This is my third entrepreneurial innings. With the first, I managed to create a bootstrapped world leader called TWB or The Writers Block that serviced the largest Fortune 500 B2B tech leaders in the world. TWB made money from the 1st month and grew on its own cash flow. The next 2 startups, which I did not choose, are called TWB_ (called TWBShift, essentially TWB2.0) and VOSD.

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After 10 yrs of creating a world-class company TWB_’s fall was terrifying and total. In less than 6 months I was the only employee left in the company, from a few hundred earlier…

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What I learned from catastrophic failure and why was it the best thing that happened to me

I could say I have had an eventful life. I’ve had no problems sleeping on railway platforms or railway coach floors when growing up, and once I had the ‘education’ (read doing that MBA BTech thing) I was driven to create ‘success’ till one day everything changed to the point we didn’t have food to eat. Everything that I write derives from my personal experiences and my own dissection. …

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Technical Managers moving into Management roles is a script that plays out every day in large tech companies. Managers with the best technical expertise and ability to reach performance goals consistently are the first consideration for senior management roles. It is clearly an expectation from managers that they are promoted to management, the management thinks it is great because it represents continuity and that deep understanding of technologies, products and systems. Until it hits everyone.

The new management candidate gets increasingly frustrated because they spend little time using their technical skills and instead on “people problems,” navigating office politics, and…

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Dreading work is common. That’s why weekends were invented. Ah, it’s the weekend! Oh, it’s Monday!! Or you have a new assignment or a new boss or a restructuring is going on or maybe you’re simply bored in your role. And you ask yourself the question: Why am I doing this? Does my work have any meaning?

The quest for “meaning at work” impacts every job productivity and retention metric. Consider this:

  • A survey of 12,000 employees across companies and industries found 50% lacked meaning and significance at work (see The Energy Project).
  • Employees who derive meaning from their work…
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How many of your management team are true leaders — those who can inspire the organization, set a vision, teach important lessons, define culture and explain what the organization. Of those who are, how many are great communicators? Turns out some of the leadership and all of the communication are learnt skills. The easiest and the most powerful communication skill is telling great stories or ‘storytelling’.

Storytelling is critical for management and leadership because very often nothing else works. Graphs will leave listeners untouched. Conversation and dialogue can be too didactic. But the same listener can be moved with a…

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A Brand-Centric company is different than a Product-Centric company in how it creates and delivers value. We’ve seen a 7 step process on how to move product-centric managers to create and focus on the brand. In this part we look at the essential steps to creating a ‘brand’ centric company. It is critical for customers to associate the values you communicate with your brand — it is the most powerful unifying force throughout the company.

High-tech companies usually have various roles from very different backgrounds. Developers with strictly technical backgrounds may have little exposure to marketing or other business functions…

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Discussing branding for technology, we’ve seen earlier what makes a brand — the idea of brand promise and lessons from FMCG branding for technology branding. In this article, we elaborate on brand concepts and suggest some specific steps senior managers can take to move their companies from a product-centric to a promise-centric, brand-driven business.

Let’s consider how the buyers and sellers of technology participate in the sales cycle and perceive branding,

From a tech buyers perspective: When B2B consumers of technology especially information technology weigh the merits of a vendor’s bid, they weigh not just how well the vendor’s products…

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Because the brand concept evolved in the consumer goods markets it is no reason to reject it in business-to-business technology markets. But neither can it be used as is. In this article, we understand the branding gap, draw lessons, and understand the differences, from an industry that creates enduring brands — the FMCG businesses.

A great deal of our knowledge about branding and brand strategies comes from the accumulated experience of consumer-packaged-goods companies (FMCG) such as Unilever, Procter & Gamble and Nestlé. They practically invented brand management and have created a wealth of enduring and highly profitable brands. We’ve seen…

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A high-tech company’s brand is not the product name, not the logo, not the tagline, nor brand colours. All these are associated with the brand — but they do not form the brand itself. It is the name of its business. In this part 1 of 5 parts, we examine what are the drivers & characteristics of high-tech branding, how the models for FMCG branding don’t work for high-tech and what does.

TWB_ works with the worlds leading high-tech companies, whose solution is so brilliant that significant business growth has been achieved through inbound marketing. The company and its marketing…

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A few weeks I discovered a growth/tumour on my lowest right rib. Painful to touch. I was having a haircut when I first felt it. I finished the haircut then called a Dr friend of mine. He put me onto an onco-surgeon friend of his. When I reached there they were surprised when I introduced myself as the patient. The test would return in a day and the damn thing is benign. That’s a good thing. It’s growing and hurting more which is not a good thing. But that one day & night forces you to think of many things…

Rakesh Shukla

Founder & CEO of TWB_ which provides technology, learning and business content across the globe. Founder of VOSD, the world’s largest dog rescue. TEDx speaker.

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