Here are a few lessons I learnt while running my online branding & web development firm Digital Max Solutions (DMS) in Nepal for nearly 10 years now. Some of the lessons are site specific and technology start-up specific. Enjoy!
- Be directly, personally responsible to the client. Otherwise chances of success in your project is low.
- Ensure quality yourself. If you personally don’t do quality checks on your products or services, make sure the person who does it, has your 100% trust. (Otherwise it will come back to haunt you)
- Delegate but teach. If you delegate project communication to your developer (employee), teach him/her exactly how, what, why and when to communicate.
- Train your employees. Do not expect them to solely learn by their own or by internet. Understand the concept first, yourself.
- Employees value what they can learn from you personally. Substituting respect from them by friendship with them, may not work.
- Repeat yourself. Over-communicate. Your employees may not understand the first time around. This happens often. Ask them to paraphrase (To repeat what they understood.)
- Client is always right (but only at the end). Do ask them a lot of questions before the project starts. Over-communicate. Have written approvals from clients on exact requirements before starting. If something goes wrong at the end, blame yourself.
- Believe in numbers when confused. Make sure you record and then pull up past project history, client history, project hours, efficiency etc regularly. Track everything!
- Lead by example. Change yourself first. Learn yourself first. Show them yourself first. Learn first (if its technology you want the company to adopt.)
- Groom people with exceptional attitude. If you find such a person in your team, help them, mentor them, train them and partner with them; i.e groom them to lead. They will return in kind (and more). Don’t worry about them leaving. You reap, what you sow.
- Always decide. Don’t “decide not to decide” or leave it for fate to decide for you. Your in-decision will turn into sleep-less nights for you. (I am guilty of this myself)
- Fail fast. Let your team experiment with a lot of ideas but make sure you do it small. This way you can fail fast. And if you succeed, you have a new way to generate revenue :) !
This caught my eye.
seems like a new way of shopping from Nepal. Your thoughts ?
We want a park to enjoy, to take a breathe away distraction full Kathmandu. What better use of the old Royal Palace in Kathmandu to turn it into a park! It is a huge space in the most lucrative business districts of the country and it now houses a stupid museum and a stupid bureaucratic hole. So lets suggest some creative ideas for this space. Here are some of mine:
- Take the bloody foreign ministry somewhere else first.
- Get a bid for building a hybrid limited storied business- commercial shopping complex all around the Palace. This way new businesses will have a new address to attract nepalis and foreigners alike. Cap the design to be more architecturally Kathmandu’s Malla period architecture. Let there be a open plan/competition for architects for a design that incorporates tourism complex with a big park in the middle. Use this to attract responsible tourism related business into the complex. (plan is to extend and upgrade Thamel’s charm there in a more cultural plus natural framework).
- Let most of the revenue go towards building an impecabbly well maintained park not unlike the “Garden of Dreams” next door in Thamel. This will be our ‘Central Park of New York. or “Lumphini Park of Bangkok’. Build a park where people can walk, children can play and pets can be brought in safely. Ban Big gatherings.
- Also make it a space for morning/evening walks, outdoor running, and peaceful meditation spots.
- Make another small space within this,where Artists, musicians, dancers, creative teams (not political) can hold open gatherings (without too much disturbances – architects can design this within the huge space of the Former Royal Palace.
- Make the park vehicle free but build a underground parking area though that will generate additional revenue and people can park their vehicles in peace.
- A Question: Make it open and fee-less but with strict enforcement? ” or keep it closed and with an affordable fee -easier to manage like the Garden of Dreams?
Add your own ideas on how to best use the Royal Palace ? should we start a movement on this ?
Most of Nepal’s urban workforce have to work 6 days a week in Nepal.
I seriously doubt if our productivity is more than 2 days. I feel a significant part of Kathmandu operates in super slow motion.
It just means most of us think work not as a passion but as a job, not as a learning, but as a requirement.
Time to change your job or find something in your job that translates into passion and pursue that otherwise you are not really helping yourself or others around you.
We are thinking of implementing a remote workplace where people work from their own homes /places and come together only when needed.
-few things to think about
Voice over IP system ( every worker has to be linked with at least 256kbps connection) and their special phone (or computer) acts as a communication tool. The server could be an “astreisk” open source VOIP system in linux. (free)
A special online time log system which logs time for your projects and makes you basically efficient.
(we are still trying to find one which suits our purpose).
Everyone has to have a backup system for electricity outages (which is notorious in Nepal.) Recommend usage for laptops.
An online project management system such as the free open source ProjectPier system.
An online client invoicing system (such as Freshbooks).
and every employee gets paid directly to their bank account.
Don’t forget to add more suggestions !!!