Creating an on-line business, blooming ‘eck its tough!!

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Have you ever tried to create an on-line business from scratch in a week? It’s no easy task but that’s what they set us the challenge of doing for module 2 of the Google Squared course. I’ve made it sound like we had to create the entire business and get it live, it wasn’t quite that difficult but effectively by working in small groups of 9 and showcasing true collaboration we had to agree on a business idea, put together a business plan and create a presentation with narration. It doesn’t sound too difficult does it? Well it is.

First of all, throwing a bunch of people together that don’t know each other, asking them to agree on an idea then have enough structure to ensure the presentation covers all of the salient points is always going to be difficult. After that came the tough gig of combining the presentation and narration which certainly presented lots of technical problems.

However, I would say that the Google Squared course over the month certainly had elements to it to help us with this task and items like the value proposition canvas (pictured below) went a long way towards making our life easier. In addition they were able to supply us with plenty of information on how other businesses have managed to go through this process and some of the tools they might have used.

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I think it’s fair to say that the coursework was quite difficult because there were so many cooks and whilst we didn’t spoil the broth it was almost a project in itself figuring out how everyone worked, what made them tick, how they consume information and what to expect from them. If i’m being honest, that was my biggest learning curve, learning how to work with people you can’t physically meet and trying to do it in high pressure, short time frames but I think we managed quite well and learnt a lot to get us ready for module 3.

One of the books we were recommended reading was Eric Ries book called the Lean Startup and even though I am still reading it I was surprised by some of the content and so far am enjoying it quite a lot, would definitely give it a read. It doesn’t matter whether you work for an enterprise organisation or a start up the book appeals to all and if anything I wish I would have read it when I worked for a large organisation as it might have helped me.

All in all, module 2 was interesting but not revolutionary in my opinion, module 3 certainly sounds like it’s going to step up and for an old Gen Z’er like me I hope I can step with it, might need to get down the gym 🙂

Gen Y in Squared Online

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I recently started the Google Squared Online course and the first thing I thought about my “Gen” (Generation), the whole idea came about because when I first started Squared Online there was such a mix of ages and skills. It caused nerves initially because you are always worried about losing touch with the latest innovations and even though I believed my strategic knowledge of marketing channels is quite good i’m not sure how good my technical knowledge is.

One thing that has come across quite loud and clear is that actually everyone has different levels and different skill sets and actually I can learn from everyone (senior or junior) on the course.

Aside from learning lots of technical knowledge, a big factor for attending the course is in being truly collaborative. I honestly don’t believe collaboration means how much tech you use to share ideas such as basecamp, join.me or any other tech solution that are circling us every day. It’s not that I dislike tech, quite the contrary, I love tech but I believe tech for tech’s sake is a hindrance to our everyday life. I actually want to share ideas, information and consume that information in the easiest way possible and hopefully there is a bit of tech that can help me achieve that.

Has anyone seen “He’s just not that into you”? Even though this clip is about dating it sums up the overuse of tech sometimes and not picking your battles perfectly.

I’ve always felt I’m collaborative but more recently when working on getting my site up (Inspired By Locals) I realised that perhaps I’m not as good a listener as I thought and don’t always collaborate well, always interested in getting my view across and not listening. I’m hoping Squared Online can help me be truly collaborative because it will force me to work in groups and on-line which will hopefully make me unlock the true nature of collaboration.

In our second lecture by Anton Damianos he made a particular point when he mentioned that we shouldn’t learn to be collaborative on the course and then go back to our place of work and tell everyone we should absolutely do things the same way we learnt on Google Squared, it’s about applying the method of collaboration so everyone feels empowered.

HERE ENDETH THE RANT