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Bounce – How The Bike Rental Startup Is Changing The Way We Commute

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Indian metropolitan cities see a huge influx of graduates and working individuals due to India’s IT and startup boom.  As more and more people keep coming, traffic congestion is becoming a major cause for concern, giving endless nightmares to commuters trying to go to their offices and get back home.  All this makes owning a four wheeler a hassle, owing to endless traffic snarls. Bounce, a startup based out of Bengaluru, Karnataka, is slowly trying to change how we commute every day.  Bounce offers bike rentals with the aim of cutting down commute time.

The beginning

Bounce was founded by Vivekananda HR, Varun Agni and Anil G., who initially founded Wicked Ride, a premium bike rental service.  The idea took seed when Anil placed an order for a Royal Enfield bike and found out there was a waiting time of 12 months for the bike to be delivered.  This got him thinking and a realization dawned upon him—renting a bike is cheaper and more hassle free compared to the waiting time for all high end or luxury rides.  This slowly led to the establishment of the company Bounce we know today.

Growth of Bounce

With the advent of the Metro Rail infrastructure, the founders realised first and last mile connectivity was going to be a problem and they set out to address this.  They brainstormed various modes like cars, cycles and two wheelers and eventually finalised two wheelers. Using the revenue generated from Wicked Ride, they assembled a fleet of twenty scooters and began operating from the Baiyappanahalli Metro Station in Bengaluru.  The initial operating model was they used to hand over the keys of the bike and obtain proper signed documents from the customers. They had a team at another location to collect the bikes and their keys.

However, after realising they need to scale up and it could be achieved by integrating technology with the operating model, they decided to develop an app which worked using the Internet of Things (IoT.)  This was when Varun developed software and hardware which could be integrated in the vehicles, making them capable of being operated without keys. This meant users could unlock the bike with just their mobile, using the Bluetooth and data on their devices.

To take the ease of use even further, they started offering two  options of renting bikes from which the customers could choose one.  The first is the dockless model, which lets the user pick up the bike closest to them and use it.  This can be used for first and last mile connectivity or short trips. The user can later leave the bike at the point of their destination for the next user to use.  The other option is hourly rentals, which lets the user rent bikes when they have longer trips.

The founders are looking into electric vehicles to further bring down the cost per kilometer for users.  Bounce is rapidly gaining a user base in the metro cities, thanks to the nature of its simple and easy to use system.  Regular commuters are now slowly beginning to accept the use of Bounce bikes to bring down their commute time, especially during peak hours when the roads are congested due to the massive presence of four wheelers.

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Story of Rovio Entertainment, Makers of Angry Birds Franchise

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If you are a smartphone user, chances are you have seen or played the hit game Angry Birds at least once.  The game became a phenomenon due to its fun gameplay featuring ‘angry’ birds with powers and pigs which try to steal the eggs of the birds.  However, the creators of the game, Rovio Entertainment, almost went bankrupt before coming up with the idea of Angry Birds.  While Rovio Entertainment may look like an overnight success story, in reality, it really was not.

Beginnings

Rovio Entertainment was founded by three Finnish students, Niklas Hed, Jarno Väkeväinen and Kim Dikert, belonging to the Helsinki University of Technology, after they won a mobile game development competition sponsored by Nokia and Hewlett-Packard in 2003.  Rovio was initially named Relude. Later, the name was changed to Rovio in 2005 before finally becoming Rovio Entertainment in 2011.

Rovio Entertainment was focussed on making games which targeted niche audiences and concepts like science fiction and horror.  They released 51 games to not a lot of success and realised they would go bankrupt if they continued on the same path.

Development of Angry Birds

When the first iPhone was announced in 2007, the entire smartphone industry was disrupted, leading to the development of new ecosystems.  Mikael Hed, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rovio Entertainment, saw an opportunity to create a game which echoed with the millennial mindset and attention spans.  He wanted to come up with a game which was easy to load, simple to play without any tutorial and could be played at any time.

