Tweet Your Product Design Tips – and WIN!

by Wendy Soon on February 12, 2015

tweet_bannerApple is known for its success in creating an Apple-lifestyle that its users happily pay to continue using. How did YOU design your product to make it attractive? Or even more than that – how did you design your product so it STICKS with the users, and they cannot stop using it?  Share it with us!! Every product is unique, and every great product has its own ways of being special of keeping their users “hooked”.

So share with us in 6 words “How Do You Make Your Product More Habit Forming”? Remember, not any product, but your startup’s awesome product, in just 6 words, no more and no less. (yes, we know you have lots of tips to share, but JUST SIX WORDS) And you can win amazing prizes. We promise you – it’s A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. We’ll be announcing winners on the day of our next meetup on 19th Feb!

How to Submit: Think hard and think long, get creative or get real! Make a statement or just have fun. Submit your great idea, Write a tweet with the six words on the best story about your startup. Use the format, startupname: 6 words #Hooked #Igniter6Word @Vorkspace Tweet Examples:

  • Vorkspace: User invests conversations, data, files, tasks #Hooked #Igniter6word @Vorkspace
  • Vorkspace: So Amazing You Just Cannot Reject #Hooked #Igniter6word @Vorkspace
  • Vorkspace: User Friendly, Design Focused, Gorgeous Aesthetics #Hooked #Igniter6word @Vorkspace
  • Vorkspace: One Two Three Four Five Six #Hooked #Igniter6word @Vorkspace

You think you can do better than that? We will see. Start Tweeting now! And remember, share your tweets and get as many of your friends to retweet them as possible, to increase your chances to win! No limits to the number of entries submitted per person. Contest ends 19th February 2015 (Thursday), 7pm PDT. Winners will be announced at our next meetup. (winners must be present at the meetup to redeem prizes).

Prizes: Winners with the best ideas will be selected based on the number of “retweets” and “favorites” of your idea, as well as our internal panel of judges.

Winners will receive the following attractive prizes:

1. Mrs. Moskowitz’s Munchies Gift bag (yummylicious bonus!) 7273042_orig

2. A copy of “Hooked” signed by Nir Eyal!

 

Tweet NOW!!! :)

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Virtual Leadership (A Cornell Study – Part 3)

by Wendy Soon on January 30, 2015

Dollarphotoclub_57928469_virtualleadership_bannerIn our final part of the Cornell Study on global team trends, we look into the person who makes the virtual team successful – the leader.

 

Traditionally, leaders have been at the center of a community, be it work, church, or social groups. In these communities, face-to-face meetings and close personal interaction have dominated the way leaders interact with their members. However, with the advent of the internet and the host of communication tools that followed, teams today are becoming increasingly dispersed and diverse. Studies are now being done to understand how leadership has or should evolve in order to meet the changing needs and demands of these new and different communities.

 

When a new virtual team is created, it typically begins as nothing more than a collection of

individuals. The leader’s role from the start is to develop these individuals into a coherent and well integrated work unit that provides the capability for the team to self manage itself. To achieve this, leaders must create a team orientation, which includes motivational and team bonding factors such as establishing a common goal, creating ground rules and shaping perceptions.

 

Challenges for a Virtual Leader

 

  1. Lack of Trust. Team members are likely to share less about themselves through electronic channels. The more personal the information, the more likely they are to share it through only face-to-face channels. This is because people seek out the non-verbal cues that are associated with in-person communication. These losses also complicate the rebuilding of trust. Leaders that incorporate a significant “getting to know you” component and, if possible, a face-to-meeting, can also help establish swift trust by connecting everyone at the start of a project. When this isn’t possible, the incorporation of pictures and/or biographies can help (e.g. background, hobbies, childhood aspiration, greatest accomplishment).
  2. Increased Diversity. Virtual teams present greater complexity due to expanded geographies, time zones, cultures, languages, laws, regulations, and business processes. Different communication methods and project strategies may be required when working across geographical borders.
  3. Blurred Line between “Work” and “Life”. Having team members spread across time zones requires significant planning and may include early morning or late night conference calls. The leader needs to seek an optimum way of making sure work gets done without over-compromising on life outside of his work.

