Monday, September 1, 2014

Do we really want success in Technology ventures?

Last weekend, we did a couple of workshops on social media marketing and search engine optimization. While the overall response and interest was great, I personally observed an alarming trend - there were 3 times as many people in our Social media workshop compared to the SEO/SEM workshop! All other factors remained the same - target audience, time, venue, fees, trainer, our reputation and marketing efforts in promoting both the workshops.
Search vs social has been a perpetual debate for last few years, and will gain even bigger comparisons in coming decade. However, from the personal interaction with few people and going by the numbers, I have a few observations:
1. People's interest in coding, programming and learning even the basics like HTML (one of the simplest) is going down. We share various tools and techniques with our participants, and there was more interest in understanding content strategies rather than coding techniques for growth hacking for getting customers.
2. There is a general fear of coding - with so many tools available for doing stuff which was earlier done using coding, I guess we are getting used to comfort. I remember during my Infosys days 12 years back, we had to write huge files and create libraries for date/calendar applications. And today we have simple plugins available for even complex stuff like auto-publishing content. This has made life simple for many, but may not go too well for building technology ventures.
3. This brings me to another important point - use of numbers, maths and data. While we talk a lot about analytics, big data, and data - driven decision making, we found that people in general are not too comfortable with numbers, neither too much interested in overcoming that fear.
This brings me to the most important point that worries me - if we fear coding and mathematics, how will we build technology ventures? Most of the famous US ventures we talk about in every case study and five star events were build by techies, supported by people who were maniac about numbers. India and China are known for being great mathematicians, and our nation has given many great scholars to the world. Lets not lose that edge to outsiders! Lets build and support the culture of building hardcore skills and not just talk about soft aspects or management funde.
And this does not take away anything from the workshop quality or the participants nature. We had a wonderful workshop and here is a pic of the smiling people at the end of the program.

This month we will be doing a series of digital marketing workshops across India including Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai and Bangalore. Do visit and share with your friends who may be benefited.

Till then, be awesome!