7 lessons learned by playing games

In Arfeen Khan‘s business mastermind workshop, we played few team games. The objective was to learn and keep the energy up.

7lessons

Here are my top 7 metaphor that you can apply to your business:

  1. Strategy Rocks!: Every game needs to be played by strategy. There is always of easy way to play it. The idea is to take leverage of the abundance resources. To name a few from game point of view it was Brain, Gravity, Hacks and Listening skills.    
  2. Artificial Scarcity: Time pressure was the default rule for all games. Since you are in a competition and there is also a timer you feel the pressure. In reality the team which did not take that pressure often win.
  3. Unstoppable Energy: There are times when the energy of the team helps the participants to win. So support for your team becomes a vital key. We have seen winning momentum of teams continuously winning consecutive games.
  4. Team Strength: The way the team understood each other’s strengths and weakness, the better the results were. Even if it means coup the team’s strategy in order to make the team win.
  5. Star Performance:  When the strategy and skills match, play like a star performer. You win the game before the game begins. Once you are winner in your mind you play it like a champ.
  6. Ultimate Leader: You got to have a leader with right credentials to empower the team. Each game needed a different mind-set to lead and control actions. The key here is to adapt to the situation and make dramatic changes.
  7. Killer Execution: Even if you have all of the above qualities in place. If you are unable to execute it with conviction. It will not bring any outcome. This becomes one of the last but important steps to see the result in your favor.

Have a awesome business year ahead!

500 companies on mission

mission-and-visonArfeen Khan‘s business training program had a huge discussion between individuals on what is the mission of the company you are building. Every business man and women were telling their mission in terms of turnover. Even I was struggling to find the mission of my company. I have a vague vision of my company however it is not clear. With all the debate around mission, vision and values to create the business. Where few say it doesn’t matter, I believe it is worth knowing your company’s mission and purpose for your existence.

I may still be in search… I thought of searching and studying mission statement of 500 companies who have made a difference in the world.

My mission here is to understand the “Why” they did what they did?

So this is the 1st part of the 5 part series. This post contains mission of 100 companies.

Disclaimer: All mission statements are searched from web either on company’s website or some other online resource. It is not verified by the company. Also few companies have mentioned their visions. The idea here is to inspire you with their mission.

Tata: “To improve the quality of life of the communities we serve globally through long-term stakeholder value creation based on Leadership with Trust.”

Larsen & Toubro: [Vision] “L&T shall be a professionally-managed Indian multinational, committed to total customer satisfaction and enhancing shareholder value. L&T-ites shall be innovative, entrepreneurial and empowered tea, constantly creating value and attaining global benchmarks. L&T shall foster a culture of caring, trust and continuous learning while meeting expectations of employees, stakeholders and society.”

Uber: “Uber is evolving the way the world moves. By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through our apps, we make cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more business for drivers.”

Tesla: “Our goal when we created Tesla a decade ago was the same as it is today: to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible.”

AdityaBirla: “To deliver superior value to our customers, shareholders, employees and society at large.”

AirBnB: “To connect millions of people in real life all over the world, through a community marketplace– so that you can Belong Anywhere.”

Twitter: “To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.”

Hope you are enjoying the mission statement, If you want to read missions of more companies, then share this post. Once it reaches 100 people I will write next 100 companies mission statement. Let me know if these missions are worth writing by sharing them.

ITC: “To enhance the wealth generating capability of the enterprise in a globalising environment, delivering superior and sustainable stakeholder value”

Alibaba: “To make it easy to do business anywhere.”

Apple: Original “To make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind.”

Google: “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

StartBucks: “Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”

Paytm: “100 Million user product from India.”

Facebook: “Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.

United Nations: “The maintenance of international peace and security”

Microsoft: “At Microsoft, our mission is to enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential. This is our mission. Everything we do reflects this mission and the values that make it possible.”

L’Oréal: “Offering all women and men worldwide the best of cosmetics innovation in terms of quality, efficacy and safety”

Hope you are enjoying the mission statement, If you want to read missions of more companies, then share this post. Once it reaches 100 people I will write next 100 companies mission statement. Let me know if these missions are worth writing by sharing them.

SnapDeal: [Vision]  “Snapdeal’s vision is to create India’s most reliable and frictionless commerce ecosystem that creates life-changing experiences for buyers and sellers.”

Airtel: “Hunger to win customers for life.”

Walt Disney: “The mission of The Walt Disney Company is to be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information. Using our portfolio of brands to differentiate our content, services and consumer products, we seek to develop the most creative, innovative and profitable entertainment experiences and related products in the world.”

