Build Your Business on Your Strengths, Hire Your Team to Cover Your Weaknesses

If you dream of quitting your job and becoming your own boss, you’re not alone – 48 percent of Americans want to start their own business. But are you cut out for the entrepreneurial path? There’s an ongoing debate about whether entrepreneurs are born or made. Is there such a thing as entrepreneurial DNA?

Certain factors give you a better shot. Risk tolerance is a must but, by-and-large, there’s not just one type of person who can be a successful entrepreneur. In fact, business success has very little to do with whether you’re a people person or an introvert, detail-oriented or big-picture, quick-thinking or contemplative. I’ve worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs over the years and seen people at each of these extremes achieve great success in their own ventures.

The key is knowing your strengths. It’s not about what type of person you are, it is about knowing what type of person you are. The one essential characteristic that makes a successful entrepreneur is a capacity for introspection. The entrepreneur who succeeds is the one who truly knows his or her own strengths, and builds a business around them.

Think about Disney, Ford, Apple, Google, Amazon, Virgin–some of the most successful businesses in history. Most people assume that the founders were just born with exceptional talent. It’s true that each of them had a particular area of genius but that’s not why they succeeded. They succeeded because they knew where they excelled and organized their management structure accordingly. Each one of them designed his company in a way that allowed him to spend almost all of his time working on what he loved to do. Success followed.

I asked my friend and business coach Lex Sisney (cofounder of CX.com and author of Organizational Physics) to weigh in on the question of what makes a successful entrepreneur.

“I think a business can reach a modicum of success with any entrepreneur who’s smart, hard-working and determined,” he says. “But only an entrepreneur who fuses his or her unique talents with a driving sense of purpose can achieve a transcendent level of success, and have a heck of a lot of fun doing it.”

Every one of us is a genius at something. Every one of us is a potential entrepreneur. The key is to understand where your greatest talent lies, and figure out how to build a business around it.

Know your weaknesses, too. But what if there are certain areas in which you’re maybe not-so-much of a genius? Can you still be an entrepreneur if, say, you never passed calculus in high school?

Even the most successful entrepreneurs I know have their weaknesses. Some people excel at starting projects but are terrible at finishing them. Others shine in customer development but can’t wrap their head around operations. The good news is you don’t need to be a genius at everything to be an entrepreneur.

You do need to be aware of, and open about, your weaknesses. When you know where you’ll need support, you can build your team accordingly. Don’t hire people who are just like you. Instead, bring in people who complement your skills by excelling where you struggle. If you fail to do this, you’ll end up spending a lot of your time working in your weak areas, experiencing a ton of stress in day-to-day operations as a result.

It’s an easy trap to fall into. As your business grows, it’s not long before you get drawn into fighting fires outside of your specialty. If you don’t trust your team, either because you didn’t hire the right types of people to support you or because you haven’t learned how to get out of the way, it causes everyone stress. The business won’t perform up to potential.

Lex told me a story about how he almost ruined his own business (which went on to become the largest affiliate marketing company in the world) by failing to recognize his weaknesses early on:

“A business I started was growing like gangbusters,” he said. “As a result, we were having a lot of problems getting our internal systems to keep pace with our sales. Rather than sticking to what I was good at–, innovation and market evangelism, I wrongly decided that I needed to become more of an ‘operator.’ I stopped spending as much time out in the market with customers, and I started spending more time working inside the business trying to right the ship.”

As he became more and more frustrated trying to fix operations, he started to lose confidence in his own capabilities. Problems with the system persisted and, even worse, sales started slipping. Finally, he brought in a coach who helped him delegate so that he could get back to working from his strengths.

“My energy level and confidence quickly came back and so did our sales,” he said. “Once I stopped meddling, the inside team rose to the challenge and made dramatic system improvements as well. That business went on to become the largest of its kind in the world. And to think I almost wrecked it by trying to work from my weaknesses rather than my strengths!”

