Technology Ventures – From Idea to Enterprise

I have recently finished reading the book Technology Ventures – From Idea to Enterprise (Byers, Dorf, Nelson, 2011, 680 pages) and I am definitely happy with it.

This book is one of the required readings for a course in Entrepreneurship I am currently following at the University of Oslo, as part of the Master program on Entrepreneurship and Innovation. And I confess I was a bit skeptical when I first saw that it covers all aspects of building up a technology company: how could a single book cover all elements of such long and difficult process, I thought, from idea to intellectual property, from marketing to finance?

But, to my surprise, this book does exactly that: covers all aspects and do it surprisingly well!

One of the interesting ideas the authors had was to follow a single company creation (real case) that illustrated the topics discussed in each one of the 20 chapters. With such “real-world” focus, including stories on many different existing businesses, the book accomplishes the task of covering theory with a practical bias. And this is very good, especially in an area that is so reality-based.

So, I really recommend reading through this book. Of course it should not be the only one to be read, but is a good summary for many other “must-read” books around the covered subjects. 


Getting to Yes

I recently finish reading the book Getting to Yes (Fisher, Ury and Patton, 2012, 204 pages), and I can say that I am very pleased with it.

Before commenting on the book, though, it is important to point that the title can be misleading: one can read it as “getting the other side to say yes to what you want out of a negotiation”. And this is all the book is not about.

The book, which was written by some of the minds behind the Harvard Negotiation Project, talks mainly about the framework of principled negotiation. Meaning that instead of endless and ineffective time spent bargaining over positions, negotiators should give a step back and select some objective criteria under which the negotiation should proceed. By doing this, allied with a healthy separation between people and problem, negotiators can discover each other’s deep interests and come up with innovative and elegant solutions to the negotiated issues.

The basic assumption here, which seems pretty solid to me, is that in most of the cases, when all interests are explicit, it is possible to find out some common ground that satisfies all parts involved on a negotiation. And if not, the book also points to the need of developing a good BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated solution).

So, although some parts seem repetitive and commonsense, I really recommend reading through this book, since its ideas can be of great value, if practiced, to come to satisfactory outcomes to negotiations, and also preserve the relationships among negotiators.


A new kitchen in Oslo – Part 1: The beginnig

Chronicles about the installation of a new kitchen in the (small) apartment that my wife and I bought in Oslo.

At the end of 2012, my wife and I decided to buy a small apartment (31sqm) in Oslo. What seemed to us a good move, since we could avoid the high rents practiced at this city, turned out to require a considerable amount of extra work to redo the apartment’s integrated kitchen, since the existing one was too small and poorly supplied (lacked freezer, oven, microwave and had only a 2 burner’s cooktop).

So, along the first semester of 2013, we lived a parallel adventure to buy and install a new kitchen, which was intended first to be finished before the date we actually moved in (March 31st).

I say parallel adventure because the adventure of life, of work, of my wife’s pregnancy, of the Norwegian studies and of all the other small occupations of daily life remained the same. Just the kitchen ended up becoming, for some months, the main focus of our attentions.

And why to tell this story about a kitchen? Because it illustrates very well many aspects of our life in Norway. And because many chapters of this adventure took the dimension of a movie, with highs and lows, and with the hope of a happy end!

Well, to conclude this introduction, nothing better than a picture of the old kitchen:

Remember that by kitchen I mean an integrated kitchen. Yes, because the apartment is really small, and therefore there would be no space of a separate-room kind of kitchen.

I soon return with the next chapter!


Crossing the Chasm

Recently I finished reading the book Crossing the Chasm (Geoffrey Moore, 2002, 227 pages), and it was a super interesting reading. First, because it is a great book, with many insights on how new products come to market on high-tech field (or fail to do so!). And this book is considered a “bible” on its segment.

Secondly, because it introduced me to a whole new world, since on my ignorance I previously thought that marketing was equivalent to advertising. And it is obviously not. Marketing, at least when it comes to high-tech, means understanding the different types of users there are out there (early adopters, pragmatists, conservatives), and how and when they end up absorbing innovation. After going through such precious information, the book continues describing how to proper position a new product in order to make it into mainstream.

Easier said than done, but these concepts are actually indispensable for someone who works with innovation, and I would go further saying that it could be really useful for all that work with new products in general and want to contribute to making their products successful. If you neither work with marketing nor with innovative products, this could still be an interesting reading for getting to know how you as a consumer react towards innovations and what the big players on this field are doing to grab your attention. Good reading!


The Prize

Today I finish reading the book The Prize - The epic quest for oil, money & power (Daniel Yergin, 2010, 908 pages).

I can just feel a great pleasure after completing this fantastic journey through the world of the oil and gas, since its beginning as a modern industry, on the mid-1800’s, to the recent days. 

To talk about oil and gas is to talk about economics, politics, diplomacy and war, for this energy-supplier was at the center of virtually all big events of the last 150 years. Especially interesting, for example, was to follow how gasoline, for tanks, ships and airplanes, dictated most of the important decisions taken by the powers fighting the World War II.

And oil is one of these things that is easy to grasp the importance of, since it makes not only the headlines in the papers so often, but also plays a very noticeable role in our daily lives, particularly after the beginning of the automobile industry.

For these reasons above and many more, I strongly recommend this book. The overall discovery on the oil's history is also a great way of building a rich contextualization over the world’s history (mainly American, European and Asian history), which is amazing for all those interested in the past and its role in shaping the present and future.

Finally, I would like to thank the author, Daniel Yergin, for this great piece of work. It is impressive to see a book with so great ambition of scope, and such fantastic qualities of good and sober analysis, combined in an attractive writing style that make the text, though long, very delightful to read.


É como..

Pra mim, é como se não te amasse.. de tanto que queria te amar!

Pra mim, é como se eu nada me esforçasse.. de tanto que queria me esforçar.

Pra mim, é como se quase nada fizesse.. de tanto que queria fazer.

Mas.. que bom! Quero querer sempre mais... Amar, esforçar, fazer!

F. I. S.