“This world is but a canvas to our imagination” said Thoreau. A movement that embraces his proclamation is NewHive. I happened upon the service back in January 2013 through this TechCrunch post.

I champion their mission, which is (in their own words) to develop an online  platform that makes sophisticated, powerful design tools accessible to everyone, no matter their skill level and establish an online community that nurtures and invites creative expression.

Quite simply, through NewHive users can create one-off Expressions- customisable webpages- by dragging-and-dropping any type of digital content from photographs to SoundCloud tracks. The interface is absolutely intuitive and so accessible. One does not have to invest a substantial amount of time in learning new tools and features to start creating online art! The team have secured the likes of SV Angel and CrunchFund as seed investors and is also looking to launch a mobile app.

All in all, NewHive makes beautiful things happen and this makes me smile! I wish the co-founders- Zach, Cara, Abram and Andrew- all the very best!  I am very excited to see the product evolve…


Many months ago, my friend Gautam sent this to me: STEVE JOBS: Your time is limited

I was stirred. Zen Pencils is a website that contains pockets of awe-inspiring cartoons based on the greatest men and women in history.

For me, the site is a breath of fresh air. The founder, Gavin Aung Than, has truly splashed a little more colour into the universe…

Earlier this evening, my father presented me with a 4 Year Old Bonsai Tree.

I have decided to name him “Zen Pencil”.

Zen Pencil

Zen Pencil the Bonsai Tree

Seth Godin

Seth Godin – the American entrepreneur – is a business leader that I admire. I have been inspired by his entrepreneurial achievements, his writings and his colourful approach to business. He has had a practical impact on my entrepreneurial career.

In 2006, he co-founded and served as President of “Squidoo”, a community website allowing users to create pages (called “lenses”) for subjects of interest. Squidoo’s mission is to run an open, free platform that gives people a simple way to organize their interests online – and bring more human, curated, original content to the web. When one of the lenses does well, it earns a royalty for the writer or for charity. As of October 2012, Squidoo is one of the top 50 most visited websites in the US. Prior to Squidoo in 1995, Godin launched Yoyodyne, which used contests , online games, and scavenger hunts to market companies to participating users. In 1998, he sold the company to Yahoo! for $30 million.

As a creative entrepreneur, Squidoo has particularly impressed me. The website is simply a blank vessel and its charm has been defined by the creative energies that flow through – specifically via users creating content. Thus its meaning is not dictated, but rather created by the users. His business model harnesses and channels human creativity and this resonates with me.

In fact, the strategies that Godin and his teams used to deliver Yoyodyne and Squidoo feature in his writing, in particular:

  • Spreading Ideaviruses – fashionable ideas that propagate through sections of the population, teaching and changing and influencing everyone they touch
  • Tribe management – realising that what people really want is the ability to connect to people, not to synthetic entities like companies, thus tailoring the focus to delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who want to hear from the company because it helps them connect, it helps that find each other, it gives them a story to tell and something to talk about, i.e. it empowers the people within the tribe (the target market).

I read his blog every morning, and his teachings have had practical impact on both my business career and thinking. Through my current venture I am implementing a number of his marketing principles. In particular, I’m looking at how to get ideas to spread.

In terms of spreading ideas, one of his insights really resonated with me: target the customers with the ‘otaku’ – a Japanese word meaning ‘craving’ – for your service, i.e. the innovators and early adopters. These groups of people then take your cause and make it their own; they tell people and create structures to tell even more people, and this leads to a movement.

Finally, his blog inspired me to set up my own: www.dkarwa.com . My strapline is “Creativity. Entrepreneurship. Vision” and I can proudly state that Seth Godin has hugely shaped my thinking and knowledge in each of the three arenas.

The Genius of Google and The IBM Inspiration

IBM has developed a new antimicrobial gel designed to fight drug-resistant, hospital-acquired infections by replicating the science it uses to produce semiconductors.  The main goal of the gel, developed  with the institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, is to replace antibiotics.

Last week, Google’s CEO, Larry Page said “How exciting is it to come to work if the best you can do is trounce some other company that does roughly the same thing? That’s why most companies decay slowly over time. They tend to do approximately what they did before, with a few minor changes.” Page believes that great companies die when they become too caught up in the rat race of market competition. When firms focus their attention on small incremental, underwhelming changes to their products, to simply capture more market share from their rivals, they have lost sight of the horizon. And I fully agree with this. Such companies have forgotten their purpose. They lack the cause that perhaps they once nobly stood for.

There is definitely a great deal of truth to Page’s view, and I feel that his larger point is spot on: Real innovation doesn’t happen via narrowly outperforming the competition. It happens through sailing into the unchartered waters that others have either, missed or are too scared to explore. And this is the philosophy that I both celebrate and champion today:

To many, IBM is just a computer company. But as demonstrated through their disruption of the healthcare space (as well as many others), IBM is not just ‘a computer company’. It is a group that is very much in the search for newer and bluer oceans. The same applies to Google: Project Glass- a R&D program by Google to develop an augmented reality head-mounded display (HMD), i.e. very cool glasses- and the Google driverless car- a project that involves developing technology for driverless cars- both serve as testament to the creativity and radical vision of the technology giant.

When I read about such ideas and attitudes, I smile. As a final year undergraduate, soon to venture out into the jungle, it gives me hope to see that there is definitely room for dreamers in this world.

