Virtual Entrepreneur

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Aug 1

Successfull startup theory

These recent days, I’ve been developing my perception and intuition on matters, my conclusion is simple, nothing visual is excluded from the logic. Observing and learning should help define the pattern and reach or at least get closer to a deduction of natural principles.

Let’s put it that way: nothing is impossible, therefore you should find why that affirmative sentence has a positive reason. My struggle, my experiences, my daily learning, the fact that I read books like founders at work, vcs at work, George Doriot biography, and that I watch everyday some entrepreneurs talking about their experiences, all those dispersed information helped me deduct a theory of success, which I’d like to share.

Impossible = Possible + Risks

Risks = Impossible - Possible

Possible = Impossible - Risks

If nothing is impossible, then, to reach the possible you have to define the risks.

Well, let’s define the risk, it’s the consequence of an action, but it’s mostly define as uncertainty, the probability of clearing it (negative, remove ) is somewhat unknown! So the best way to understand it, is probably to understand the existence of the risk itself. The risk is a result of an objective that we’re trying to reach ( a projection in the future ). The objective becomes true (realization), under the condition that the risk is removed (negative). Creating a false risk (simulate the true risk) is the condition to make the risk an affirmative (existence).
The objective is equal to success, if the true risk is negative AND the false risk positive. If the false risk value is equal to the true risk value, the probability to make the projection, objective is true, is low. Therefore, the false risk should be inferior or equal to 1/3 AND strictly superior to 1/6 of the true risk to maximize the probability of occurrence (objective = success OR true risk = 0).


A logic set of objectives should help you make a projection (set of defined points to the success), a continuous decision making process (ethic choice) to approve (validate = make the points positive) should be parallel to the function (projection).


An example of set of objectives:

*List the 50 leading start-ups
*Study their business model (Use Business model canvas)
*Identify potential risks of their business model
*Propose a list of preventive actions to reduce the risks occurrence, or negative impact
*Repeat the process until you understand the key metrics by heart
*Analyze segment markets, focus on segment where you can be inspired (social health , etc)
*Once you select the segment market, choose the problem based on “What is impossible”
*Ask this question for every high growth market
*Make a business model canvas
*Make a business model canvas risk management
*Make an execution plan for actions
*Identify the risks and how to address them
*Execute the plan

The Lean Startup for dummies

You may have heard about the new trend in SC (Silicon Valley) startups ..The Lean startup! Eric Ries wrote an excellent book about and you can find more information on his blog : http://www.startuplessonslearned.com/

The reason why I’m excited about, is for one reason, it’s actually changing the shape on how entrepreneurs see the future of their startups!

Instead of being brutally ignorant on the outcomes, Founders can now take a better approach to test the market quick and fast, and iterate (pivot if you prefer) with a smart attitude.

So here is a quick step by step I’m personally trying to implement, only the future will tell if the framework worked.

Step 1 : Your vision of your world

This is probably the most important piece of your journey. If there is no vision, there is nothing you can believe in, nothing you can trust, no extra hours of work, no sacrifices. I guess the vision, defines if you really want to make a difference in this world or if you’re just trying to jump on small opportunities around (which can still lead you to a great success, but frankly , your vision is what makes you unique = unique destiny = unique success!).

I’m trying to stay away from people who knows my future better than myself. NO ONE can predict the future, therefore, every single human being holds his own future.

Step 2 : Find the idea matching or close to your vision

As simple as it should be, you should pick up ideas, closer to your vision, why ? because it might be easier for you to be passionate about than a random idea, where, I think, will lack one important piece of your success!

Finding an idea can be hard, but trust me, if you’re passionate, they will flow in your mind. Sorry to insist on this, but the passion is nothing you can compare or match, it unlocks your hidden skills, potential and energy, boost your performance..

Step 3 : Understand the ecosystem

Part of my problem when I started this journey, was simple : “Where do I start” ?

It can lead to a headache soon enough, there is so much information to process and knowledge to acquire, that a young entrepreneur like you or me, can be easily lost.
To make it simple, I start by this simple statement :

WHO DOES WHAT AND WHY ?

The Entrepreneur:

Summary :
He’s the guy with the idea, he’s passionate about a problem he urgently needs to solve, so passionate that he’s willing to take some risks, not the least, high risk (that might impact seriously his social life, his future).
He can ride solo, or in duo or with a group of people. Limitation to 3-4 is recommended to avoid the dissipation of fast and clear decision/communication.