 

Competencies of a Virtual Leader

 

  1. Communication. Cultivating relationships is a top managerial competency. The ability to communicate effectively is a core competency for any leader, but especially critical for a virtual leader who is limited to communication through technology. Minute details such as frequency of communication and a leader’s responsiveness to problems is central to effective communication. Virtual leaders must also be able to provide crystal clear goals and objectives that their team members can understand. These will enhance individual self regulation and allow team members to monitor and evaluate their own performance on a regular basis. Providing such clarity is definitely more difficult in a virtual setting and thus a more significant challenge for virtual team leaders.
  2. Listener. Popular leaders are said to be good listeners, understanding and sensitive to schedules and team opinions. They have the ability to listen and hear what cannot be seen. This includes an acute awareness of the team, its overall mission, its strengths, weakness, and group dynamics. Not only do leaders need to have this awareness but they also need to create awareness in the team. A lack of awareness in virtual team members can lead to ineffective outcomes and a loss of group synergies. Virtual leaders must be able to carefully assess group dynamics and make management adjustments based on observation, listening and regular assessment of group dynamics. This process is once again made challenging through the need to gather the information through limited virtual communication tools.
  3. Tech-savvy. An effective virtual leader needs to be able to utilize the latest technology available, and, when necessary, to educate the team on their proper uses. Leadership in virtual teams is expressed through technology. Which tools a leaders chooses to use will have a large impact on the team’s performance, team relationships, and team efficiency.
  4. Open-minded. Open-mindedness, flexibility, interest in and sensitivity toward other cultures, ability to deal with complexity, resilience, optimism, energy, and honesty are all  qualities that allow virtual leaders to continue to work well in complex and unique environments where change is constant and probably more common-place than for traditional co-located teams. Global leaders must be able to deal with such complexity and be prepared to make strategic decisions in constantly evolving environments.These characteristics also allows them to work in a variety of settings, with diverse types of people and with a willingness to listen to new ideas from their team members. Global leaders also need to display an interest and sensitivity in new cultures. A healthy curiosity about people, their lives and work that is void of judgment will allow them to be empathetic and get along well with others.
  5. International. A global leader that has substantial experience in multiple countries and cultures during the early stages of their career will be able to relate much better to their team members that are geographically diverse.

 

Read our other blogs on this study:

Part 1: Virtual Communications in Global Teams

Part 2: Building Teams from a Distance

Part 3: Virtual Leadership

 

References:

Cornell University Study on Global Teams

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Build a Habit-Forming Product – Nir Eyal

January 13, 2015

Ever wondered how Apple users are so faithful to their iPhones, iPads and Macbooks? Ever wished you could develop the next habit-forming product that your users would get “hooked” to, and never be able to switch out of? Join us and Nir Eyal, author of bestseller “Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products“, to figure […]

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Building Teams from a Distance (A Cornell Study – Part 2)

January 5, 2015

In our second part of the Cornell Study on Global Teams, we explore the ways to build teams that are scattered across the globe.   While virtual teams have many advantages, they frequently struggle to establish a strong sense of trust between individuals and to communicate effectively. Here are some suggestions to build virtual teams […]

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FAQ for Pitch Hacking – JD Schramm

November 26, 2014

What are the most common queries people have regarding making pitches? Here are some of the FAQs from the Igniters – to be answered by JD Schramm of Stanford Graduate School of Business in our next blog post. “Approach and tactics, level of granularity, how much information should you provide but still protect your idea, […]

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Pitch Your Startup Story – and WIN!

November 18, 2014

What is your startup story? Has your startup faced multiple obstacles and challenges along the way? Did you get your inspiration over a chance meeting? Or have you pivoted your startup 999 times? We want to hear your story!! Every startup is unique, and every startup has its great story to tell. So share with us […]

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Learn the secrets of storytelling – JD Schramm

November 10, 2014

I know it’s been barely a month since the visit of Steve Blank at our meetup, but we’ve got yet another great speaker in line for you!! This is going to be a Thanksgiving treat, and also our final meetup for the year, so BE THERE! For those who were at Steve Blank’s meetup, you […]

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Virtual Communication in Global Teams – a Cornell Study (Part 1)

November 5, 2014

In recent years, many companies have increasingly turned to virtual teams as a means of connecting and engaging geographically dispersed workers, maximizing the reach to global talent, lowering the costs associated with global collaboration, and enabling greater speed and adaptability. These teams have shifted the way in which organizations traditionally form, manage and evaluate team […]

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33 Startup Notes from Steve Blank

October 27, 2014

Launching a startup is an act of aggression. It is not a passive action at all! Entrepreneurs are very much like artists, who have something in their system that they strongly need to get out of them – solving a problem, or a pursuing a passion. It’s usually product/vision-driven. The drive to make something happen […]

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5 Lessons I have Learnt from Telecommuting

October 23, 2014

Having telecommuted for some time, I definitely learnt some lessons on how telecommuting can be awfully difficult. No doubt, there are great things like being able to choose your own work space, not having to deal with traffic, having flexible work hours and being more productive (more on these great stuff in another blog post). […]

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