While the team of Rovio Entertainment was experimenting with different concepts, one designer pitched a concept art showing a group of birds which were cross for no reason and the design stuck.  The game was developed around these ‘angry birds’ by creating a storyline and antagonists. For the antagonists, the developers settled on pigs because of the swine flu epidemic which was in the news at the time.  Angry Birds was the fifty second game to be developed by Rovio Entertainment and was developed at a cost exceeding 100,000 euros.

Capturing the market

The developers realised they could not compete on the Apple App Store in the United States of America and the United Kingdom, which hold the largest market share with other games, as the response to Angry Birds was lukewarm.  Therefore, the developers released the game in smaller markets like Finland, Sweden and Denmark before capturing Greece and the Czech Republic.  The larger markets began to take note and the App Store in the United Kingdom finally put it on its featured games list, thereby catapulting the game into limelight and making it the number 1 game on the U.K. and the U.S.A. App Stores.  Angry Birds reached its one billionth download in 2012 and two billionth download in 2014.

Rovio Entertainment showed what it means not to give up and stick to an idea if it is endearing.  The success of Angry Birds is a testimony to the perseverance of the studio behind it.  Angry Birds successfully spawned a franchise, with multiple games on offer, merchandise and Hollywood movies to its name.

Read about the story of Electronic Arts here : The Story of Video Gaming Company Electronic Arts (EA)

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Entrepreneur Stories

7 Inspiring Quotes By Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

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Satya Nadella came into the limelight when he was announced as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Microsoft in 2014.  Satya Nadella succeeded Steve Ballmer and is the third CEO of Microsoft, the software and cloud giant. He managed to increase the stock value of Microsoft during his tenure at a growth rate of 27 % and made some key acquisitions like LinkedIn, Mojang and GitHub, to name a few.

Satya Nadella made it to the top of one of the world’s biggest corporations and in the course of his inspiring journey, he has shared many words of wisdom.

Let us have a look at some of the inspiring quotes by Satya Nadella.

1. “Be passionate and bold. Always keep learning. You stop doing useful things if you don’t learn.”

Learning is a constant process and there is always something new to learn, be it a new skill, a new language or a new subject.  Being in a state of learning will lead to a fulfilling life. Once the learning stops, there is no growth in an individual, which leads to a state of stagnation.

2. “You renew yourself every day. Sometimes you’re successful, sometimes you’re not, but it’s the average that counts.”

Each day is an opportunity to do something new.  Whether or not you are successful is unimportant, but every new trial contributes to the average output.  This offers the opportunity to learn from your mistakes and make the average better.

3. “I think playing cricket taught me more about working in teams and leadership that has stayed with me throughout my career.”

Cricket originated in England and spread to its colonies, where it is a popular sport.  Cricket is a team based sport and involves reliance on teammates, offering plenty of leadership opportunities.  Almost every team based sport offers a wealth of learning in terms of leadership and collaboration. In his book Hit Refresh, Satya Nadella mentions how he was taken out of the bowling attack because he was having a bad spell and was later recalled by the captain again to bowl.  That incident resonated deeply with Satya Nadella and he says, Why did he do that?  He could have just broken all my confidence and thrown me off the team, but for some reason, he decided to give me the ball back. That ability, that sensibility of what leaders can do to bring teams along to do their best work—that’s what we can learn from team sport.”

4. “If you do not jump on the new, you do not survive.”

The world is constantly in a state of change in this age of digital communication, where technology is growing at a very rapid pace.  In order to stay ahead of the competition, it is important to constantly adapt to new things.  In a bid to compete with cloud product service giants Amazon and Salesforce, Microsoft released Enterprise Mobility security, which allows corporations and organizations to track and protect their mobile devices.  This product increased Microsoft’s gross revenue up by 67 % and drew praise even from the critics who predicted its failure, thereby proving the Company’s ability to innovate and survive against all odds.

5. “Success can make people unlearn the habits that made them successful in the first place.”