Ikea: [Vision] “At IKEA our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.”

Happiest Minds: “Happiest People . Happiest Customers”

Forbes: “To deliver information on the people, ideas and technologies changing the world to our community of affluent business decision makers.”

Nike: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.”

Flipkart: “Provide a delightful customer experience”

Hope you are enjoying the mission statement, If you want to read missions of more companies, then share this post. Once it reaches 100 people I will write next 100 companies mission statement. Let me know if these missions are worth writing by sharing them.

Citi: “Citi’s mission is to serve as a trusted partner to our clients by responsibly providing financial services that enable growth and economic progress.”

Cisco: “Shape the future of the Internet by creating unprecedented value and opportunity for our customers, employees, investors, and ecosystem partners.”

ASOS :”To become the number 1 fashion destination for 20-somethings globally.”

Cocacola: “To refresh the world…To inspire moments of optimism and happiness…To create value and make a difference.”

Ford Motor Company: “People working together as a lean, global enterprise for automotive leadership, as measured by: Customer, Employee, Dealer, Investor, Supplier, Union/Council, and Community Satisfaction”

KickStarter: “To help bring creative projects to life.”

Harley-Davidson: “We fulfill dreams through the experience of motorcycling, by providing to motorcyclists and to the general public an expanding line of motorcycles and branded products and services in selected market segments.”

General Electric: “GE’S Mission is to invent the next industrial era, to build, move, power, and cure the world.”

Patagonia: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”

Virgin: “Our vision is to contribute to creating happy and fulfilling lives which are also sustainable – surely a vision worth aspiring to? With businesses spanning many sectors and touching many aspects of our customers’ lifestyles we feel that Virgin is in a perfect position to contribute to this vision. After all, the Virgin brand has always been about having fun in a unique Virgin way.We believe that we have a part to play in making this a reality and so our vision for sustainability within the Virgin Group is: “to make a credible contribution towards sustainable lifestyles whilst meeting or exceeding the expectations of our staff, customers and other stakeholders.”

Ujjivan Financial Services: “Provide full range of financial services to the economically active poor to build better lives.”

Southwest airlines: “The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit.”

Hope you are enjoying the mission statement, If you want to read missions of more companies, then share this post. Once it reaches 100 people I will write next 100 companies mission statement. Let me know if these missions are worth writing by sharing them.

Amazon: “Amazon’s vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”

Zomato: “Our mission is to ensure nobody has a bad meal.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC): “Our ambition is to be the leading global professional services organisation, solving complex business problems for top-tier clients in global, national and local markets.”

Prabhudas Lilladher: [Vision] “To be India’s leading and most preferred financial services.”

Zappos: “To provide the best customer service possible.”

Marriott: [Vision] “To be the #1 hospitality company in the world.”

Johnson &  Johnson: “Our Credo challenges us to put the needs and well-being of the people we serve first.”

NIIT: “Enable Enterprises Manage Information Better”

Hope you are enjoying the mission statement, If you want to read missions of more companies, then share this post. Once it reaches 100 people I will write next 100 companies mission statement. Let me know if these missions are worth writing by sharing them.

Novartis: “Our mission is to discover new ways to improve and extend people’s lives.”

General Motors: “TO EARN CUSTOMERS FOR LIFE”

Philips: “Improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation.”

Paypal:”To build the Web’s most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution.”

Walmart: “Saving people money so they can live better.”

Toyota: “Create vehicles that are popular with consumers.”

LIC: “Ensure and enhance the quality of life of people through financial security by providing products and services of aspired attributes with competitive returns, and by rendering resources for economic development.”

Ideo: “IDEO is a global design company. We create positive impact through design.”

LinkedIn: “To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”

Hope you are enjoying the mission statement, If you want to read missions of more companies, then share this post. Once it reaches 100 people I will write next 100 companies mission statement. Let me know if these missions are worth writing by sharing them.

MetLife Inc: “The capable team of MetLife’s Customer Response Center (CRC) shares a common mission – that all customers are “Met for Life.” By balancing the efficiencies of new technologies with the personal touch of highly trained and motivated professionals, we are able to deliver solutions and services that exceed our customers’ expectations. We thereby earn their loyalty.”

Fedex Corporation: “FedEx Corporation will produce superior financial returns for its shareowners by providing high-value-added logistics, transportation, and related business services through focused operating companies. Customer requirements will be met in the highest quality manner appropriate to each market segment served. FedEx will strive to develop mutually rewarding relationships with its team members, partners, and suppliers. Safety will be the first consideration in all operations. Corporate activities will be conducted to the highest ethical and professional standards.”

