 2016, in spite of being certified for the ballot. The California Legislature passed the alternative legislation, SB 3 that Governor Jerry Brown signed into law on April 4, 2016. Reaching this compromise offered both the proponents and the opponents to focus on the possible pragmatic outcomes of the legislation.

Winning Lessons for Venture Capitalists in the Conceptual Economy

JAN 5, 2015 OP-ED COLUMN in The Review Journal Business Press

Venture capitalists continue to play an integral role in a changing economy. Google, Facebook, and eBay are results of venture capitalists taking chances during evolutionary stages of these companies. Venture capital is a type of private equity that possesses high degree of risk, but in return offers an opportunity for potentially high returns. Until recently, the idea of venture capital and venture capitalists investing millions of dollars in companies with a viable risk of losing it all - was limited to mature economies. Venture capitalists enjoyed the luxury of hand-picking the ideas that they wanted to invest in.

Why Questions based assessment is the key to Empowering Startups

Lean startup and Pivoting are the buzzwords within startup communities these days. Though the concept could be very beneficial for entrepreneurs and startups to test out their products with limited resources, this can also hurt startup companies that require complex models and require large investments from the gettgo. We have launched #VentureLoft sessions around the world, where we have leveraged on questions based assessments to empower startups to ask questions and conduct appropriate assessment for their specific ventures. As I write in my book, in the conceptual economy, disruptions come in multi-disciplinary models. Understanding and scaling ventures with complexity of this kind requires entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to accept the need to allocate resources where it is needed and when it is needed - and that time could be very early on in the product cycle.



VCs Look for an Edge to Find Deals

Dec 14, 2013

We are entering the new era of #conceptual thinking, the era that demands strong entrepreneurial passion but at the same time demands even stronger competence in the areas of science, technology and business - and requires the adoption of the 'art', 'design' and 'empathy' component in overall thinking process - enabling a deeper understanding of fellow human beings - who also happened to be the mass consumers, entrepreneurs, collaboraters, investors and other integral players of the overall entrepreneurial ecosystem.


So, this begs the question how entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world can thrive in the conceptual economy. Venture Capital model is very unique to the American entrepreneurship model. The early receipient of venture funds set the tone for the economic boom in the United States.


With the signs of inter-disciplinary disruptions emerging, venture capitalists once again shall play an important role to guide entrepreneurs in the new economy.


With barriers to entry going down sharply for entrepreneurs and investors, venture capitalists are adapting new ways to increase their competitive advantage. The one way that the successful VCs are doing this is by being good at finding deals objectively, by using means based on big data and algorithms. Not mentioned in this article, but, smart venture capitalists are betting heavily on the human factor, understanding human needs, pain points ( and opportunities) in the least expected places around the world.

VCs Try A New Method: Curated Events

Oct 20, 2013

The new trend among VCs in the conceptual economy is to understanding the need to educate the masses on 'the role of VCs'. Leading venture capital firms have started curating events outside of the traditional VC hubs like Silicon Valley and NYC.


'VCs have long thrown events for portfolio startups to share knowledge, and learn from each other and from previous successful entrepreneurs. Last year’s Kleiner Perkins CEO Summit featured fireside chats with Bill Gates, Colin Powell and Al Gore. Google Ventures CEO Summit last year included Sergey Brin and Ron Conway, among others. And most other firms hold similar CEO and founder summits for their portfolios. Read the full TechCrunch story.

Branding in the Conceptual Economy

BRANDING in the #ConceptualEconomy - let the brands loose and democratize the process to learn what customers want !! #ventureloft


"Most businesses see success in pie-charts and diagrams. The (Seattle) Sounders see it in a stadium - a stadium pack with people who paid for tickets, who are promoting the brand organically.....and then (Sounders) let the brand loose and gave it to the fans." - #CSuite #BloombergTV Jeffrey Hayzlett

The role of VCs in the Conceptual Economy

Aug 23, 2013

According to Fenwick & West LLP survey of Venture Capital activities for the third quarter of 2013, we are seeing strong indicators, re to a shift in VC activities.


According to the attached survey, the VC Trend ".. has changed...with the growth of micro-VCs, accelerators..." The survey indicates that "Corporate venture investing was at its highest levels (as a percentage of total investment) since 2001.", strongly supporting the thesis related to corporate entrepreneurship that I have presented in my book.


As I have indicated in my book, barrier to entry to launch a start-up has come down sharply and, startups are needing less money to start companies. So, many VCs were actually focusing on ways to add value, separate themselves from their competitors.


Strong signs are clearly emerging - supporting the arrival of the conceptual economy!


Here is the full survey

How do you Speed the Slow Ideas

July 23, 2013

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In the conceptual economy, it is important to address the pain points of the end-consumers as well as factor in the convenience component of the messengers/ facilitators. There is that clear art component in getting noticed or making people want to adopt or adapt. Using the traditional line of thinking in marketing will not suffice in reaching out to the new wave of #conceptual consumers.


