Chime's thoughts on the world of knowledge

  • Do you need to be an entrepreneur to be entrepreneurial?

    We all admire people like Elon Musk.  But going it alone, and being different, are hard.  Can we still be entrepreneurial, if living as an entrepreneur isn’t quite right for us?

  • Forget success stories - I want to hear more creativity stories

    Regardless of whether I see myself as “creative”, what I get up for in the morning is to create something.  Entrepreneurs are the architects of businesses: they invent the concept, design its manifestation and supervise its construction.  What they create is ideally interesting, practical and long-lasting.  It must be feasible with the available time and resources.  It should evoke a positive association in those who come into contact with it.  In the best case, it may become iconic.

    Focusing on the entrepreneurship ‘success stories’ does the community a disservice.  It implies that if you’re not getting a massive personal payout and lots of publicity, what you’ve spent your time on isn’t that valuable.  It implies that these superhuman individuals have done something original that nobody else came close to.  But we don't have the same attitude to art.  We need to do a better job of celebrating creativity in business for its own sake, regardless of the subsequent success or failure of that business.

  • Why we should talk to strangers

    It’s a cliché, but my most enriching experiences have come from travelling.  That's because of who and what I am forced to interact with, and how that changes my perspective on things.  But what do we do at work - do we genuinely seek out people and ideas unfamiliar to us?

  • What you wanted to know about the sharing economy but didn't want to ask

    Every now and again, someone asks me a question along the lines of “what do you think of the sharing economy?” (or collaborative consumption, or peer-to-peer, or on-demand, or online marketplaces, or the gig economy, and so on).  It’s always difficult to know what they’re really asking - it’s likely to be one of a few questions they actually want to ask, but don’t want to come across as inflammatory.  So, if that might be you, here’s the long version.
  • Why you maybe shouldn’t get started with that startup at all

    Last week, I wrote about how to get started with your startup.  But what if you’re not actually well-suited to being a founder at all?  How do you know?  I said the only way to truly find out is to try, and I do believe that.  However, I think there are a few things you might want to force yourself to think through ahead of time to minimize potential pain further down the line.  Here are my top 4 questions to help you figure out whether you should really start that startup.
  • Why you’re not getting started with your startup

    When I speak to people who are thinking about possibly starting their own business, a common question is "what have you found to be the hardest part so far?". My answer has not changed in the last year: "getting started". For months, even years, before Chime was in existence, I'd been trying to decide whether entrepreneurship was for me, I'd been searching for an idea I could believe in, and I'd been wondering if I'd built up enough skills, network and resources to strike out on my own.  That mental image I had, of striking out, was incredibly daunting to me (not particularly helped by the incredulity of some of my friends and family).  But given how hard it is to manage and grow a young company that already exists, in hindsight it seems ridiculous to view getting started as being the difficult bit.
  • The vital skill that's in our nature but we fail to nurture

    The curiosity of young children is a universal truth; they ask questions to better understand the world around them and their place in it.  As we grow up, while we never achieve complete comprehension, we do seem to develop an aversion to asking questions.  If we try to rationalize this, we might think that it makes perfect sense for a couple of reasons.  First, as you get older and wiser, you should have less of a need to ask questions.  Second, in order to be respected in society, we should move from asking others for answers to supplying them ourselves.  In reality, we need to challenge both of these assumptions, because asking good questions is a vital skill for success.

  • The myth of the 'mentor'

    Most of us are advised to get a mentor - no, a sponsor! - in order to have a hope of advancing as quickly as we deserve and hope for.  Gandalf and Frodo, Yoda and Luke, Rafiki and Simba, Dumbledore and Harry Potter… the enduring popularity of such mentor-hero pairings in popular culture underlines how much we all want to believe in this narrative for ourselves.  However, I find this concept problematic for multiple reasons.

  • Four online learning platforms for ‘time poor’ consultants

    Finding the time for Professional Development and training between all the meetings, catch-up calls and deadlines can be a job in itself. It’s often easy to skip the hour or two you’ve allocated to learning a new skill each week because something “more important” has come up or to make headway on that never ending to-do list. Thankfully there are an abundance of platforms and providers whose mission is to make learning and development easier and accessible. Whether you’re an early bird/night owl who fits it in when the office is quiet, or a commuter maximising your train time, these online platforms are definitely worth a look.
  • What it means to ‘meditate’ on a decision

    We all have decisions we struggle with.  We often seek external help - information, advice, analytical resources - and that usually leads to more informed decision-making.  But ultimately you will have to make the call as to where to make an investment, or where to cut costs, or what your new business model will be.  No amount of information and advice and analysis can make that decision for you.  At that point, someone might tell you to ‘meditate on it’.  This might just be an offhand turn of phrase, but, given how much airtime the concept of meditation and mindfulness is getting these days, I think it’s worth exploring.

Is there a topic on which you'd like to read Chime's views?  If so, let us know.