Showing posts with label Business. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Business. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Ocean City

You need to believe this, I wrote my last post before I read this article, which is mind blowing.

The Next Giant Chinese City Will Float In The Ocean
The whole city is designed to be fairly self-sufficient. Tidal energy will power the island, and farms and hatcheries around the edge will provide food. Trash will be converted into more energy on site. The island will even have its own factory producing some hyper-local goods..... As futuristic as it seems, the island may be coming soon--a large Chinese property investment firm is reviewing the design now and expected to begin testing some of its components in 2015.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My New Startup

My new tech startup is in the mobile gaming space. I could call it the first tech startup of my life.

In 1999 I was a founding member - not the leader - of a tech startup that did really well for a few rounds until the nuclear winter hit and it was Gone With The Wind. We were trying to build the top South Asian online community. In early 2008 I met the stated goal and raised 100K for my startup whose vision was what the Chromebook is today. In early 2009 me and my Co-Founder gave the money back to the investors in the face of an extremely ugly economy: we did not see us raising round two money. This is my third attempt. Third time is the charm. When you have four borderline genius developers working towards a private beta product for equity, you know you got something.

There is a huge culture clash between the tech startup world and the rest of the economy. When you try to raise money from people who don't "get it," are not from this world, it is like you accidentally touched naked electric wires. Wow, what was that? You get all sorts of weird reactions.

The Angel List is a great starting point. Although I am in mind to pay Fred Wilson a surprise visit. Very likely I will show up and he will be "away" at one of his 100 Board meetings, either elsewhere in the city or on the Left Coast.

I feel like he owes me money for all the comments I have left at his blog over the years.

Fred, I have had your curiosity, now do I have your attention?

From The Angel List I have a short list of about 50 angels who have (1) listed themselves as interested in mobile gaming, (2) are in or near NYC, although not all are, and (3) who are not too far down in the ranks at the site. I am going through the list, and I am like, I'd want to know and hang out and converse with these people regardless of if they gave me money or not. They just come across as so very interesting people.

Ingress: Hit 8,000,000 AP In Times Square
Ingress: My Blog Posts
Ingress: The Same Territory Seven Months Later
Ingress: Four Grant's Tombs In Jackson Heights

Top Influencer During Social Media Week? Moi
White Male Conspiracy To Drive Me Homeless
Netizen Has Arrived: A Link From AVC
Paul Graham, Brad Feld, Me, BBC

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Friday, December 06, 2013

The Social Media Tetris

It can be argued the world of social media is helping us gradually bring down the number on the famed six degrees of separation that separates everyone from everyone else. If people connect and share more, among people they know, among people they don't know yet, as shared interests and activities are discovered, as people interact more, that number goes down. Right? I think so.

One thing I have noticed on Highlight is when you come across a "stranger" the app tells you have so many common friends and shared interests, data it pulls from your Facebook profiles. The shared interests part is intriguing to me. I still wish AirTime had taken off, because people would talk more. A Skype based "AirTime" might be a better idea than the video based attempt. But is Skype giving API issues?

There are downsides. You can end up with flame wars. People can act nasty online. I am so glad the game Ingress a few days back added the capability for you to be able to block users in the COMM, the Google game's public chatroom, if you will, (although I have uninstalled the app from my phone, but there are still close to 150 portals in the city that bear my name.)

Social media taken to new heights could do for world peace what heads of state holding summits could not. Trade and travel are major peace moves. More people interacting more often leads to a general increase in welfare overall. I think that statement is but common sense.

Facebook Groups should add elements of democracy to it. A group should be allowed to elect its leadership, and vote on issues. I am surprised that feature has not showed up yet. A lot of organizations would thus engage in Facebook voting. Heck, that feature would get really interesting for groups with a million members or more. Skype enabled conference calls for Facebook Groups would be another positive addition.