While success is a cause for celebration, it is important not to let it get to your head.  Success should pave the way for setting a new goal and aiming to achieve it.

6. “Our industry does not respect tradition. What it respects is innovation.”

The software and cloud industry is constantly evolving at a rapid pace, with innovations happening at a very quick rate, making the competition cutthroat.  The entire industry thrives on innovation and Satya Nadella aims to do the same during his tenure as the CEO of Microsoft. Some innovations under his tenure include the Xbox adaptive controller designed to give additional assistance to differently abled people, the HoloLens augmented reality headset and the surface laptop.

7. “We all know the mortality of companies is less than human beings.”

Companies are made by the customers who use their products.  Many big corporations shut down due to lack of demand from their customers, like Blockbuster, Thomas Cook, Compaq and Toys R Us.  It is important to be humble and constantly innovate to improve the quality of life of the customer. Microsoft released its operating system (OS) Windows 8 as a measure to push people towards using tablets over desktops and pushed needless updates.  This did not sit well with the people and they avoided using the OS altogether. Microsoft took the feedback into account and then rolled out Windows 10, which was more stable and compatible with desktops.

Which of these quotes by Satya Nadella inspired you the most?

Read more about motivational quotes by Sundar Pichai here: 7 Motivational Quotes By Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai

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Entrepreneur Stories

5 Tips to Build A Strong Work Ethic

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Work ethic is often a term thrown everywhere by businesses and startups.  When organisations are looking to hire a new recruit, they often mention ‘work ethic’ in the job description.  While the term is used a lot, it is important to understand what it means and how you can build a strong work ethic at a workplace.

Work ethic is defined as a belief that hard work and diligence have a moral benefit and an inherent ability, virtue or value to strengthen character and individual abilities.  A strong work ethic is an important trait to have in order to pursue a successful career or business.

 

Let us have a look at some small things which can be done to build a strong work ethic.

1. Teamwork and collaboration

An important part of having a strong work ethic is realising the importance of being able to work in a team.  More often than not, an individual will be put in a team to accomplish a task. It is important to realize there is always a bigger picture at hand and that understanding will be able to foster teamwork and collaboration.  Being a team player helps in getting the job done by being more efficient at managing strengths and delegating work.

2. Being punctual and professional

It is always important to be able to plan to reach appointments, work or interviews on time.  Being punctual often conveys a lot about the ethics of an individual. Being professional displays the honesty and moral compass and can be achieved by doing simple things like being well dressed, being cordial with teammates and being empathetic and compassionate.

3. Organizational skills

Sometimes work can get overwhelming due to a number of issues like deadlines, extra work and lack of resources.  Individuals with strong work ethics have mechanisms to cope up with these. Work or resources need to be organized and divided into blocks or sets and putting a routine in place.  Doing this also helps in developing time management skills, giving an individual ample time to dedicate resources and energy elsewhere. Poor organizational qualities lead to sloppy work and mistakes.

4. Having a healthy mind and body

Being healthy is an important indicator of a strong work ethic.  Being healthy does not just mean physical health, it encompasses mental health as well.  A happy frame of mind will contribute to the positive well being of the team as well as reflect on the work.  Taking a break to recharge your batteries freshens your mind and body as well as provides insights into work, which may otherwise have been overlooked.

5. Reliability and dedication

Being able to take ownership of work and display commitment towards getting a job done is another trait which displays a strong work ethic.  A dedicated individual does not hesitate to ask for help if they hit a roadblock and also provides inputs and advice when needed by another team member.  They put effort into ensuring deadlines are met comfortably by managing their time and resources as well. A reliable individual asks for more responsibility in order to display their dedication to the organisational goals.

Research studies show it takes more than sixty days for a behaviour to translate into a habit.  By implementing these simple behavioural qualities, it is possible to build a strong work ethic.  While the qualities may be simple on paper, it is the implementation which sets an individual apart from their peers.

Read about how to increase business opportunities here: Five Steps Entrepreneurs Can Follow To Identify New Business Opportunities

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