Manufacturing in the Conceptual Economy

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Arrival of the Conceptual Economy


Today, fewer than 40 percent of U.S. manufacturing employees have jobs in actual production, according to the Congressional Research Service


How Digitization, Twitter and Sensors will put you in Control of Your Health Care #conceptual #futuremed

July 22, 2013

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Dr. Topol is a leading #futuremed advocate in the United States today. Dr. Topol gives a glimpse of what the conceptual age holds, re to #futuremed. Dr. Topol offers a clear perspective on how digitization, many to many social media outlets like twitter and (nano) sensors will put a patient in control.

Future of American Cities in the Conceptual Economy

"Once, Americans fled inner cities for a suburban paradise. Now an urban revival is making the suburbs the home of the poor." Inner city projects like Las Vegas downtown project to revitalization efforts going on in downtown Los Angeles and Detroit are good indicators of what to expect in the conceptual economy.


Future of Medicine in the Conceptual Economy

A new regulatory pathway established last year allows drugs with dramatic early clinical promise to be expedited to the market quicker than ever before. To date, most of these 'breakthrough' designations have gone to cancer agents, raising the prospect of faster access to the latest lifesaving therapies for the estimated 4,500 people newly diagnosed with cancer each day in the US. Elie Dolgin looks at what sets these breakthrough medicines apart.


How GE Uses Data Visualization to Tell Complex Stories

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Gretchen Gavet of HBR speaks with Linda Boff, GE's executive director of global brand marketing, about the benefits and challenges of Data Visualization. It is an interesting read and gives a preview of what entrepreneurs need to grasp conceptually,  re to quickly visuallizing and understanding data in the conceptual economy.

Technology in the conceptual age: Google Glass

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Researchers at several institutions have created a new technology that will empower future smart contact lenses. The team developed a “transparent, highly conductive, and stretchy mix of graphene and silver nanowires” that it then attached to an off-the-shelf soft contact lens to give it Google Glass-like features, Technology Review reported. The lenses were tested on rabbits because of similarities with the human eye and were found to be fully functional. The researchers noted that the rabbits didn’t attempt to rub their eyes nor did they grow bloodshot after five hours of testing.

Technology in the Conceptual Economy

It shouldn't come as a surprise that 3D printers are helping shoe manufacturers accelerate the prototyping of new shoes. But just how big is that impact? The Financial Times reports that both Nike and Adidas are embracing the semi-new technology and churning out prototypes at "previously impossible" speeds.


Global Start-ups in the Conceptual Economy

America's start-up geography, with its well-established high-tech clusters in Silicon Valley and along Boston's Route 128, as well as more recent concentrations in urban centers like San Francisco and lower Manhattan, has been much discussed. But what does the world's start-up geography look like? What are the major start-up cities across the globe?


College Startups: The 'New Master's Degree'

As a student at University of Indiana’s Kelley School of Business, Derek Pacqué lost his coat at a bar, got angry, and came up with a business plan. He borrowed and saved $500 to purchase racks and hangers to start a coat check business at local hangouts.

CoatChex does not require patrons to keep tickets, which often get lost. Instead, someone at a kiosk photographs clients’ faces and coats with an iPad or smartphone and then uses their phone number and photos for secure pick-up. A paltry original investment eventually had Pacqué negotiating with—and turning down—a $200,000 offer from entrepreneur Mark Cuban on ABC’s Shark Tank for a 33 percent stake in the business. In the last two months, CoatChex earned $100,000.

Visual Thinking and Innovation

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“Visual thinking is the foundation for being creative and solving some of the most complex problems,” explained author and founder of Innovation Studio Lisa Kay Solomon. Solomon and Emily Shepard of The Graphic Distillery discussed the key role of visual thinking in innovation at a recent Stanford GSB Mastery in Communication Initiative talk. Here is the link to five visual-thinking based skills that disruptive innovators must master: 

Why The Future Of Innovation Is In Ideas, Not Products

March 27, 2013

The third-floor screening room in a hip Singaporean bar-lined neighborhood: black walls, tall ceilings, movie projector, and a roomful of globally minded entrepreneurs. This is the moment I will most remember from my last visit to Singapore. There is a shift underway in Asia, a bubbling up of self-made entrepreneurs. Asian commerce in the past five decades was dominated by larger-than-life conglomerate builders gathering assets under unofficial government protection. But this is changing. A new generation of entrepreneurs is emerging, outthinking the old guard.


Why Nurses are Getting Genomics Training

May 27, 2013

As genomics becomes more prevalent in the clinic, doctors aren't the only medical professionals who are learning all they can about the field. Nurses are increasingly becoming educated in genomics and genetics, both in order to better help their patients and to conduct research of their own.

Kathleen CalzoneThe path to becoming a genomics research nurse varies, says Kathleen Calzone, a senior nurse specialist at the National Cancer Institute.


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