Identifying your strengths and weaknesses. We all have biases that make an accurate self-assessment almost impossible. I’m introspective by nature but even I didn’t fully understand my strengths and weaknesses at the start. Luckily, there are lots of great tools out there for introspection junkies like me!

Here are my favorite tools (I’ve used all five) for better understanding your strengths and weaknesses:

1. StrengthsFinder. The StrengthsFinder assessment first showed up in the 2001 best-selling book Now, Discover Your Strengths by Dr. Donald Clifton. The self-assessment (now available online independent of the book) identifies your top five strengths based on your unique combination of talents, knowledge and skills.My top five strengths, per the test, were: activator, woo maximizer, communication and competition.

2. PSIU Management Style Indicator. The PSIU from Lex Sisney of Organizational Physics evaluates three different aspects of your management style: how you are, how you want to be and how others want you to be. Very useful for better understanding not only how you operate but also how other people perceive you in the workplace.

3. DiSC Assessment. The DiSC measures how you respond to your environment and how you influence others. It’s based on the DISC theory of psychologist William Marston, which centers on four personality traits – dominance, inducement, submission and compliance. (Fun fact: Marston also produced the first successful lie detector polygraph and created the comic Wonder Woman.)

4. ARC Leadership Dynamics. ARC starts with a 30-minute phone interview rather than a self-assessment (the makers of this test believe that self-assessments are too biased to be accurate). Following the phone interview, the specialist responds with tailored advice on how to best leverage your strengths in a position of leadership.

5. Predictive Index. The Predictive Index is often used as a hiring tool but it’s also useful as a self-assessment. This test tells you which behaviors you exhibit most strongly in the workplace and gives you a general overview of your management style.

Weakness doesn’t have to be an obstacle to success. Every entrepreneur has many. There are all kinds of people in this world, each with a different set of strengths. So what do you think: Are you an entrepreneur? If you have a deep capacity for introspection, you’re off to a great start.The key is to understand your own personal genius, plan your business around it and bring in people who can cover your blind spots.

6 Fundamentals Every Modern Entrepreneur Needs to Succeed

The road to being a true-blue entrepreneur is paved with spectacular stories of crash-and-burn. It requires a certain type of stamina that few possess and an insatiable desire to do better than the day before. Such a demanding lifestyle has no boundaries in place, except for those self-imposed. This alone can prove deadly for the half-serious startup hopeful.

Mastering the daily hustle is something that will either make or break any hopes for success. If you’re not serious about upgrading your skill set, than prepare to be beaten by those who make it their mission.

Succeeding today calls for a jack-of-all-trades-like approach. Here are the qualities that future success stories in business need to possess:

1. A scholarly research ability. People don’t simply buy things anymore. There’s a winning mix of brand interactions, advertisements and recommendations that go into every significant purchase we make.

Getting this recipe to truly click involves not only knowing the history of your industry and competitors, but also knowing where and when to go for the latest updates and insights. Don’t pick up a copy of The New York Times, read through, and call it a day. Find those bloggers and influencers leading the way, peruse every trade publication for your industry and learn where to go for real answers.

Having an edge in the form of information is what will help you win those customers who are still on the fence.

2. A strong social media presence. If your LinkedIn profile looks like a phone book listing, we have a serious problem. If your indecent Facebook photos show up in an online search for your company, we might have a catastrophe. Tighten up your presentation to the world to leverage the free online assets we know as social media.

Designers are using Instagram to showcase their portfolios. Business owners are using Facebook to adjust their product offerings. Twitter breaks news, Tumblr shows trends and Pinterest uncovers customer buying habits. Find the channels best suited to your industry and start making them work for you. Just make sure to tie up any loose ends first.

3. An actively updated blog or website.  If you are so much as selling lemonade, you need a website. Unless you don’t like making money, you need a blog. If you’re not actively engaging potential customers online, showcasing your expertise and properly updating your channels and site, you’re losing to someone who is. Get in a weekly rhythm of updating your digital properties.