Caterpillar Inc (CAT): “As a global leader, Caterpillar will provide the best products and services in construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, and industrial gas turbines for helping people in construction and transportation”

Trip Advisor: “To help people around the world plan and have the perfect trip.”

Successories: “Our goal is to provide exclusive, high-quality products and programs and be an authoritative source to help businesses and organizations communicate, drive and reinforce core values, motivate people to superior performance, and recognize individual and group achievements. We do this by being an innovative leader in designing, manufacturing, marketing and distributing such products, always with our customers’ needs in mind. Fanatical customer service is a hallmark of our operating philosophy.

Cultivated Wit: “We believe that humor combined with slick design and a creative use of technology can make complicated ideas more understandable and products more fun. Our mission is to bring great ideas to life and help others do the same.”

Hope you are enjoying the mission statement, If you want to read missions of more companies, then share this post. Once it reaches 100 people I will write next 100 companies mission statement. Let me know if these missions are worth writing by sharing them.

MacDonald: “McDonald’s brand mission is to be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink. Our worldwide operations are aligned around a global strategy called the Plan to Win, which center on an exceptional customer experience – People, Products, Place, Price”

Dominos: “Domino’s is a company of exceptional people on a mission to be the best pizza delivery company in the world.”

 

Asana: “To help humanity thrive by enabling all teams to work together effortlessly.”

Goldieblox: “To correct the gender imbalance in engineering.”

Ministry of Supply: “That clothing should be an extension of your body, equipping you to realize your limitless potential.”

Warby Parker: “A world where everyone can see clearly, stylishly, and at affordable prices.”

Oyo Rooms: “Our goal is to change the way people stay away from home”

Hope you are enjoying the mission statement, If you want to read missions of more companies, then share this post. Once it reaches 100 people I will write next 100 companies mission statement. Let me know if these missions are worth writing by sharing them.

Sony: “To be a company that inspires and fulfills your curiosity.”

Boeing: “Connect, Protect, Explore and Inspire the World through Aerospace Innovation”

Intel: “Delight our customers, employees, and shareholders by relentlessly delivering the platform and technology advancements that become essential to the way we work and live.”

P&G: “We will provide branded products and services of superior quality and value that improve the lives of the world’s consumers. As a result, consumers will reward us with leadership sales, profit, and value creation, allowing our people, our shareholders, and the communities in which we live and work to prosper.”

Dell: “Dell’s mission is to be the most successful computer company in the world at delivering the best customer experience in markets we serve.”

American Express: “We provide outstanding products and unsurpassed service that, together, deliver premium value to our customers.”

Nestle: “Good Food, Good Life is to provide consumers with the best tasting, most nutritious choices in a wide range of food and beverage categories and eating occasions, from morning to night”

Skype: “Skype’s mission is to be the fabric of real-time communication on the web.”

Mind tree: “We engineer meaningful technology solutions to help businesses and societies flourish.”

Hope you are enjoying the mission statement, If you want to read missions of more companies, then share this post. Once it reaches 100 people I will write next 100 companies mission statement. Let me know if these missions are worth writing by sharing them.

NetApp: “Our mission has always been to help our customers achieve what matters most to them.”

Intuit: “To improve its customers’ financial lives so profoundly, they couldn’t imagine going back to the old way.”

Zoho: “At Zoho, software is our craft and passion. We create beautiful software to solve business problems.”

Lemon Tree Hotel: [Vision] “The Lemon Tree Hotel Company shall be India’s largest and finest chain of upscale, mid-scale and budget hotels and resorts.”

Teleperformance: “At Teleperformance, we deliver an outstanding customer experience, at every single opportunity, as a result of our commitment, passion and dedication to excellence. In so doing, we create opportunities and value for employees, clients, customers, communities and shareholders.”

Barbeque Nation Hospitality Ltd: “Offering a complete dining experience to customers at affordable prices.”

The Oberoi Group: “We are committed to meeting and exceeding the expectations of our guests through our unremitting dedication to every aspect of service.We are committed to the growth, development and welfare of our people upon whom we rely to make this happen.Together, we shall continue the Oberoi tradition of pioneering in the hospitality industry, striving for unsurpassed excellence in high-potential locations all the way from the Middle East to the Asia-Pacific.As a result, we will create extraordinary value for our shareholders.”