You have Snapchat for friends. What about Snapchat for strangers? Or a public Snapchat? Photos still destroy themselves, but the world saw it first. And a board for the most popular snaps perhaps?
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Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Concept Of Residual Income

Robert T. Kiyosaki
Cover of Robert T. Kiyosaki
Cover of "Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Ri...
Cover via Amazon
(written for Vishwa Sandesh)

The Concept Of Residual Income
By Paramendra Bhagat (

There is a famous book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Most financially literate people have heard of it. In it he pushes forth the concept of residual income, not his original idea. It is a difference in worldview.

There is the job mentality, and that is perhaps 99% of the people out there. You get a good education to get a good job with a good company. The income might be 20,000 dollars or 200,000 dollars, but that income is still linear. If you don’t show up for work, the money stops coming.

Nothing wrong with jobs. Jobs are how most people pay their bills, put food on the table. Jobs are wonderful things, but there is something beyond jobs. One has to be open to possibilities.

There is business ownership. Upendra Mahato might be flying around the world on NRN activities, but he is still making money at that time, because he is a business owner. Nobody says, but he did not even show up for work, let’s stop paying him. Why? Because he built something and put it into motion.

But then Upendra Mahato might be a bad example with which to highlight the concept. Because pretty much everybody would dismiss that example. How many Laxmi Mittals can the planet produce? Only so many. Even launching a restaurant with an initial investment of 200,000 dollars is beyond the reach of many people.

But then you might have seen small business owners who quite literally are always working. That can also put off some people. Where is the residual income in that, you might question. Also, it is not easy to start a business, it is not easy to sustain and grow a business, it is not easy to keep the lights on. A lot of businesses end up folding. People with the job mentality point that out. But look, they say.

Residual income is money showing up even if you don’t show up, because you built something and put it in motion. Residual income is you making money even when you are fast asleep because you put something in place and put it in motion. Residual income is being able to pass a business to your next generation. You can’t pass on your job to your son or daughter.

With a job you have only 24 hours, and chances are you are working eight, 10 or maybe 12 of those hours, some even manage 16. But it can never be beyond 24. That probably is the biggest limitation of linear income. Also, one person can acquire only so many skills. One person can only become so good with the skills he or she has.

But if you build a business team that has 10 people on it, you have 240 hours in a work day. If your average team member puts in 10 hours, you have a 100 hour work day. Chances are 10 people will make more money than one person. And 10 might not be your ceiling. Maybe you will take your team to 100, to 1,000, perhaps to 10,000. A job owner’s hours in the day are limited. But there is no limitation to how big a business owner’s team can be. And the 10 people on your team might have complimentary skill sets. Person A can do what person B cannot or does not have the time for.

Beyond residual income is a related concept: the concept of financial freedom. You have attained financial freedom when there is no longer a connection between what you do with your time and the money you make. You could be playing golf and still be making money. You go on vacation whenever you want, as often as you want. You spend a ton of time with your family, because that does not hurt your income stream anymore. Business ownership does not guarantee you financial freedom, but it is a vehicle that can take you there if you work hard and smart.

I feel like everyone who makes that conceptual jump and understands the residual income idea will go ahead and get started with network marketing. Robert Kiyosaki is a huge fan of network marketing. It beats job ownership, he says, and it beats small business ownership. But it has been amazing to me to see how easy it is to misunderstand this very simple business. People’s minds fly off on tangents. To many people to go from a job ownership mentality to a business ownership mentality is almost like changing religions. There is this huge inertia. They resist. They fight back. They come up with excuses. They rationalize their choices. You mean all that schooling I did was a waste? No, it was not.

Every time you watch an ad anywhere for products you buy and services you consume, know that you are paying for those. You just don’t see it that way. All network marketing does is it takes all that ad spend and give it to people like you who build a network to generate business volume. That is a hugely empowering concept. Sometimes I wonder if it took 10,000 dollars instead of 500 more people would do it, more people would take it seriously.

Those good at it have bothered to put in the effort to go through tremendous personal growth. I know someone who after a year of work is making 10,000 dollars a week. He has a good year every month.

