As we begin 2019, I wanted to reflect on what transpired in 2018 and share some introspections, learnings which you may be able to leverage.
The year began with a bang. The trip to my birthplace, Africa, was an incredible experience and a change from a very challenging year; felt grounded and in unison with nature.
I needed to look back, reflect, digest, celebrate and look forward to the year ahead with a front-foot. The break from the familiar surrounding was invigorating & refreshing.
It was a great reminder that to be able to smile wholeheartedly & be happy, we don’t need status or be wealthy.
Learning: Often we don’t know where to stop in our capitalist drive until people with next to nothing shows that they have enough. Full article — link.
Also stepping outside our comfort zone drives progress towards a total life.
Once energised from the overseas trip including swimming in Zanzibar waters and visiting Freddie Mercury’s birthplace, I took up a challenge to solve the time problem.
An average household spends 9 hours doing laundry & often imbalances their relationship/life due to this unwanted, periodic chores. What if we provide a laundry service which follows the mantra — we are ready when you are?
No more pickups/dropoffs, no worries if it rains, costs almost the same and saves 8–9 hours/week — sounds exiting?
Hence the Laundry Please Apps and Websites were born.
Learning: Idea Validation, Market Research, MVPs/MMFs, Facebook Advertising & working with cross-functional, non-IT people. 5 Clicks Order Design was a challenge but, with digging a little deeper, it became a reality.
Business Case needed work, estimated take-ups across NSW were too ambitious (like any start-up). http://laudryplease.com.au (also Android and iOS mobile apps)
Big data was a myth and wanted to leverage my CI/CD, DevOps & Consulting knowledge to uplift DataOps capabilities in the organisations. It was a steep learning curve for the ETL & many BI use cases. It felt great to deliver working software in 6.23 minutes going through the build, test, deploy & validate (not release). For my 1st consulting assignment, I was thrilled to receive a testament and a write-up on the company’s site.
Learning: Assess correct blockers to solve (via Servant Leadership and value mapping exercise) for the enhanced ROI within the bigdata software delivery. Don’t underestimate organisational culture aspects for driving change (of course, you knew that :-)).
Lastly, Australia getting her 1st medal ever in the Boccia (BC2-BC1 category) was icing on the cake for the year. I almost felt guilty for mentioning this event as I did not contribute much except the non-formal training between the professional coaching, psychological support for my son & being the support crew along with my wife for transporting the athletes.
Learning: My son, Aaryan, having excelled in one sport has propelled him to be more effective in other areas. Passion + Perseverance = Success (& fun).
Find an excuse to celebrate as this will propel success in other areas due to the dopamine effect.
So in conclusion, the change is good; actually, it is excellent. The changes in our lives give us an enormous opportunity to align to our values, experience & experiments things we thought we would do some day or felt impossible. All we have to do is to recognise them and take a few 1st steps. Rest will be history. Never forget how blessed & resourceful we are living in this world and especially in Australia.