Evan Thomas Spiegel aka Evan Spiegel is the CEO and Co founder of the most popular mobile application Snapchat. This tech geek is loved by everyone for bringing up the most incredibly used photo sharing app. The smart and savvy tech entrepreneur rebelled against the archived timelines of the other social media platforms to allow users to communicate at the moment through temporary pictures, video and text. As of now, there are 100 million active users sharing 9,000 snaps per second. Huge, right? Evan shot to fame after pioneering the idea of self deleting pictures on Snapchat. Evan Spiegel is someone the young generation looks up to for inspiration. With an estimated net worth of $ 2.1 billion, 26 year old Spiegel is the youngest billionaire in the world.
Here are 5 life lessons to learn from Evan Spiegel!
1. Dare to be unique
Do not be like everyone else. Dare to be unique and showcase your thing with confidence! The talented lad Evan said to have faith in yourself. Know that you will be capable of all the growth expected of you and that you expect of yourself. Having faith in oneself and letting things happen makes you stand out from the crowd. If you have an idea that is unique and different, do not be afraid to showcase it!
As an entrepreneur, you need to believe in yourself and make things happen with passion and dedication!
2. Follow your heart
Evan Spiegel spoke at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business where he was the chief guest. Spiegel called out students to follow their heart and intuitions. He encouraged the people present at the event to listen to their heart and follow that instead of relying on someone else’s advice. If you have an idea, go follow it! Put your soul and heart into it to make it happen and see the stars following your path!
3. It’s not about the Degree
A degree doesn’t matter as long as you are passionate about something that could be implemented with immense dedication. Spiegel came up with the idea of Snapchat while working on a class project as a student, at Stanford in 2010. He initially named it Picaboo. With two of his fraternity brothers, Spiegel left the college in 2012 to develop Snapchat before he completed his degree and the rest we know is history! Evan unique Spiegel explained he too had participated in his class’ graduation ceremony, despite not receiving his degree. He even wore the cap and gown and walked onto the stage.
4. Learn from your mistakes
The inception of Snapchat took place with a mistake. Yes, we are not kidding! Snapchat was also thought up in a college dorm room. The idea came after a conversation with his frat brothers Reggie Brown and Bobby Murphy at Stanford University about sexting. There was a confusion made by one of the Snapchat’s co founder Reggie Brown. He had stepped into Spiegel’s room to discuss a photo he wished he didn’t send to someone. Brown had said I wish there was an app to send disappearing photos. Spiegel immediately became animated and called it a million dollar idea. Of course, he wasn’t wrong. We now have the best photo sharing app! Learning from your mistakes and using it as an opportunity to focus on the better is a very important thing! Do not be afraid of making mistakes, learn from them instead.
5. If at first, you don’t succeed, try and try again
It was then that Evan and his colleague developed the idea of Snapchat and started working on its development. They named it Picaboo, which failed to attract any investors’ support. Basically, just because there were some flaws in it. On top of that, the idea that why one would share an image that disappears led to the downfall of the group. Spiegel once said you are going to make a lot of mistakes. I’ve already made a ton of them some of them very publicly and it will feel terrible, but it will be okay. Just apologize as quickly as you can and pray for forgiveness.
At the end of the day if you are passionate about something and work hard for that you will ultimately achieve it.
5 Reasons Why Telegram Founder Pavel Durov Thinks Whatsapp Is Dangerous
Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram Messenger, is no fan of Whatsapp and he believes Whatsapp is dangerous and not safe. Elucidating more on the topic, Durov made his reasons known in a blogpost he published in late 2020. Here are the five reasons why Pavel Durov thinks Whatsapp is dangerous.
1) If Jeff Bezos’ phone can be hacked via Whatsapp then nobody is safe.
One of the richest men in the world and the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos’ phone was allegedly hacked by Mohammed Bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. Some of Bezos’s private communications and images were taken during the hack following which Whatsapp’s security was questioned.
2) The United Nations recommends its officials to remove Whatsapp from their devices
The United Nations recommends its officials to not use Whatsapp because it thinks Whatsapp is not a secure mode of communication. In June 2019, a U.N., spokesman Farhan Haq said, “The senior officials at the U.N. have been instructed not to use WhatsApp, it’s not supported as a secure mechanism (sic.)” This directive came when independent U.N. experts found a possible involvement of Mohammed Bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, in the alleged cyber attack of Jeff Bexos’ phone in 2018.
3) End to end encryption does not guarantee security.
Durov says “in their marketing, WhatsApp uses the words “end-to-end encryption” as some magic incantation that alone is supposed to automatically make all communications secure. However, this technology is not a silver bullet that can guarantee you absolute privacy by itself (sic.)”
4) Chat backups on Android and Apple cloud are not encrypted.
Pavel Durov does not believe chat backups in the cloud are safe and says “Users don’t want to lose their chats when they change devices, so they back up the chats in services like iCloud – often without realizing their backups are not encrypted. The fact that Apple was forced by the FBI to abandon encryption plans for iCloud is telling (sic.)”
5) Backdoors continue to exist in Whatsapp
“There are backdoors. Enforcement agencies are not too happy with encryption, forcing app developers to secretly plant vulnerabilities in their apps. I know that because we’ve been approached by some of them – and refused to cooperate. As a result, Telegram is banned in some countries where WhatsApp has no issues with authorities, most suspiciously in Russia and Iran (sic,)” claims Durov in his blogpost.
As data privacy is becoming more and more important in the current day and age of the internet, we wonder what messaging application is totally safe.
