What is consider big. what is bigger. i don’t mean to be meta, but the tagline with iPhone 6’s release laid out that line perfectly.
In an era where a Chinese company has IPO-ed beyond 200 billion, it seems inexplicable that any synonyms with ‘big’ will be bounced around.
Yet, it seems that the idea of big, at least in our generation, is more and more attainable by the masses. Big data, big user base, big funding (excuse the grammar).
But all of these are only secondary to big ‘vision’.
Mark Zuckerberg had a vision of connecting people differently; its big user base now boast in the range of 1.3 billion, close to the population of China (talking about potential). Matt Mullenweg, at 18, wanted a way for people to share their ideas; now Wordpress is powering 24% of all websites on the Internet, a staggering statistics if you can wrap your mind around how many websites there are.
I was really moved by the volume of passengers on the Chinese bullet train. 2 million per day travels around the country in speed of up to 350 km per hour. While riding on one of the trains, I came across a call for advertising, which was asking for around ¥500,000 RMB for a month of advertising at the back of the seat. It may seem like a lot at first, but if your profit margin for any product is ¥5 RMB, you would have recoup 100% of your advertising cost with just 10% of the daily traffic.
There are just a lot of potentials.
With Alibaba’s stunning IPO, Jack Ma is elevated to a higher pedestal, with quotes by him appearing all over the web. There is one that stands out to me personally:
A leader should never compare his technical skills with his employee’s. Your employee should have superior technical skills than you. If he doesn’t, it means you have hired the wrong person. - Vulcan Post
We often worry about our skills at a job, how we can better ourselves. And it is certainly crucial and essential to get the job done. But if you ever want to get to a higher level, there needs to be a mentality shift.
I remember attending one of Eli’s class during my 2-year HCI/d program. He was elaborating on the type of designers we should strive to be. I don’t exactly remember the categories he mentioned, but the one thing that stood out was to be someone who is making strategic planning. Back then, it strikes me as odd that a designer’s work is ultimately not hands-on design. But it makes much more sense now.
Last week, I attended a talk by Tony Conrad, an IU alumni, the founder of about.me, and an angel investor. He shared a common trait of the companies that he had invested in. It’s always about a vision than a product or a company.
Don’t start a company, start a vision, start a movement. (paraphrased)
Examples such as Blue Bottle Coffee, a leader in what is known as third-wave coffee.
There are a lot of contradiction to what I have wrote. But the core of it that I’m trying to write for myself, is think of the big picture, cultivate, and develop a vision (beyond just an idea).
Everything else is secondary.