Seventhman Blog

  1. 2014 Insights: Can Technology Save the World?

    "social impact"A means to an end… or an end to a mean?  I’ve been thinking about this whenever I read the news about the latest innovation in the tech world.  The point of creating something new is to solve problems in the real world.  I just can’t think of any other reason than that and those who did so passionately have turned out to be a huge success in their field.  I believe that the question is not about coming up with any solution you can think of – but solving the right problem.  Think of it this way:  If you’re given 24 hours to save the world, what will you plan to resolve?  Sounds simple than you think, right?

    The Problem With Breakthrough

    Many businesses are still in the dark when it comes to creating new products, processes and services.  Try as they might to attempt solving issues which they think are important, there will still be missed opportunities in the pursuit of the next big thing.  How many times have we seen IT projects fail to deliver?  How often do we see new products failing to hit profit simply because it didn’t tackle the right problems?  We are living in a world where innovation is driven by challenges in a business, technical, political and social level.  No matter how many talented experts we have in the marketplace, success rates rise and fall dramatically.  Months to years of elaborate research and development have gone down the drain, with thousands to millions of dollars vanishing into thin air.

    Through the Lens of Effective Leadership

    Sometimes, when things go wrong, you wonder which is lacking: Leadership or problem-solving skills?  Leaders missed the opportunity to understand the depths and dimension of a problem.  This may have contributed in failure to implement things correctly.  Many fear that they spend too much time defining what the real issue is so they speed towards a solution like some crash-test dummy.  If one really wants to change the way things are right now, existing practices and protocols must be improved and problems must be viewed as a door to making things better; not as a distraction.  In my experience, transparent communication works.  When people are empowered to speak up, you can clearly map-out a road towards a viable, long-term solution. Your open-mindedness will break down communication silos, hands down.

    Making a Big Difference in the Real World

    To all tech startups, enthusiasts and fellow entrepreneurs, I have one question for you this coming new year: Are you ready to solve serious problems and make a difference in people’s lives?  You may have prioritized monetization, social capital, or influence when you spread the word about your creation.  How about social impact?  When I saw Jason Pontin’s Ted talk, Can Technology Solve our Big Problems, it made me think how social media and countless apps have enriched our lives.. from the Arab Spring uprising to inspiring memes.  But then again, how about coming up with something that addresses real issues like poverty, climate change and so on?  It’s nice to see the likes of crowdfunding, open online courses, and open source projects bridging the gap.  I just think that we can do more, especially in this age of interconnectivity.

    Are you up to the challenge then?

     

     

  2. Three Inconvenient Truths About IT and Business

    "it business challenge"If there’s one thing we have learned throughout these years, it’s this:  Business is no longer confined to a single territory.  Thanks to robust applications and new technology, growing your very own business these days is less costly and a tad simpler.  To be a leader in your niche is something that many of us are still trying to figure out and together with the digital revolution comes the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle… and most of us are no closer to solving the pieces that will determine our very own success.  What went wrong?

    Exploring the Nemesis Within

    To quote from this lively discussion in Linkedin, it’s mentioned that ‘25% of businesses fail within their first year and an astonishing 70% of businesses fail within ten years…’ Perhaps, if we can explore the truth behind this statement, then, we may be able to come up with realistic solutions that will address which factors will lead to our business success or failure.  I would like to start off with these issues as seen from the eyes of a software developer and an entrepreneur:

    Three Inconvenient Truths that IT and Business Leaders Need to Face

    Truth #1  You’re Not Looking in the Right Place

    An idea, no matter how brilliant, is useless unless it is turned into a working model.  Problem is, we have always asked ourselves why we haven’t thought of that.. as we read news about this new product that became a huge, overnight success.  If you have asked the geniuses behind these wonders, they will tell you that they have never thought of making a profit firsthand.. instead, they wanted to solve this problem they have in their own life.  That’s just half of the equation though.  The other half is being open to change.  Your love for your idea may keep you blinded from better opportunities out there.

    Truth #2  Invasion of Privacy

    With the convergence of cloud, social and mobile comes a new era where companies are starting to breathe life into their social business.  While there are many benefits to be had when you connect with customers in new ways, the price gets higher this time as companies follow closely the online activities of their target market so they can up their chances of selling something, with the hopes that there will be less room to say no to that offer.  In a perfect world, IT objectives support business goals.  But with this new threat to data security, the risk is simply higher.  Improving IT compliance can be a long and windy road to take, and minimizing risk is all but a perception.

    Truth #3  Do we really need data scientists?

    With all the buzz that big data is creating, most of us are lost on whether we should base our every business decision from data analytics alone.  For the reason that you can’t improve what you can’t measure, we swim deeper into the murky pool of tools in our hunt for the next business intelligence which will help us gain our competitive edge.  In the process of doing so, creativity-driven decisions are set aside and businesses start to lose sight of the real context of what they see in their enterprise data.  As sheer volume of data is collected, you forgot to ask better questions on how to improve your business.

    I believe that when we start to address these inconvenient truths, then that’s the time that we can really create the most productive approach in handling business and IT issues altogether.

    …and the devil is in the details?