5 Warning Signs For A Startup To Avoid Failure
A startup can go on for months without paying attention to some warning signs which indicate imminent failure. The startup journey would be smooth until suddenly problems keep popping up one after the other. Founders will scramble to plug the holes in their startup which would often lead to a diversion of their energies to the problem rather than steering the startup towards their vision. Sometimes, the problems would not even come to light until and after a startup goes bust. While the warning signs are there, they often tend to be ignored till it is too late. However, looking for these signs and making a conscious effort to address them would definitely course correct a startup for good.
Here are the five warning signs for a startup to avoid failure
1) Unable to define customer needs
A startup always needs to be aware of the needs of their customers as well as understand these needs keep changing from time to time. Clients are the key to a successful startup even more important than investors. Addressing customer complaints and listening to feedback is highly important and needs to be followed through even though some of the feedback could be highly negative.
2) Failure to pivot
A startup could be doing great things and scaling up rapidly but can still go under if it does not adapt to the changing demands and technology. A business model or a product which is working now does not mean it would work forever. This has been the hubris for many well known startups and startups which successfully pivoted have thrived. For instance Blockbuster, the video rental chain was one of the biggest companies in the United States of America before they closed shop due to the arrival of Netflix. The online streaming platform offered Blockbuster an opportunity to acquire them and adapt their model but Blockbuster declined and the rest is history.
3) Not accounting for market forces
The market is a special place which could teach a lot of things to a startup about pricing, demand and supply, sales, management and so on. While things might be sailing smoothly for the time being, startups need to have contingency plans for scenarios which might happen in the future. Forecasting needs to be done for at least a year to ensure smooth flow of operations. The recent COVID-19 pandemic is a prime example as a lot of startups were completely blindsided. While the situation could be termed as an act of god, some startups have put away some funds for use exactly for times like these. Another example would be UberEats in India, which did not account for a saturated market in food delivery which is ruled by Zomato and Swiggy. This led to them having to sell the business to Zomato.
4) Mistimed products
While a startup can come up with a game changing idea, releasing it into the market should be a calculated affair. There is a risk of the product not being accepted widely in the market even though the technology and the idea behind it is ages ahead of its time. This has led to many products to fail miserably only to have another player taste success with the same idea. Famous examples of failures and success respectively include Orkut and Facebook, Meru and Ola, Foodpanda and Zomato, Blackberry messenger and Whatsapp.
5) Running out of cash
Working capital management is the biggest focus point for any startup as it directly impacts the survivability of a startup. Running out of capital is one of the biggest reasons startups often fail apart from poor product fit and failed pivots. Take the case of Hola Chef for example, a startup which connects users with chefs who cook exotic meals. Venture capitalists loved the idea of this startup but the arrival of Zomato and Swiggy saw investors backing out of Hola Chef which ultimately led the startup to shut down and eventually be acquired by Ola backed Foodpanda.
If you can locate any of these warning signs, you could better adjust the course of your startup to navigate choppy markets and to mitigate those risks on the road to survival and growth.
What Is Organisational Development And Why Is It Important
The market is a highly competitive and a volatile place as customer needs and preferences keep changing without any warning. A startup or an organisation needs to be flexible with the ever changing demands and needs in order to adapt to sudden changes. Many high performing startups had to close shop because they simply could not account and plan for the future. Nokia had to shut shop because it could not adapt to the iOS and Android operating systems, Blockbuster closed down because Netflix disrupted their entire business model and there are many more such examples. However, some companies survived due to multiple changes in technology like Philips for instance, which realised the importance of LED and incandescent bulbs. Philips quickly adapted these new bulbs into their roster because they understood Tungsten filament bulbs would be phased out.
This is where Organisational Development (OD) comes into play and almost every startup which continuously adapted to change applied principles of organisational development.
What is organisational development
In simple terms organisational development means doing something which ensures the longevity of an organisation. OD ensures people and processes can adapt to change, innovate and be in a state of constant transformation. OD can only be successful if it is part of a company’s core goal.
Why is OD important
OD does not mean just developing skilled staff and efficient systems and the following are the reasons why OD is important.
1) Boosting emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively and empathize with others. Emotionally intelligent companies develop strategies in place to help their employees hone their skills and become more productive. A simple example would be to assign a new employee to shadow an experienced member of the team so they could learn the in and outs of the team processes. Similarly external mentors could be brought in to offer sessions on topics relevant to a team.
2) Attracting and retaining talent
Gone are the days when jobs used to be monotonous and devoid of much learning. The current workforce is highly focussed and needs to learn new skills and data quickly. The workforce has come to expect a certain kind of professional development from their employers. Having an environment of continuous learning would encourage current talent to stick to an organization and at the same time provides a huge incentive to attract new and great talent. Some of the top organizations like Salesforce, Indeed, Google and Microsoft to name a few are always in demand among job seekers and their workforce constantly keep talking about the developmental opportunities provided.
3) Product and service enhancement
One of the key importance of OD is it drastically improves the chances of innovation which leads to product enhancements. Innovation is achieved through employee development, which focuses on rewarding successes and boosting motivation and morale. Processes like Technology development, patents, manufacturing capabilities, consumer preferences, target market analysis are some of OD topics which assist in innovation. An example would be OnePlus which is deemed as a flagship killer in the mobile segment because they understand the market need for having a premium phone with flagship features for an unbeatable price. Year after year, they have exceeded expectations in terms of pricing and features because OnePlus understands the needs of their target market.
OD programs in an organization can greatly contribute to amplify a company’s ability to manage and maximise the power of change. Gone were the days when a job was an exchange of time and energy for financial gain. Today employees want a place of learning and a place where ideas are discussed freely and having an OD plan will greatly contribute to the success of an organization.
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