Websites drive conversions and blogs drive search traffic. Both can become bottomless pits when it comes to managing your time. It helps to have a set of resources or a resident expert in your corner. WordPress sites, and the like, make updating your content painless but consider teaming-up with an outside firm or consultant. Their insights and strategies can save hours of frustration.

4. A professional look and feel to everything you do. Even if you’re not in the fashion industry, every entrepreneur needs to work on perfecting their own personal style.

There’s a certain beauty to a freshly-minted business card or fine-pressed uniform. Clean, appropriate, smart design is what drives the professional world. Even for multi-colored or explosively creative big-league companies, there is a certain order and form that exists in their business materials that simply screams professional.

If you want to succeed, you will eventually need to develop an eye (or at least an appreciation) for the power of superior branding. Because superior branding is enough to turn a “maybe” into a “yes, please!”

5. A knack for storytelling. This is an often untapped asset in the business world, an escape from being perceived as just another vendor. While a great many might feel like they don’t have one, rest assured: every business has a story worth telling. It may take some soul searching, but once you lock in to that narrative, greater opportunities will begin to present themselves.

The world is filled with truly special individuals and great stories just waiting to be told. Recognize where your products or services come into that story and align yourself with it.

When it comes to keeping things fresh, it helps to keep a journal to recount all of your awesomeness. At a company, it’s about creating the story of a best-in-class service or product that makes life better. And don’t forget: a great story needs great characters!

6. A way to put it all together.  Keeping an ear to the online grindstone is a full-time job. A limitless smorgasbord of productivity apps and software services can leave many anxious and distraught. Turn these feelings into fuel and recognize that anything is possible. Use sites like IFTTT.com to automate certain processes and services like Evernote to keep tabs on your daily readings.

Be sure to take a step back from it all every day. Find time to reflect, with family or through fitness. Keep yourself motivated by seeking out mentors, video tutorials and new information. You don’t need to back yourself into a corner, but you do need a strong focal point to help guide you through hardships the that will inevitably come about. The stronger your focus, the better chance you have of coming out victorious.

In today’s world, it’s never been easier to make your mark in business. The challenge lies in saying something meaningful and relevant. Take part in the global economy, find the balance that best suits you and get ready for big things to happen.

posted on:entrepreneur.com

6 Tips for Expanding Your Business Internationally

After a good idea grows into a business, it’s natural to have a desire to expand the operation to an entirely new audience. However, much like forging an idea into a full-fledged (and, most importantly, successful) company, establishing a bigger market share, let alone an international presence, is easier said than done. From international business protocols to the customs and cultures of each nation’s consumers themselves, each respective region has its own unique challenges and benefits.

As a European founder, here are six lessons that I learned when I sought to expand my company to the United States. These lessons can apply to any founder, regardless of where they might be headed.

1. Pitching is different. Regardless of however you’ve sold your business previously, when entering a new market in a new location, the pitch needs to be adjusted to meet local standards. That could mean tweaking either content or format and beyond. In some cases, a massive overhaul might even be required to make your presentation successful.

In the US, for example, speaking from my own experience, new businesses must have a precise pitch, getting the message across quickly and efficiently. While Europeans reserve 60 to 90 minutes for meetings, only 30 minutes are provided in the US to pitch a product or service. Also, meetings start on time and, more importantly, end on time.

It’s important to look at the market you’re hoping to broaden to. Research potential changes early to set expectations and avoid surprises.

2. Embrace your existing record. Don’t run away from your success in other markets. Just because your product wasn’t born in the market you’re entering, doesn’t mean it won’t or can’t be successful. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Your prior success breeds new success. Oddly, though, some seem to think this is the case and I’ve seen it firsthand.

When I first considered venturing into the US, several web entrepreneurs in Europe told me that digital products outside the US are labeled as “not invented here.” Some said it gives off an inferior value. But I quickly discovered that’s largely a myth.

