I’m looking for IT startups to chat with over a cup of coffee (my treat!). Specifically startups that have experienced one or more of the following at certain points in their life:
- No direct access to target market
- Problem with administrative/office management
- Lack of product or customer development skills
- Lacking in software development tooling skills
- No access to funding
If you have or had any of the above problems before, please contact me. In exchange, I’ll share with you some recent research from Stanford on startup success.
The Startup Genome Project report is a must-read for those thinking of starting up their own company or those thinking of investing in one. Afterwards, follow it up with a preview of Steve Blank’s Four Steps to the Epiphany or go ahead and buy the book!
“When your only surrounded by people who speak the same vocabulary as you or share the same set of assumptions as you, you start to think that that’s reality”
— Emily Levine, TEDTalks 2002
Is entrepreneurship really as glamorous as people make it out to be? I ask this question because all too often when I hear someone talk about starting a business or advocating entrepreneurship, they make it sound as if entrepreneurship or starting one’s own business is THE utopia all of us are looking for.
But is it?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not tryig to discourage anyone, but I think it’s worth a think before you jump into the deep end. Consider your reasons for going into business. If it’s because you want something more glamorous than your 8 to 5 job, better think again.
How many entrepreneurial gatherings do we have in Davao? I’m talking about those types of gatherings where individuals meet up and try to share ideas that can potentially lead to new ventures. How often do they happen and where? I’d like to try and take stock of all these events to get an understanding of what’s missing and what we can improve on in terms of the entrepreneurial spirit of the place.
Know of one? Add it here through the comment box.
I was watching Peter Reinhart deliver a talk at TED about the art of baking bread and was struck by one thing that he said about people wanting to eat healthfully but not liking very much the act of eating healthful foods because it feels more of an obligation rather than the pursuit of one’s passion.
I can relate. Many times in my adult life I would attempt to eat more healthy foods such as wholegrain bread, oatmeal, and many other high fiber, low fat food items accessible to me. I find that I’m able to sustain it for a few months but then revert back to my old not-so-healthy ways after some time. Is this because I have been so used to eating unhealthy foods that I’m unable to sustain it? I don’t think so. Is it because I just don’t care about my health? No. I try to eat just enough and go to the gym thrice a week.
I think the answer lies in Darwin. During his time, he has suggested that the reason we prefer sweet tasting food (e.g. white bread) over one that is not (e.g.wholegrain bread) is because our brains are wired up like that (sweet means sugar and sugar provides the energy that our brain needs to function properly).
This makes me wonder some more about how the rest of our brain is wired up. Are we really designed as pleasure-seeking creatures always weighting in the pros and cons of doing something and doing it only if it gives us seemingly more pros than cons to the best of our knowledge?
I’ve suggested in a previous post that perhaps we are all like this. I have to admit that it would be scary if it were true. But I can’t help but observe this in many places. People tend to gravitate towards someone or something that gives them a good feeling. Granted that different people have different things that make them feel good (some feel good from helping someone, some feel good when they buy new things, still others feel good when they have power) but all the same that would make all of us pleasure seeking creatures.
This makes one think further: could this be the reason why a few volunteer organizations are having a hard time recruiting hiqh quality volunteers? Because they don’t provide enough of an incentive for the kind of talents that they need? Is this why some managers have a hard time getting their organization to act on their mission? Because it feels more of an obligation rather than the pursuit of one’s passion?
I’m just rambling here and I really don’t have any solid answers. But I think it’s worth thinking about when you want to get a group of people to team up and pursue a common goal.
Reed Hastings, founder and CEO of Netflix:
Target a specific niche. When there’s an ache, you want to be like Aspirin, not vitamins. Aspirin solves a very particular problem someone has, whereas vitamins are a general “nice to have market” [The Netflix idea] was certainly Aspirin.
(from Fortune Magazine vol 159, number 2)