quinta-feira, 27 de outubro de 2011

So it is...

I have seen a very exciting lecture some months ago from a consultant devoted to Innovation from Chile that said something that has changed me forever. He told a story about a friend of him who went to US and got to meet some of the guys from MIT. He asked him: "And so man are them really that much better than us?" His friend answered: "Actually not. They are really good. But as good as them, there are many others here in Chile. But something that they have different is that, they have better dreams." It really changed my life. 

So, that's it. We're just about to launch a project that took a lot of my time in the past year, but much more than a simple project, it's something that made me dream again. And God... how much dreams are important! And trying to follow what I've learning from this story, it is a BIG dream.

If we try to put it in perspective, the big project was pretty much about: having an idea, checking if it was good enough, get a lot of rejections/misunderstandings, start to build up a plan to start up the idea, check the resources I would need to put it together, convince (a lot of ) people that it was a good idea, get a lot of rejections, raise money, need more money, (did I mention rejection?), get a lot of great people on board, get feedbacks constantly, and above all: coordinate the construction of the project. It's a portal...

And there are many things nice about this project. I got to read more about stuff related to startups, tech and other stuff which, by the way, I am passionate about. I had the chance to connect to people that are willing to do related things; I had the chance to see similar ideas coming up recently, etc. It was awesome and exhausting.

One of the readings I loved was "The art of the Start" - thanks Gustavo Debs - and he says something so real: while creating something, make sure you're doing something that will improve people's life. That is going to make something new or better for them. And that's pretty much my dreams with UnaVox.

We always struggled coordinating our opinions. That's funny because, with internet it improved a lot. There are so many more market niches now, simply because you can find more people that somehow are connected to that topic, brand, product, whatever. But... those opinions are mostly spread all over internet and our idea was basically to get it all together in one place where everyone can see and agree or disagree with it. It seems like a pretty simple idea. And as many others, took us a lot of work.

And now we're done. About to launch. And from now on everything can happen. Of course, as an entrepreneur and leader of this project, I am always hoping for the great things to happen: a lot of people will promote, people will find it really interesting, some freaking important guys will like it and tweet about it, it will become popular and someone will be writing about it. Well, and there are so many other bad paths to go... no one gets it, no one likes it, we simply won't reach the right people, people will get bored.

Independently of what is going to happen from now on, it's a huge step for my life. Mainly because it's being a project I am waiting for, for a long time already. If you're an anxious person (I bet you are! haha) you can't imagine what it is to be handling a project that supposed to be aired 6 months ago. It's also a big step because, in this period, I decided to do not have many other projects. Actually, I even sold my other website to be 100% focused on this. More than that, it's being like a background application running on my brain all the time. Now at least, this application will come to the front of my screen! :)

sábado, 27 de novembro de 2010

Generation Plug & Play

I am sorry for taking long to write. I am really back. When I said it in my last posts, I really meant it. I feel like I am going through many situations in my life that again makes this blog to be somehow interesting. I had another topic that I was thinking about writing, but I decided for a new one, the “Generation Plug & Play”.

I did a fast research at Google and I didn’t find any mention to this expression in this context, but it seems to be very appropriate. Why am I discussing about different generations? There are two main reasons: the first is because some days ago I was in a discussion with some people and they were asking me about the differences between the generation Y and the one that is about to come; and the second is because I feel characteristics of this new generation, on people of my generation… which made me reflect even more about the subject.

So what are those characteristics? When I was young I had the chance to dissect some very old computers. I had a 286, after that, a 486… a Pentium 100. For those that has no clue of what I am talking about, their procession speed was around 66Mhz. Which means that the computer in which I am typing right now, has almost the same procession capacity of 70 pieces of that one. We used to measure the speed of a new computer, by typing DIR on DOS and seeing how much time it would take.

The consequence of me having this kind of intense and "insider" contact with those computers, is that I have not just learned how to do something, but how that thing made what I wanted to do, possible. In a practical example: I know that, when you copy a text (Crtl + C), it will be allocated in the RAM memory, most likely. How is it different of the generation of my parents?

Once I gave an example to my uncle and he says he uses it still. The example was: imagine that now, he wants to download a song in his computer. It’s more likely that he is going to follow a mechanical process. He is going to review in his mind a series of steps that he would need to take to be able to get that song downloaded. For example: I need to go to that specific website, to click in that specific section, to search for an artist, to find the song in a list and etc. If it’s in our case we just have the outcome in mind: I need that song. We have not only one path to get there: I can go to Itunes, I can use torrent, I can download it from Youtube and if we put more efforts thinking about it… We would likely think about more ways to do this task. So, being short, for my uncle, this process is something mechanical, for me, it’s organic.

However, if you think about the next generation, is it different from us? I would say, in parts. For sure, they are able to transform this task in something organic as well. They can research and try to find the easiest source to find the solution. But they have no idea on the evolution of the technologies that made it possible for them to download that. That’s the first difference. But what identifies them as the Plug & Play generation is the "inability" to deal with any new complexity in the process. I will try to exemplify that again.

When I was 12 years old, we had an awesome game called DOOM. That was a hit and we loved to play that (short note: nowadays, to be able to play DOOM in a computer like mine, we would have to use some function to de-accelerate the computer, otherwise it wouldn’t be possible). But, to play Doom it wasn’t a simple (Plug & Play) thing. Actually, quite the opposite. We needed to go to DOS (another Operational System - like Windows - based on text) and utilize a software called ARJ (the only one that we knew that could do it) type a routine for the software to be able to compact the game from another computer to ours in 12 diskettes and then, run another routine in our computer to be able to decompress it. Important note: there was a HUGE chance that one of the diskettes would have some problem, and then you would have to re-start the process from the beginning and the diskettes were also somehow expensive.

And now that you may be asking me “and what does it have to deal with the Generation Plug and Play?” Well, I answer that with another question: “Can you imagine any of the kids you see, doing that to play a game??” I don’t think so. This next generation can be multi task, get used to new functions and be able to use new apps or play games much faster than I do. However, this inability of dealing with the hardness of the process to get things done may have several consequences for them. The most clear for me, is related to the type of problems that we have in life. Those are not very structured problems with Plug & Play solutions and that may mean a lot to the resilience, patience and many other characteristics of the new generations. That’s something we will take time to be able to see clearly and much more to understand it.