If you can show a track record in a significant market, regardless of locality, results aren’t guaranteed, but it makes your pitch a lot stronger. My company’s success overseas has only helped me market our services more effectively and build trust among key audiences.

3.  “It’s great” doesn’t mean “yes.” You can prepare as much as possible but, in the end, there will be some cultural communication issues in whatever market you extend into. Whether you’re a US company venturing into Germany or vice versa, local markets have their own established way of saying and doing things.

As an example, with my company’s existing international track record, it was easier to set-up initial biz dev meetings with larger companies in the US. However, first impressions were a bit misleading. I quickly learned that in the US, positive feedback was common and, in some cases, was actually constructive criticism. Phrases like “it’s great” or “we like it” are often used in a meeting but they didn’t necessarily mean that we were close to a deal.

This is a cultural communication issue. In Europe, it can take a fair amount of time before you get a “this is great.” When it’s said, it generally means that your talks have really evolved.

Remember to keep in mind cultural and language differences when having conversations with third parties. Don’t get tripped up by preconceived meanings and don’t make any assumptions on the status of a conversation. Be prepared to track down real decision makers.

4. Picking a headquarters. Where your expansion market headquarters resides is an important question. Many factors contribute to selecting the ideal location for a corporation’s local HQ. Is your business product or sales related? Where you find the talent you need is hugely important when entering a new market.

When my business came to the states, I quickly discovered that Silicon Valley, New York and most of the well-known cities for European technology companies entering the US just weren’t the best options. Our business goals didn’t align with those areas. In the end, I chose Chicago because of its history as a major retail hub. Its central location also made it easier for our team to travel throughout the US.

Make up your mind and choose one primary headquarters location based on the needs of the business to flourish. Don’t make a decision based off what you think you know given trends or general biases.

5. Don’t underestimate personal effort. Many countries have ESTA agreements (electronic system for travel authorization) making business travel a bit easier. Some don’t, however. The US does have ESTA agreements in place with many countries. Try to determine the status of the ESTA agreements in the country you’re looking to enter.

Check if you need a visa. This varies from country to country. Depending on how much time you spend in your expansion market, you may need to file a tax statement or apply for personal identification (Social Security number, etc.). Even opening a bank account can take many weeks to complete.

Travel and the related efforts you put into the process can be exhausting but there’s no other way to accomplish your goals and grow your business effectively. Be committed.

6. Go big or go home. Building a business in a new market is expensive. It requires a lot of funding. In my experiences, user acquisition, legal fees, marketing and salaries are just a few services requiring larger dollar amounts in the US than overseas. The closer you get to the actual product/service launch, the more you need to spend.

My advice is to set a spending limit. Ensure there is enough money reserved to avoid having to raise additional funds after the launch. You want to have some firepower left over from the launch to achieve maximum results.

Although expanding is never easy, knowing what to expect will let your business thrive at any location. Adjust expectations and business plans to cater to your region. Knowing how each area operates prepares a company, no matter how big or small, for success on an international level.

courtesy:entrepreneur.com

The 7 Deadly Sins of the Eager Entrepreneur

Let’s face it: You have to be a little bit crazy to be an entrepreneur.

While most of us appreciate nothing more than the steady comfort of a regular paycheck and a well-structured routine, entrepreneurs are attracted to more extreme emotions. They need the highs of seeing their vision come true, and they’re unafraid of the lows of witnessing their dreams crash to the ground.

But the very same personality traits that so often bring us innovative and beloved companies can also lead creative and talented people to torpedo their business before it even takes off. Here, then, are seven deadly “sins” entrepreneurs commit much too often.

1. Splitting equity: Anyone who has graduated kindergarten knows all about the importance of sharing, working together and getting along with others. But when it comes to starting companies, that instinct can be problematic. Try to split the equity in the company equally between its co-founders and, almost guaranteed, you’ll soon enough come to a stalemate.