With Patrick Maser And Rahman
The Appeal Of Network Marketing
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Friday, October 04, 2013

The Appeal Of Network Marketing

(written for Vishwa Sandesh)

The Appeal Of Network Marketing
By Paramendra Bhagat (

I signed up for network marketing not long back. I don’t plan to quit doing the other things I am doing – tech consulting, my tech startup idea, my interest in Nepal hydro – but I am so glad I signed up. I once delved into it before I moved to New York City in 2005. I liked the business model, but I was on the road too much at the time to put in any serious effort. I was already familiar with the business model and a believer. What struck me this time was the products and services were things people were already using. There was this potential for mass appeal.

Traditional companies and distribution networks spend a ton of money on advertising. Network marketing companies do not spend on advertising. Instead they give that money to the marketers in their network. It is not a scam. It is a legitimate business model. Compare the million dollars you need to launch a McDonald’s franchise to the 500 dollars I had to put in to get started. That is a no brainer. This might be the only shot most people might have at business ownership.

There is hard work involved. This is not easy money. Many people sign up and quit because they thought it was effortless and it is not. And it does work. On October 3 Michael Maser showed up at my house. He flew in from Miami just for the event. He is my upline Senior Vice President, the top achievement in the business. He has been at it for 12 years now. He started part time. Then he quit his job once his income from the business matched his income from his job. Now he makes close to 80,000 dollars a week from the business. I saw those figures on his iPad. My most famous local upline is a Bangladeshi guy called Rahman: a bundle of energy and determination. Rahman signed up and made 150,000 dollars in his first four months. You might have seen Santanu at the TD Bank. He currently makes 8,000 dollars a month from the business.

Maser might make a few million a year, but that is not a billion. This is not a billion dollar idea for those who sign up, although it is for the founders of the company. A successful tech startup might be a billion dollar idea. But a million dollars is a lot of money. Less than 5% of Americans make more than 100,000 dollars a year. Rahman made 175,000 dollars in the past six months alone. The dude was driving a cab when he signed up, although he did have a calling card business on the side, which he still operates.

People sign up, go to an event, get excited, and then they go approach a few people and the force of rejection hits them so hard they either lose steam, or quit. The thing is you are not trying to convince people. Prequalifying is important. That way you reject them. They don’t reject you. You ask a set of prequalifying questions. Unless they prequalify, you don’t even bring up the topic. Once they prequalify, you bring it up the right away. And then you are ready for their answer: yes or no.

The support system is a tremendous aspect of the business. You are an independent business owner, but you are not on your own. Your uplines are so willing to go out of the way for you. Michael Maser showed up at my house before I had signed up my first person. Why would he do that? He would do that because he is part of a tremendous support system.

This is not for everybody, but it is for many more people than those that have already signed up. One speaker said, go find the PHDs: poor, hungry, driven people. Or go sign up business owners, people who are already striving to make a buck or two.

More than 99% of the people out there work jobs. Business ownership can feel like a leap of faith. It always strikes me how easy it is to misunderstand this very simple business. The mind keeps flying off of tangents for many new signups. Think about it, if the company is the same, the product and services are the same, and it is the same support system, it has got to be you. You are the reason why it is not working for you. You can become an Independent Business Owner for 500 dollars. But unless you are committed to being a team player and someone who seeks to go through tremendous personal growth, you might not make it. Most people fail because they give up. Most people fail because they do not make use of the support system. You plug into the system, and you plug your downlines into the system. And you learn. You soak it up every step of the way. Speakers get up to speak. You take notes.

Santanu who makes 8,000 dollars a month only signed up five people. He now has 800 people in his network and 18,000 customers. Those five people brought people who brought people who brought people. And all that happened in 12 months. You get the idea.

Some people first sign up as customers. Later they might or might not end up being Independent Business Owners. That is also a nice route to take.

To learn more go to

Photo Album: ACN: Saturday: Hotel Pennsylvania
Photo Album: ACN: Michael Maser At My Woodside Home
Relationship Marketing: The ACN Way: An Overview
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