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take-aways Last week I attended the NASCCOM Product Conclave 2013 . As a small technology startup, we have been shunning such large conferences mostly because we didn't see direct tangible benefits coming out of it. But in the last one week, I am convinced that it is all the more important for smaller firms to attend these sessions. The top three takeaways from the two days I spent at the NPC were validation, solution and discovery. [separator top="10" style="shadow"] Validation The validation phase is about hearing from others that they are encountering the same type of problems that you are encountering. When everything in your organization is running smoothly without any issues, then there are some real issues :-) There is perhaps not enough disruption happening to enable growth in the organization. Any growing start up would go through pains and it is good to get those pains validated by others to ensure that we are going in the right direction. Solution Now if we just stop at this validation, there is no problem. Only, that is like the habit of ensuring that our neighbor also has no power when there is a power outage and sitting idle assuming that the neighbor would have called the power company to inform about the outage. Growing up, this was a common phenomenon in our neighborhood :-). We need to search for those who have found the answers to the earlier said pain points and also understand how they found the solution. Their journey is there to be told and heard but it is important to get the context and perspective before adopting somebody else's solutions to a common problem. Discovery Last but not at all the least are the discoveries that happen in these conferences. These usually don't happen in a arranged sessions with speakers etc. On the contrary, these are most likely to happen when you are standing in line for a coffee or like it happened to me, waiting for the phone to be charged while you are seated next to a stranger in the lobby :-) These discoveries are eye openers to some of the wonderful things that people around us are doing. I ran into a gentleman, in the recent conference, who is running an NGO to equip blind people with skills for getting a job. This is apart from his regular job as a CEO of a start up. Why is this important? Because we don't live only to build a successful organization, that is only one part of the journey. The other part is to make it complete by throwing in our little push to move the wheel of humanity forward. [separator top="10" style="shadow"] We don’t have to be aggressive sellers and talk to all the 1000 people present in the conference, just be open and talk to the 10 people that you think will add some value. Be open to fresh ideas, be empathetic to others’ problems and mistakes and whenever possible share your experiences that would help others.   [tagline_box backgroundcolor="#e4143c" shadow="no" border="0px" bordercolor="#ffffff" highlightposition="none"  title=" So the next time you get an invite to attend a conference, especially the NPC, take it on! Like they say, you don’t want to miss an interesting stranger!" ][/tagline_box] [separator top="10" style="shadow"] [tagline_box backgroundcolor="" shadow="no" border="1px" bordercolor="" highlightposition="right, left, top or bottom" link="https://www.cabotsolutions.com/project-planner/" linktarget="" button="Project Planner" title="Better estimation & planning can help you build a stronger business solution ! " description="Launch our project planner to get going . "][/tagline_box]

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