That’s because in business, like in every other realm of life, someone has to have the final say. That means, even if salaries and skill sets are all alike, someone has to be the boss and make the call, especially with young businesses that grow and change rapidly. Rather than fearing that very, very awkward conversation with your partner, have it early and move on.

2. Building a product without a robust go-to-market strategy. Here’s one movie you should definitely not take as your guide to business:Field of Dreams. That famous line—“if you build it, they will come”—is about the worst piece of advice you can give an entrepreneur. Sadly, too many entrepreneurs heed it, regardless.

Being excited about your product is necessary for a start-up. Believing in it is indispensable. But launching a company without a solid plan for distributing your product is business suicide. Never do it.

3. Ignoring the known unknowns. Self-confidence is every entrepreneur’s secret sauce. It’s the quality that helps you shine in meetings with investors or potential clients.

But self-confidence is a double-edged sword. Like every living person, entrepreneurs have blind spots. Thah is fine, as long as they know exactly what they don’t know and surround themselves with co-founders, employees, advisors, anyone who can help fill in the blanks.

The moment you begin to think that you know everything, the moment you ignore the many, many things you haven’t the foggiest clue about, is the moment you open yourself up to disaster.

4. Not trusting your gut. So knowledge is important, but gut feeling — that impossible-to-describe hunch that just signals to us sometimes and suggests the right course of action — is, too.

Because they’ve risked everything to get their business started, founders have very strong instincts about what is right and isn’t right for them professionally. That applies to strategy, staffing and just about every other decision a founder can make. Entrepreneurs should learn to trust these feelings.

That isn’t an invitation to do whatever you damn please, all the time. As the boss, you should be rigorous in your thinking and deliberate in your decision-making. But if your gut is telling you something, stop and listen.

5. Failing to assign roles and responsibilities. It’s a truth, universally acknowledged, that an entrepreneur does everything. Start a new company, and you’ll find yourself developing product, servicing clients, writing website copy and running to the bank to deposit checks

Because they have so many responsibilities, at least early on in the game, and such a passion to see every aspect of their business succeed, entrepreneurs very frequently fail miserably at assigning clear roles and responsibilities to the their team. That’s a pity. Without clear directions, it’s very hard for employees to meet their targets. Job descriptions should be clear, concise and evolve as frequently as the company does.

6. Avoiding fierce conversations. Sure, entrepreneurs are often passionate, intense people. But they also tend to be outgoing and collaborative in nature, which means that they, like most normal human beings, dread confrontation. Sadly, confrontation is often needed, especially when trying to define the course of a new business. Avoiding awkward or confrontational discussions today will create exponentially bigger problems tomorrow: if something is not right, dig in immediately.

7. Letting whims create whiplash. As the founder, you care about your company dearly. That means that you seek out, and get, input and feedback from people all the time. It also means that you are thinking about your business 24/7, and always have new ideas.

That is great, if you have a framework for you and your team to deal with these bursts of inspiration. Otherwise, you’re likely to just create whiplash by always attacking the new, shiny thing. Don’t exhausting yourself and the company’s resources chasing the latest whim rather than following a systematic, well-laid plan.

courtesy:entrepreneur.com

Why are Indian companies not venturing into next level of tech such as cloud storage, cyber security?

 In a country with the requisite expertise, it’s surprising that few have ventured into the next level of technology such as cloud storage, cyber security and software-defined networking.

But a few startups have bucked the trend and are profiting from it. Take for instance Lucidous Tech, founded by 23-year-old Saket Modi. The two-year-old company is one of the few Indian players in the cyber security space and works with companies like IBM, Microsoft and KPMG.

“The barrier to entry is very high. Even if you’re a worldclass hacker, organisations will not trust a startup,” said CEO Modi, who built credibility by giving seminars on ethical hacking and cyber forensics across India.

His cyber security firm in New Delhi works with about 415 enterprises to develop security products and hacks into their systems to detect vulnerabilities in codes. The company is soon going international and has tripled its revenue since last year.