Finally, in the words of an anonymous sage, “You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

Sources used:

From watching one of Seth Godin’s presentations, I somehow found the following video:

Most kids have that one Disney film that really defined their childhood. Mine was The Lion King. It is my favourite movie to this day.

The above video really shifted my paradigm. Like most people, I have always branded Scar as the “bad guy”. I have never actually thought about Scar’s life, and how his early experiences  may have molded his character. After watching the video, I realised that there is actually a deeper truth, namely that in every criminal lies a victim. In every “Scar” there lies a little “Taka” crying out for understanding. Scar’s actions were unforgivable, however it is important for us to view the Scars of the world with a more refined lens. Only then perhaps can we prevent the creation of more Scars in the world.


Robin Sharma’s recent blog post really inspired me. I am pleased to share his message here:

The 50 Business + Life Lessons 2012 Taught Me

2012′s coming to a close. It was a hard year for people behaving as victims. And a superb year for people like you showing up as leaders (and world-builders).

I’m in reflection mode as I review the past 12 months, record what I learned in my journal and set precise and clear goals+plans for 2013.

I wanted to share 50 of my best lessons learned (or reinforced) from 2012. So here you go:

  1. Hard work is a force multiplier.

  2. Don’t participate in recessions.

  3. Exercising for 20 minutes first thing in the morning is a game-changer.

  4. If you’re not innovating daily, you’re on the path to obsolescence.

  5. If you want an A-Level company, you can’t afford to hire B-Level players.

  6. Procrastination is an escape mechanism for people scared to do their best work.

  7. Give your customers 10X the value they expect and they’ll tell everyone they know about you.

  8. Don’t do it if you’re not having fun.

  9. If you’re not scared a lot you’re not growing very much.

  10. Invest the time to create great social media content and your base will go global + viral.

  11. There’s never been a better time to be a social entrepreneur.

  12. It’s never been easier to be of service to a large amount of people (and few things are as rewarding).

  13. When no one else believes in your vision, you absolutely must stay true to your vision. (Have the guts to stay in the game far longer than makes any sense).

  14. The quickest way to build a superb business is to quickly develop the leadership potential of every teammate.

  15. A job is only a job if you choose to see your work as a job. All work is a noble sport. (The reality is all work is a chance to express your genius–and to inspire the world).

  16. People are craving transparency+authenticity and community. Give it to them.

  17. Creativity comes in seasons. There’s a time to harvest your ideas. And there’s a time to let the field sit fallow. (I’ve been working on integrating this lesson for years).

  18. Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax (When you relax, your brain shifts into alpha state–the time when million-dollar ideas present themselves).

  19. Change is hard at the beginning, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end. (And without change, there is no progress).

  20. Someone’s going to win in your space. Why not you?

  21. 10X the size of your dreams because if you don’t, you’ll wish you did.

  22. Pursue excellence versus chasing perfection.

  23. Celebrate small wins and you’ll unleash a huge amount of momentum and positive energy.

  24. Learn for an hour a day, no matter what. That’s not a waste of work time. It’s a brilliant use of your work time because you’re paid to know more than anyone who has ever done your job.

  25. Why go for good at what you do when you can stand for iconic?

  26. Transform your fitness and you’ll transform your business.

  27. Delete victimspeak from your languaging. No more “I can’t” and “It’s not possible” and “It’s so hard.” More “I will” and “This is awesome” and “What’s the opportunity here?”

  28. If you inspire one person each day, you’re day hasn’t been a waste. It’s been a blessing.

  29. Living in the past is disrespecting your future.

  30. Build an amazing career but enjoy your lifestyle along the way. What’s the point of becoming a business legend but a failed human being.

  31. Look people in the eyes when you talk to them. Smile at people when you see them. Say “please” to respect them. And “thank you” to appreciate them.

  32. Don’t be on time–Be early.

  33. The person who tries to do everything achieves nothing. Focus. Focus. Focus.

  34. Spend the first 90 minutes of your work day on real work versus fake work. (Another game-changing tactic that served me so very well in 2012).

  35. Spend time in silence each day. You’ll never do Jay-Z level work if you’re overstimulated by technology.

  36. Goal-setting is mission-critical. (Review your Big 5, quarterly goals and daily goals constantly).

  37. Your daily behavior broadcasts your truest beliefs.

  38. To have the results only 5% of businesspeople have, have the guts to do what only 5% of businesspeople are willing to do.

  39. World-class begins when you think you’ve done a great job but know you can do a better job.

  40. Remember that your greatest gift is so much stronger than your deepest fear.

  41. Everyone’s in Human Resources. And we are all paid to develop the talents of the people we work with.

  42. Mediocrity is a mindset. Avoid the mental viruses of negative people.

  43. Be the most honest person you know. It generally takes 30 years to build a fantastic reputation. And 30 seconds to lose it by a single silly move.

  44. Become a lion–not a sheep.

  45. People are always willing to pay for the best.

  46. The more devoted you become to serving others, the more your career begins to build itself.

  47. Problems come to test your commitment to your goals, hopes and dreams.

  48. As you become more successful, get more hungry.

  49. Join Traffic University. Use every possible moment in the car to upgrade your skills, polish your gifts and elevate your mindset.

  50. Use your life to make the world a better place.

I hope these 50 ideas have helped you. And I so hope I’ve been of service to you in your business and personal life this year. I enthusiastically wish you and those closest to you an even better year ahead. Let’s make it wow.


The original post can be found here