Titan Company Ltd : “We will do this through a pioneering spirit and a caring, value-driven culture that fosters innovation, drives performance and ensures the highest global standards in everything we do.”

Indegene Pvt. Ltd: “Create and deliver solutions for healthcare today and tomorrow by seamlessly integrating Analytics, Technology, Operations and Medical Expertise.”

InMobi: “Enabling consumers and businesses make smarter decisions by building the deepest understanding of people across the world.”

Minda Stoneridge Instruments Ltd: “Our mission is to be an automotive System Solution provider and Build a Brand recognized by vehicle manufacturers progressively all over the world, as an organization providing products and systems Unparalleled in Quality and Price.”

Hope you are enjoying the mission statement, If you want to read missions of more companies, then share this post. Once it reaches 100 people I will write next 100 companies mission statement. Let me know if these missions are worth writing by sharing them.

Urban Ladder: [Vision] “Our vision is to set global benchmarks for distinctive products, consumer experiences and honest best practices”

Micron: “Be the most efficient and innovative global provider of semiconductor solutions.”

Cradles to Crayons: “Cradles to Crayons provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive – at home, at school and at play. We supply these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need.”

Eram Scientific Solutions: Constantly innovating and applying Science and Technology to develop solutions against the pressing needs of the society. Applying unconventional methodologies and ‘Out of the Box Thinking’ and practices. Focus on developing solutions in alternate energy, clean technologies, and pro nature applications. Ensure the democratization of wealth and knowledge. Evolve itself as an abode of multi-disciplinary development enthusiasts.

Owens-Illinois: “Our mission is to design, manufacture, and deliver products and services that meet the unique needs and expectations of each customer. To that end, we have successfully built a solid foundation and infrastructure for glass container manufacturing.”

Owens & Minor: “Our mission is to create consistent value for our customers and supply chain partners that will maximize shareholder value and long-term earnings growth: we will do this by managing our business with integrity and the highest ethical standards, while acting in a socially responsible manner with particular emphasis on the well-being of our teammates and the communities we serve.”

Hope you are enjoying the mission statement, If you want to read missions of more companies, then share this post. Once it reaches 100 people I will write next 100 companies mission statement. Let me know if these missions are worth writing by sharing them.

Hyatt: “To provide authentic hospitality by making a difference in the lives of the people we touch every day”

Adobe: “To move the web forward and give web designers and developers the best tools and services in the world.”

BBC: “To enrich people’s lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain.”

Tumblr: “To empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve.”

Du Pont:”To create shareholder and societal value while reducing the environmental footprint along the value chains in which we operate.”

Whole Foods: “Our deepest purpose as an organization is helping support the health, well-being, and healing of both people — customers, Team Members, and business organizations in general — and the planet.”

3M: “To Improve Every Life through Innovative Giving in Education, Community and the Environment.”

Hope to write next 100 companies mission statements soon.

Hope you are enjoying the mission statement, If you want to read missions of more companies, then share this post. Once it reaches 100 people I will write next 100 companies mission statement. Let me know if these missions are worth writing by sharing them.

Hello, Artificial Intelligence

computerworld
Image from Computerworld.com

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most interesting technology, It is one of my favorite subject since my college days. The idea of giving a little brain power to computer to make learned decisions based on some patterns or natural language is pretty awesome. We had our first team member couple of months back and in our culture we give 10% of the office time to work on the pet project. Ajeet wanted to work on implementing AI in a project. As an experiment he wanted to take a part of our product and demonstrate us how can we implement a particular functionality in much easier and efficient way?

To give a background, our product deals with huge amount of qualitative and quantitative data. It is a good case study to implement AI at various levels. He had spent last couple of months very sincerely helping our product to give a new look (help.reportingframework.com). So we have decided to give him full week off to work on his pet project which will give him a break and opportunity to explore AI. So this blog post is a shout out if anyone wants to guide him or tag along with him. They can reach out to him via his Linkedin account or put it in the comments below.

A short bio about Ajeet, He is very excited about AI. He has primarily worked with C#, JavaScript and SQL Server. His favorite programming language is Python. Over last couple of months he also got his hands dirty with tools like Dapper, Sphinx (based on python), MS Test, Gimp, RTools (based on python) and even 1 function in Lisp (Unbelievable! that my college project’s programming language has a part to play in our product). He is planning to use Python.

Wish him all the luck and fun working week holiday (passion is not equal to work!)

