Monthly Archives: November 2014

Why do we need the arc and social enterprise?

Social Enterprise Flow Chart GraphicThe question is, if the United Nations was fully funded, why do we need the arc and social enterprise?

Though the United Nations has their own development programme to tackle development problems such as poverty and equality, the world still needs more social entrepreneurs. The skills that are found in social entrepreneurs are different than those of the UN. For example, the UN is a huge organisation that has access to capital, whereas social entrepreneurs are individuals who build themselves through limited capital and resources. These individuals will then have to make measurable returns by allocating their resources efficiently.

These ideas of the arc and social enterprise are opening major pathways to youths across the globe. Anyone can become social entrepreneurs if they have the vision of making social change through innovating, sharing and limited funding. Countries need to cultivate hopeful, ambitious children and young adults because they are at an age where dreaming is central to their life. Hence, anything is still possible in their minds. Ask young adults how they would like to change the world, and we get hopeful, daring answers. Ask people over the age of 20 how they would like to change the world, and we get limited, doubtful answers.

Thus, the world needs more social entrepreneurs. It gives hope to people at an early age and it advocates that limited capital and resources are not problems that should hinder one’s ability to make a difference.

Nestlé’s Foward Thinking Approach

Nestle, Creating Shared Value

Nestle, Creating Shared Value

Not surprisingly, Nestlé is the first company to come up when I searched for “companies who create shared value”. Drawing from Jessica’s post, I also agree that Nestle shows the concept of shared value perfectly. They are one of the few companies who realize that social problems are as central to the core business as economic problems. So how does Nestlé create shared value?

Realizing that “this” is the largest business opportunity they have

The concept of shared value is contrary to the idea of corporate social responsibility, where doing good is separate from profit maximization. Whereas, the value of decreasing negative externalities through creating shared value is integral for making profits. Nestlé acknowledges that shared value is crucial in creating long term value for shareholders by offering products and services that help people improve their nutrition, health and wellness.

Collaboration with NGOs and government

As Michael Porter says, the key now is to support deeper collaboration with NGOs and government to pull entities together in the name of progress. Nestle is currently partnering with UN Global and the Danish Institute of Human Rights to assess and address human rights impacts in their operations and supply chain.

I believe that Nestlé ’s forward thinking will help the company sustain success in the years to come. Their commitment, progress and objectives to create shared value will put Nestle in front of other companies who are trapped in an outdated approach to value creation. However, being one of the top multinational companies in the world, Nestlé will have to abide to their commitments well since the smallest fault the company does will attract global attention.

Generation Y and Change In the Workplace

The "Millenials" a.k.a Generation Y

The “Millenials” a.k.a Generation Y

Upon realizing that I’m part of the so-called generation Y, I took solace in knowing how our mind works and why it is different from previous generations. The way we think and how we present our values will certainly affect the way we work and want to work in the future. Like it or not, Millennials will change the workplace, as one headline says.

Though we respect strong work ethic, we try to redefine it. For example, deciding our own hours and dressing the way we want are essential motivational factors for us to generate our best work performance. These workplace flexibilities are contrary to old models of work, which are quickly becoming obsolete.

Nevertheless, our social mindset complements our seemingly self-centered and demanding nature, in which extrinsic factors does not simply satisfy us. Our heavy use of social media and smartphones cause us to become more aware of social, health, and political issues that are happening around the world. As cliche as it may sound, we become inclined to the idea of giving back and helping the earth to be a better place through various methods.

With this mindset, I believe that the generation Y will most likely seek workplaces with strong values of giving back to society and individuality at the same time. Working in a place where people share the same values will provide internal satisfaction and a sense of belonging in their field of work. Thus, satisfaction comes from intrinsic factors, which allow growth potential and fulfillment.


Is Uber a Breakthrough Innovation or Disruptive Innovation?

Uber's Slogan: "Everyone's Private Driver"

Uber’s Slogan: “Everyone’s Private Driver”

Such companies like Uber strive to disrupt the market from the bottom and eventually move up the market. However, does Uber conform to the characteristics of disruptive innovation? We all know that taxi and limousine companies in every city Uber has entered are trying to ban its existence.

Though disruptive innovation allows the greatest chance to create explosive growth and transform markets, disruptive innovation is not a breakthrough innovation, as Clayton Christensen has said. Companies tend to innovate faster than their customer’s need evolve and too often they create products that are too sophisticated, which does not get the customer’s job done. In order for the product or service to disrupt a market, creators need to address a certain pain that most people go through. However, not just any pain, but the kind of pain that almost anyone is itching to get rid of.

Based on my personal observations and experiences with Uber, the company seems to do well in getting people’s job done faster. People in busy, fast paced cities such as New York where cabs are almost always taken in the midst of traffic must have felt their frustrations subside knowing that Uber is there to help. Nonetheless, there’s nothing special about what Uber has built.

Uber doesn’t provide their own vehicles and rely on people who has a car and a license. In addition, riders can track the location of their dispatched drivers using GPS and pay directly on their phones. Essentially, Uber uses existing resources and compiles it into an app, which is accessible to anyone who has internet access and a smartphone.

Bottom line: Uber’s service is not a breakthrough innovation, yet it allows more people to have easier access to cabs.

Why Evernote Is Everyone’s Go-To Note-Taking Software

First look on Evernote Context in their annual conference, EC4, this month

First look on Evernote Context in their annual conference, EC4, this month

Like many other start-up apps, Evernote started with one simple job in mind: note-taking. Along with the increasing use of laptops and tablets, its founder, Stephan Pachikov, recognize that note-taking is a daily activity that customers want to get done quickly, but in an organized manner. But what makes the Evernote progressively different than other note-taking platforms out there?

When Rise and Trout talks about positioning, they say it is a battle for the mind. So instead of getting the “product right”, Evernote focuses on getting the “right product” for its customers by getting their job done. They are constantly expanding and adding new features to Evernote as a follow up to their start-up success.

Most recently, the Evernote Context is making headlines on tech blogs this month, with one stating that by bringing in Context, it is also positioning itself as a place where people can not only create content, but now also discover new content.

Just like Facebook and Twitter, Evernote is taking the route of expanding through other platforms by bringing in third party sources into their app, recognizing the importance of interaction in today’s society. Not only does this create a networking advantage for the company, but it also gets another of our daily tasks done easier in one software.

In essence, Evernote took a common point of parity and expand it successfully through their features, which act as their points of difference.

Bottom line: Evernote gets your job done.