Skills:
Let’s be honest one sec : you just need to know how to read/write/speak (any form).. P…E…R..I..O…D ! the more you wanna add layers, the more you postpone the action, getting the stuff done! you can find 1000 excuses before starting, but you’ll soon realize that it’s better earlier than later. All this stuff you think are a pre-requirement, you will learn them faster and better on the field… Start NOW, DO NOT WAIT..

THE ANGEL/SUPER ANGEL/VENTURE CAPITALIST

Summary :
That’s the guy(s) with a ton of cash, willing to take high risk and invest in you and your idea. He has a different view than you, on the outcomes. He’s managing a portofolio of people like you and he’s expecting high return on his investment.
What he needs from you is simple :
*Show him that you’re passionate about your idea
*Show him that the problem you’re trying to solve, has a impact on a group of people (Target customers)
*Show him that you’re organized enough to make a plan with deliverable on a pre-defined period of time :
- Is your plan working ? How many customers do you have ?
- Are they using your product/service ?
- How to you attract them and how much you spend ? (marketing stuff)
- Basically, they wanna know if your problem is really a problem for people, if you can find them (target audience), but most important, if they are willing to pay for it or not!

Skills:
A good VC, is sometimes a good entrepreneur! some entrepreneurs switch to the other side, because they like it or they wanna invest in other people
Some VC come from other branches (bank, investment firm, etc..)

PERSONAL OPINION ON VENTURE CAPITALIST:
I’m outraged when I hear arrogant VC talk about entrepreneurs as “deals”, those VCs are just not getting exactly what they are doing, they are purely focusing on ROI, numbers, useless stuff and YES some won the lottery, but it’s terrible for the future of entrepreneurship.
I was watching some videos on E-corner (Entrepreneurship corner - Standford) and the host asked a simple question to 2 Angel investors: “Is it possible to replicate the same ecosystem of SC (Silicon Valley) somewhere else in the country or the world…guess how was their answers : ” NO, impossible, not even close ” ..
The question wasn’t if there is currently (at the present time), an equivalent system somewhere else, but more, if there is a process or framework to reproduce the same eco-system.. That elitist arrogance kills me, so much that I wanted to learn about the history of Venture Capitalist.. guess what I found ??
The first Venture Capitalist was a French named “George Doriot ” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Doriot

In the early days (1930-40ish), only wealthy families were investing in private equity. You can just imagine that those people was pretty hard to approach, meaning less people with brilliant ideas could have access to capital, and finance their vision, ideas, growth!
George was extremely concerned about this barrier and this “ONLY-ELITE” access.. so he found the FIRST Venture Capitalist firm, not to make money on the short term necessarily, but to invest in people, to invest in trusting, to invest in empowering some random people to give their best and help others.
So when I hear, we ONLY invest in those specific people, because they have the best education, degree.. my head is spinning!
Investors should invest in people they trust first, invest in people willing to invest in other people in return, this must be a cycle to help more people start thinking as entrepreneurs and investors, and not simply as workers.
A good economy needs more entrepreneurs powered by more VCs type Georges Doriot.
Every VC should read this book, before investing in any startup:

"Creative Capital: Georges Doriot and the birth of Venture Capital"

This is my personal view on the economy :

* When the economy eco-system is in good shape

People = Power = Success (short & long term)
Spreadsheet = Power = Success (short-term)

* When the economy eco-system is in bad shape

People = Power = Success (long term)
Spreadsheet = ???? a spreadsheet is piece of paper = Failure (short-term… don’t even bother about the long term)

… soon the rest

Jun 8

Steve Jobs explains how you must learn to fail before success..

Jun 7

Sabeer Bhatia

Jun 7

Steve Wozniak interviewed, 1984..

Jun 7

Joe Kraus, Cofounder of Excite

Soon..

Jun 7

Steve Wozniak, Cofounder of Apple

Soon..

Jun 7
Jun 7
Jun 6

Watch those inspiring movies …

about entrepreneurship … 

If you’ve already watched some of them… Take the time to watch them one more time, with your entrepreneur mindset!
Identify problems and opportunities and try to translate as much as you can those stories with your reality!

Pirates of Silicon Valley

Startup.com

Tucker: The Man and His Dream

The Social Network

The Aviator