“It’s very lucrative. Companies will pay a huge price for gaining momentum in this space,” said Ravi Gururaj, chairman of Nasscom Product Council.

With the internet of things becoming a global phenomenon, the security software makers have a chance to build software in uncharted territories. The market is pegged at $95.60 billion (.`5.8 lakh crore) in 2014 and will grow to $155.74 billion (. `9.5 lakh crore) by 2019, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets.

These core technologies power the next generation of computing and lay the foundation for enterprises. But the dearth of Indian companies is glaring.

“There are very few companies. This is the best kept secret in the industry ,” said Jay Pullur, founding member of software product thinktank iSpirt.

Pullur, also the CEO of Hyderabad-based Pramati Tehnologies, said iSpirt talks to global MNCs regularly and have been told that such companies are easy acquisition targets.

Also the market size and opportunity in these technologies have been more than validated.

Take software-defined networking as an example. In simple terms, SDN will do to networking, what cloud did to servers–eliminate physical data centres and virtualise the hardware aspects of networking, untying software from legacy hardware.

So why are there so few entrepreneurs? It is not the lack of expertise. Bangalore hosts the development centres of at least two Silicon Valley-based companies in SDN–Avni Networks and Versa Networks. “We aren’t using our India team for mundane development tasks, like maintenance and bug fixes–a big mistake of many larger companies in tech. Quite the opposite,” said Kumar Mehta, CEO of Silicon-Valley based Versa Networks. The twoyear-old company has received $14.4 million (Rs 87.5 crore) in funding from Sequoia till date.

“The India team is working on the core solution, writing code around the clock with their Silicon Valley peers,” said Mehta, a former employee of Juniper Networks.

Last year, research firm CB Insights said deal activity jumped 75% on the back of large acquisitions by Juniper Networks and VMWare. Between mid-2012 to 2013 to SDN-related startups have raised nearly $416 million (Rs 2,500 crore) across 35 deals.

Cloud storage is another largely unnoticed area.

courtesy:etcio.com

Premji Jr. to head Wipro’s venture arm, to invest Rs 600 cr in startups

Wipro is setting up a corporate venture arm to be spearheaded by Rishad Premji that will initially invest up to $100 million (Rs 600 crore) in startups to help the country’s third-largest software exporter fill the missing innovation strand.

This first-of-its-kind venture arm by an Indian outsourcer to be overseen by Rishad, son of Chairman Azim Premji, underscores the company’s recognition to existential threats faced by traditional IT companies from startups focused on disruptive technologies, including data analytics and machine-to-machine learning, said people familiar with the development.

Globally, some of the biggest technology names such as Intel, Cisco and Dell have dedicated corporate ventures for investing in startups and mature ideas that are disruptive.

Barring Accenture, which shut down its venture arm in 2002, none of the large IT services companies has experimented on this front.

“Very soon you will hear about this corporate venture fund that the company will be starting,” said a person familiar with the development. adding that Wipro will invest between $80-100 million (Rs 480 crore to Rs a600 crore) in terms of venture funding for the first year.

“This sum ($80-100 million) is for the first year. And then it will grow. There will be more coming out of it,” said the executive.

Rishad is already the head of strategy division at Wipro and according to another person, is in the midst of putting together a team that will assist him on taking decisions, including evaluating projects that need to be incubated by the Bangalore-based IT firm.

Anurag Srivastava, who is overseeing the Change the Business Unit at Wipro, will be the one of the key members of this team.

Two other executives who will be reporting to Rishad are Jagadish Velagapudi, head of strategic programs, and Haripriya Rama Iyer, who in April was given a senior role in the strategy division.

A questionnaire sent to Wipro remained unanswered. Two people familiar with the development said that the company could make an announcement as early as next month. “Wipro wants to be at the front-end of technology. That fs the ambition, h said a second executive, adding that startups from across the world, including India, will be considered. gInnovation is not restricted to the US. So the thinking is why to limit to any geography.”