Progress: Currently he is exploring nltk and spacy

Hour of Code : Offline HTML Web Development

  1. Download the offline Hour of Code from here (zip file)
  2. Extract the zip file on the desktop.
  3. Double click the HourOfCode.html file and open it in a browser.
  4. You will see the web page shown below in the image.
  5. Explaining windows on the Offline Web Development

HOC_Web_Dev

Window #1 (Lesson Window): It contains the explains for 3 HTML tags we have plan to learn in next one hour.

HOC_Web_Dev_W1

Window #2 (Exercise Window): It contains the questions that the student need to solve in order to code the 3 HTML tags. It also contains the final result that the student will see after finishing the code.

HOC_Web_Dev_W2

Window #3 (Code Window): Here is the place where students write the code. You can tell the student write your code in yellow window.

HOC_Web_Dev_W3

Window #4 (Output Window): When the students writes the code in yellow window (Code window) and clicks the button “Click here to run your first code” the result is displayed in output window. (Result shown below)

HOC_Web_Dev_W4

Explain student before you start to code :

  • Explain the application of HTML to the students.
  • Where normally that see HTML?
  • What are the use of it?
  • Explain what is an browser and its use.
  • Explain what is a tag in HTML.

Final Output 

HOC_Web_Dev_Result

Happy Hour of Code!

A letter to a young developer less than 3 or 4 years experience

So you have been into the world of software for more than couple of years now and you write code either in Ruby, nodejs, java, DotNet or some other trendy language. You have already passed the entry gate and feel much confident at your work. You solve the problems thrown at you in very controlled and timely fashion. You are considered as rock-star developer among your peers younger than you. Seniors like you and count on you. So if you have any of the above traits this letter is for you.

There are many such letters out there on internet, couple mentioned in the end of this blog. The reason I am writing this is to help the fellow members out in community which we have learned a hard way. Let me explain this with some crude example. What you currently know is syntax, few debugging skills and some design understanding. Let me correlate it with hammer and screwdriver and you are able to build a store room as one of the assignments under complete home and may be even the roof of the store room. You feel confident and as soon as you get more experience you are expected to build the whole house or a complete floor. Now to build it you need to know how to use drills, understand floor plans, other gadgets etc. But since it a small project you try to complete it with hammer and screwdriver. It works and everyone is happy. But think what will happen when you are given in-charge to creating a whole building (5 stories and above) and your team members are using hammer and screwdriver to build it (its an metaphor).

So here are your drills as a programmer

  1. Understand the design principles, patterns and rule of the game.
  2. Solving same problems with multiple diffrent ways.
  3. Going to some developer meetups or watching some on YouTube.
  4. Learning multiple programming language for alternative paradigm.
  5. Reading hardcore technical blog, Not like this one.
  6. Contributing to opensource project. Git is your friend.
  7. Doing Code Kata. You don’t know what it is. Ouch!
  8. Working on a problems related to performance and scale.
  9. Participating in code hackathon from a learning perspective.
  10. People don’t like this but read books, Really read it!

Few good other articles

Happy Programming !

Introduction to unit testing

At a very early stage in my career I got an opportunity to visit Antwerp. It had been one of my best trip in terms of personal and professional well being. I had an opportunity to work with 2 really great Developer Tim and Kristoff

Here I learn lots of trick in Software development, However the one I can think of was when Kristoff mentioned about Nunit. He mentioned about how it was originated from Junit. How the good developers around the world were embracing it. I felt alienated since I was not aware of it and it was year 2007. However he was convinced that we should be using it and implementing it in great details.

Once I was back to India after the trip, I did my research on it and got more insight. It got me introduced to Kent Beck. Then the journey of the writing more cleaner code and have a safety mechanism to the source code began. I cannot thank enough to Kristoff for been my mentor and helping me during my tenure in Antwerp.

Happy unit Testing!

First demo that failed.

The first ever big demo I gave which failed. As silly it may sound, It was a real incident. We were giving a demo for our custom Dot Net web application. As soon as we tested out primary functionality it was not working. I still remember the face of my angry manager. He ask me “What happen?” and my reply was “I don’t know.” He was furious. I don’t know why, but I kept my clam.

Customer did not loose their patience till that point. I had to tackle this situation. I was confident about the code I had written. I thought what best thing can I do here. How can I get out of this problem. I just fired my IDE and started debugging. My Manager had lost his cool now. He said to me “What are you doing?” I had to stand my ground, I replied “Just give me Five minutes.” With in few moment we discovered we had not configured few settings.

Phew! I just smiled and added the necessary configurations. Loaded the Web Application and it was working like charm.The only to thing saved was paitence debugging