The Crowd Disruption

The picture above should give you some ideas about the phenomenon I want to talk about: The Crowd Disruption.

The idea itself is fool-proof: More people equals more power. The mentioned service providers are considered as the best practices for User Generated Content (UGC) strategy. By successfully enabling individuals to create their own content, the firm can focus on their core strength, in this case is the digital tool, and create an entirely different experience for users at the same time. This is a win-win solution for everybody.

Imagine you’re the owner of a pizza store and want to make use of this concept. You rearrange the whole store: add in a few small stoves at designated tables, put in extra ingredients with a small locks. Instead of 3 cooks in the kitchen, you only hire just one guy who can overlook the business and collect a fixed sum for whoever wants to use the place. Your pizza store then turn into a gathering point, trading area for those who want to bake and sell for other hungry people. Now you want to expand the business and open the second store. With some help from an IT friend, you install a door code and whoever wants to access has to open with an application-generated number. Customers have to register online and pay electronically too. You hire a security company to monitor the stores 24/7. Your only part-time staff is the accountant girl. If you work hard enough, you might become the biggest pizza provider in town without hiring any chefs. Isn’t that cool?

Biggest pizza provider erhhhh?

So as a consumer, what is the entirely different experience? I bet all of us used Wikipedia at some points but not many people know that Wikipedia allows every one to contribute the content to it. With UGC strategy, Wikipedia has become the largest, most extensive encyclopedia that mankind has ever created.

Rather curious, I had my first attempt as a Wikipedia contributor yesterday. I added a section called “List of student associations” to my university’s Wiki page. It was pretty easy to edit the page even though my HTML skill is almost ground zero. From my point of view, it’s the sense of ownership gained from creating my own content that made me feel satisfied.

myedit

What do you think about UGC? Try to create/edit an entry in Wikipedia and tell me how it feels. Sharing is caring ❤

Build a 22-year-old-self You Can Be Proud Of

This is not a normal article in the series #IfIwere22 because I was 22 only a year ago. It is not an advice letter, they are the sincere notes I wrote to myself, I hope you too can resonate with it.

As a 22, I quited my job and come on to pursue a mediocre degree, just to get away from the familiar place where I spent my adolescence. It was last year and felt like yesterday, when I was sitting in the room corner and wondering: What should I do next?

I did not sit there for long nor search for an answer anymore. There is no answer, we should all know that. The uncertainties exist for a reason: to urge us to be aware of the limited time we have and force us to complete what needs to be done.

If there is real magic in this world, I would wish someone had told me about the importance of finding my inner peace, that travelling is not the only way to explore and most notably, I should be quiet more often. Those are the three key things that leads me to my new-found self as now.

1 Be a calm and pleasant person

This has nothing to do with money or relationships. Do not mistake the outer coats with your inner values. You do not have to please anyone because if they do like you, they will like you. It’s important for you to look into your soul and befriend with it. Having a good relationship with people around you does not mean you have to fake a smile, but it’s more about you tell yourself “Hey, be cool. It’s not a big deal”.

2 Travel wisely

Everyone urges you to go travel and “open your mind”, “reach beyond what you can”. No, you don’t have to do that. Travel as you like and discover as you want. It’s fine if you stay at home and look through the computer screen and read about the history instead of dusting your shoes. The ultimate purpose of travelling is packed in one word “experience”, don’t let others’ opinions sabotage your exposures.

But if you really decide to go on travel, choose your companion wisely. It’s simple to pack your bag and go, but it’s not that simple to have the real joy of travelling. Be it your best friend, your mom or even yourself, you have to decide before your trip. Wherever you go, bear in mind that it’s not about the place, it’s all about the people you meet and talk with along the way.

3 Listen, listen and learn

“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new” This saying has a lot to tell: First of all it asks people to stop talking; Secondly it tells you that listening alone is not enough, you gotta learn. Listening makes you a better person and learning makes you a different person. It’s the change that matters.

Being a 22-year-old means you have to be bold and be brave in whatever you do. It also includes the commitment of continuous learning to be a better person. There’s not an ultimate guide to do that, you just have to believe in yourself and climb the next step.

P/s: Just a piece of good news: as a recent graduate, you are graduating into the best job climate in over a decade. So, be happy 😉

3 particular traits that make every leader an artist

What do you think seeing a dancer on the stage? What do you think looking at an oratorical speaker? Have you ever wondered why they draw your attention?

They are both charming for sure, but there must be more to distinguish exceptional leaders and great artists from their ordinary counterparts. The most successful artists are those that establish the strongest emotional bond with their audience, just like the most successful leaders are those that most effectively communicate their message and motivate their co-workers to achievements instead of impotent actions. Here are 3 fundamental traits that we can easily relate these two definitions:

1 Power of attention

Like a dancer when she claims her hot spot on the stage, a leader always appear prominently wherever they are. That presence is hard to describe. You know when someone is present, and you know when someone is not, but it can be difficult to describe exactly what characteristic a person have to possess to show up with the presence of a leader.

Artists have styles like leaders have skills. The so-called ”Intangible Aura of Leadership” is different for everyone and it can be learnt. I’ve always admired Richard Branson for his humorous, humble sharing shown in every blog posts and interviews. Steve Jobs chose to embody his charisma and confidence to lead and he’s successful. Leaders and artists all have their strengths and stand out in unique ways.

2 Intentions to actions

Communication is today’s most important skillThe fundamental purpose of art and leadership is to communicate a message and motivate the viewer/ audience to do something. 

With a good piece of design, the designer’s exact message is understood by the viewer. If a design communicates a message other than the one it’s intended to be, and the viewers go and do something based on that other message, then it has not met its requirement. If a leader cannot steer his team to one single direction, he fails to lead. To succeed as an artist, a leader must orchestrate his team’s activities to achieve a goal together.

3. Focused observation

I still remember an incident when I started my first job three years ago. My manager, Annie, was going on vacation, she needed to set up the auto reply message for her email account and the IT technician somehow could not figure out how to do. I stepped in, solved it after 5 minutes. The story would have ended if she did not ask me to help booking the flight tickets. I was so confident with this easy task, buying all her tickets without insurances like I usually did when travelling. After the itineraries were settled, she tapped my shoulder and explained to me she would have done differently and I should learn to slow down and observe the surroundings (in this case was her decision).

Annie and I kept in contact after I quit my job for studying, but she had proven to me a point that instructional leadership can grow through focused observation. I wouldn’t have learnt any thing if not for her acceptance of my mistakes and her patience in advising me to improve in the future. The way people learn has a major impact on their job effectiveness. The best way to learn music is listening to it. The best way to improve leadership is observing carefully and listening actively.

And you, what do you think about this connection?