Choose Your Story
I am back from my short vacation earlier this week. I was exploring the beautiful historical city of Montreal in the province of Quebec.
During my journey, I happened to visit Bio Dome - which is the largest natural science museum complex in Canada. Here we could discover the plants and animals from the Americas. There at BioDome, I come across a small little penguin (let's call him/her - Vigo for the purpose of this story) - that was doing this cycle of events repeatedly without actually getting tired.
As you can see in the following video - I have seen Vigo walking on the rocks then jumping straight deep into the waters and repeating the cycle. I was there next to the enclosure for 5 - 6 minutes and I saw Vigo doing this activity at least a couple of times.
While I was not there to actually count the number of times Vigo was taking those leaps of faith. One thing really clicked inside me that Vigo never chose to be in that enclosure in the first place - he/she was actually brought in from his/her natural habitat and kept inside that enclosure giving an impression to Vigo that everything is as normal as it could get with those artificial rocks and the paints on the wall with controlled water temperatures.
All Vigo was doing is just being him/herself inside the enclosure leaping away to glory without actually getting tired. Vigo is doing it without actually knowing that none of those enclosures, rocks, paints or the controlled water was chosen by it. The possible rationale behind its every leap is to probably flow through the waters differently every time it does.
Unlike Vigo, we humans are the only species - which know about ourselves. They know the actions they are taking and they continue to take those actions sometimes consciously and mostly unconsciously. In those most cases, we tend to find comfort and confidence in decisions that may not always be right. But we still take them as that's how it is or that is what is considered normal.
Nosce te Ipsum (Know thyself) - Carl Linnaeus, Swedish Botanist, 18th Century
There used to be a Swedish Botanist from the 18th Century - Mr Carl Linnaeus and in his studies, he named every species that we find on Earth. When it came to humans, he just mentioned - “Nosce te Ipsum” - meaning humans are a species that knows about themselves. It knows what it does and has this unique ability to be self-aware.
Continuing on to myself, I am a product management professional by interest and personally, I am very entrepreneurial by heart. Just like Vigo, I have this undying attitude about being persistent in coming up with ideas and I am continuing to experiment. If I look back, over the years I have explored so many unique and interesting business ideas.
Following are some of my most memorable learning experiences (I don’t want to call them failures - as I got to learn how not to do something or figure out when is the right time for something).
My journey into exploring ideas started in Germany - where I participated in a pitch competition - my idea was to create a centralized cloud repository for the healthcare records of patients. Then I explored building mobile games and applications using J2ME (built quite a few apps). Then there was another idea to build learning solutions using AR/VR - as I believe we often give kids answers to remember and they normally do not actually get to interact with their learning concepts in an engaging way.
Then as part of my coursework at Sobey School of Business in Halifax - I pitched an Idea to create a platform just before the pandemic (I also had a very unique name for it - clickmaple.com) to empower artisans across Canada to get a centralized platform to sell their products. I did some customer research - and also pitched the idea to a couple of startup incubators.
Then I pitched an idea for a highly lucrative market opportunity in the jewellery industry - my idea was about giving the power to customers to make their own design choices s using AI/ML/AR - virtually through the web platform.
While some of the ideas listed above might sound unique - but unfortunately I could not garner enough support from the startup incubators locally within Canada and in the US. One probable reason could be - some of the ideas were cost intensive or there are some other external factors.
I actually have made a list of many more such ideas - and I will continue to explore them just like Vigo. I will keep trying till I find that one great idea that is feasible, usable and valuable.
Similarly, I choose to move to Canada on my own merit under the skilled migrant category and when I moved - I thought the transition to the local marketplace would be seamless.
Much before I moved to the country - I also enrolled myself in doing my graduate Studies in Technology Entrepreneurship & Innovation from Sobey School of Business - Halifax, pitched a whole lot of startup ideas - learned about the nuances of venture capital, analyzed startups across Atlantic Canada, participated in competitions, travelled to many different places across Canada and learned so many new things.
I am continuing to explore this beautiful country with the hope that choosing it was the right thing to do and that I will surely find my Eureka moment. Till then I will go the Vigo (small penguin in Montreal) way by Choosing My Story.
My Point: In my view, being a #productleader today is not easy. But the right product leader is the one - who is entrepreneurial - and is well equipped with ideas to point out - what actually needs to change, decide when it is the right time for a business to adapt to emerging trends and build products that give value.
If any of the ideas listed above piqued your interest or you are looking for some advice on your product challenges or digital transformation. Book time with me using the following link: iamgrt.com/contact. I would be happy to talk more and add value to your business. Thank you.
Conclusion: If you have come this far, then give it a thought when you are choosing your story next time - choose one that is free from any biases or other external influences. Be the best of yourself as we are all born different and our choices can also be different only if we try. Go the Vigo way! :)