ET also learns that the corporate venture arm will be part of Change the Business Unit, one of the two young business divisions the company carved out earlier this year. The company has outlined gmassive investments h in technology platforms, including automation and digital space, results of which should start showing as early as June next year, the executive said.

Over the past few years, Wipro has already made minority investments in two such startups, including $5 million (RS 30 crore) in US-based Axeda, as it aims to offer to offer machine-to-machine learning solutions for clients and an over $30 million (Rs 180 crore) investment in Opera, a New Jersey based data analytics company.

Some experts back this latest effort by Wipro as they believe it is difficult to make an acquisition in a space where every customer in an industry has its unique own requirements.

How open source can solve Silicon Valley’s engineering crisis

Silicon Valley may think itself the center of the technology universe, but 76% of open-source development happens elsewhere, a rich talent pool for engineer-hungry startups.

Silicon Valley may think itself the center of the universe, but when it comes to open source, it can only muster a third-place finish. According to an analysis of top GitHub contributors, both Europe and the rest of the United States develop more open-source software than Silicon Valley. While this may not be surprising given Europe’s long-standing affection for open source, it is a reminder that much of the best development talent doesn’t live along Highway 101 and probably never will.

Who contributes the most code?
The Wall Street Journal’s Christopher Mims recently took Silicon Valley venture capitalists to task for funding the wrong kinds of startups — you know, advertising funded startups that eschew “basic research and development that transforms lives.”

Had he looked at GitHub, however, Mims may have noticed a different picture.

While open-source developers can be as faddish as the next person, one of the cardinal tenets of open source is that it encourages developers to “scratch their own itches.” In other words, solve pressing problems that they may have, regardless of venture funding.

In this way, open source gave us Linux (operating system), Hadoop (big data analytics), Lucene (search), JBoss (application server), Drupal (web content management), MySQL (database), Day (web content management), nginx (web serving) and more, many of which projects emerged from Europe (not surprising given the wealth of innovation coming from Europe today).

While VCs piled on in later years to fuel these projects, they started out as an open-source answer to an “itch.”

Itches being itches, they aren’t geography-dependent. It isn’t a perfect proxy for all open-source development, but a quick analysis of GitHub’s top-250 contributors suggests an interesting demographic mix for the overall ecosystem:

Silicon Valley – 24%
Asia-Pacific – 14%
Europe – 31%
Rest of USA (somewhat even split between NYC/DC, Seattle, and Middle America) – 25%
Brazil – 3%
Canada – 3%
As for other demographic information, I couldn’t get any recent data. However, I doubt that open source has changed much from its original demographics: middle-aged developers with several years of professional experience. Given its rise, this has likely only increased.

Language of choice?
As for programming language preferences among the most active GitHub contributors, JavaScript reigns supreme, claiming 38% of contributed code. The full rankings are as follows:

JavaScript – 38%
Ruby – 16%
Python – 10%
PHP – 8%
C – 4%
Everything else is 2% or lower, including Perl, Objective-C, Haskell, and others.

Hiring the best developers
Given how tight the job market is for engineers in Silicon Valley, maybe it’s time for Silicon Valley employers to go remote. Given that 76% of open-source developers likely do not live along Highway 101, and the relative ease of evaluating performance through code review and online interactions, why not build out remote teams?

For some, this is anathema. With few exceptions, for example, Facebook and other Silicon Valley tech giants require employees to work in the same office in the interest of speeding development. Yes, studies suggest that co-located engineering teams can be more productive, with less time needed to coordinate resources and make decisions.

But co-location also means you hire from a much narrower talent pool. In fact, former MySQL and ZenDesk executive Zack Urlocker told me that it is “much easier to hire when you have distributed teams.”

Given the prevalence of open source, many engineers already know how to operate within distributed development teams, even if their employers don’t currently function that way. To ease Silicon Valley’s talent crunch, it’s time to look to the open-source community.

courtesy:Tech Republic