What makes a truly successful entrepreneur?

Here are the 10 most relevant founders traits, I observed by working with some of the top CEOs and over 1,000 startups.  Each of the traits are not ‘sort of having a little bit of that too’ – instead are especially standing out as extremely developed trait. If any one is missing or weak – it seriously weakens the entrepreneurial profile. You may also notice an important interconnection between these traits – again missing one cripples the complete concept.

1) fearless
Absolutely does not fear anybody or anything. There is no higher up person for an entrepreneur. There is no rule that is respected and no definition that is taken just as that.

2) creative / compositive
The ability to be creativity means finding a gazillion bits and pieces in your brain and composing it in no time to a new picture. Creativity requires maximum inputs, from travel, discussions, reading… Being compositive is the ability to very quickly identify opportunities and turning them into business cases or even innovation. They experiment fearless no matter what the outcome maybe. (See 1 Fearless)

3) determined
Determination is a mindset. Doing anything, whatever it takes to make something happen. No irritation from others, no distraction, no uncertainty. (See 2 creative / compositive)

4) curious/open
Wide open mind. Wanting to really know in detail how things work, how people do things, how we live, what the barriers are, where the limits maybe if any. Listening to others very carefully, without constructing an argument half way through. (see 1 fearless)

5) independent
There is nothing and nobody that prevents the entrepreneur do their things. No friend, no family, no lack of money, no rules, no legislation can get into their way. Societal rules, conformism and alike fences are respected but do not apply to entrepreneurs. (See 1 fearless, 3 determined)

6) confident
Once an idea is manifested, true entrepreneurs have no doubt that it will work. They just know it will. The extraordinary confidence comes from a ‘brain defect’ that spills emotional knowledge from the right brain half into the brain without consulting the rational part of the brain. (See 1 fearless, 3 determined, 5 independent)

7) connected
True entrepreneurs are always highly connected. Connected with their market, connected with the player, connected with customers or targeted customer, connected with investors, influencers, industry associations and so forth. Entrepreneurs have no issues to connect to anybody. (See 1 fearless, 4 curious, 6) confident)

8) communicative
Communication is the most important skill humans developed. It’s our way to communicate with words, text, pictures that set us apart from any living being. Some animals also developed complex communication schemas, yet no animal can tell another that their great grand father experienced this or that. And they cannot create scenarios that actually do not exist. True entrepreneurs are masters in communication with others, drawing an imaginary world that they are seeing in the future and attract others. At the same time they can sit and truly listen for an hour and construct the situation they hear into a solution and opportunity (see 1 fearless, 2 compositive, 4 curious, 7 connected)

9) involving
Entrepreneurs are very involving. Involving their team, their market, their investors to actively participate in their undertaking. Entrepreneurial involvement of others go way past the concept of delegation but truly inspire others. (See 2 creative, 3 determined, 6 confident, 8 communicative)

10) intelligent
While we may debate what intelligence is, here is our definition: “Intelligence is the ability to comprehend a never before experienced situation, abstract the essence and developing a solution by simply thinking through as many as reasonable options”. In that sense, true entrepreneurs are intelligent and involve others to solve the problem. (See 1 fearless, 2 creative, 3 determined, 4 curious, 8 communicative, 9 involving)

It sounds like a very demanding profile – it is. And only 0.007% of humans are actually successful entrepreneurs.

A week with very promising teams, brilliant people from the local universities and amazing supporter – less amazing government actions.

Our work In Nepal was a great finish for our five week Asia Tour on one side and a disappointment at the very last day, at the investor summit.

After an impressive pitch event, the winner teams and organizers, judges and investors all together. The creativity of entrepreneurs is universal. And so is their spirit to find solutions for their local markets first.

Private World Innovations Forum Dinner with representatives from the private and public sector, entrepreneurs, investors and enablers. It’s also a thank you to the amazing work the team has performed in Nepal.

With the introduction of Private Direct Investments, private investors should now able to invest in private businesses, explained Minister for foreign affairs, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali. This would make a huge difference to Nepal’s startup ecosystem.

Nepal’s government representatives explain the new investment strategy, in which industries investments are welcome and up to 7 years tax exemptions to attract as many investors as possible. It was made very clear that with the new investment policies and regulations, the government is introducing major changes, trying to turn to economy around. For the past decades, Nepal was depending on donations. Now that shall change and Nepal will want to stand on their own feed.

However, weeks later the website to register and get approved as an investor did not work. Trying to get support was hopeless. It was difficult enough to figure out which site a prospective investor is supposed to register. Attendees of the event never heard back from the event organizer. Neither how to register nore any next steps. Even our local connections could not figure out whether the new rules are even in effect. So far no progress at all.

 

Do you really need a vision for your business? You don’t NEED anything, it’s YOUR business! But here is what a VISION can do for you.

  1. You don’t “create” a vision for yourself
    Hopefully, you already envision where you want to take your business. And if you don’t have one, ask yourself why you are doing it? Why would you risk your employees careers? Why would you risk your investor’s money? Why would you risk to waste the time of your customers? Why would you jeopardise all the people’s time and money you will deal with?
    But given you have your vision, here is what it can do for you:
  2. Have a vision to attract co-founders
    If you have a very interesting case or cause you may attract people joining you on your journey that you would never ever be able to hire otherwise. You will need top notch people to create an amazing business – any business. You only can get those if you have a powerful and very meaningful vision.
  3. Have a vision for your customers
    Customers get asked to buy a gazillion products every day. Why should they buy yours? There is always a cheaper product around the corner. If not today tomorrow somebody gets up and makes it even less expensive than anybody else in the world. But your amazing idea and long term view of the impact of what you and your exceptional team is doing, will help your customers also tomorrow, next year and the years to come. Customers buy either the cheapest or the most compelling product or service. And if it is your vision to make sure you will be always the cheapest – well than that is your vision.
  4. Have a vision to attract top talents
    As a startup you usually have a very tough time to attract these amazingly smart top talents who seem to walk on water, get things done while others still wonder what the best way would be or try to consult others how to even start. You want talents that are almost impossible to employ by anybody. You look for people, where everybody is afraid of to even train them because they would be hired away in no time. But if you have an impressive vision and show a way to get there, you find the very people you even need to get there. And you find people who know it’s them to shape the organization, it’s them who makes it happen. You may ask: Why don’t they do it on their own? Because what you bring to the party is an amazing VISION that makes them tick. Of course, they will ask to get a piece of the cake – and that is totally ok.
  5. Have a vision for your market
    People in your industry or market should know about you and your amazing business. You will never have enough money to advertise. But your amazing vision will be carried around by media and other people. Let them know how you change the world for the better by doing what you do.
  6. Have a vision to attract investors
    If you have no vision where this business can grow to, why should anybody invest? Why should people risk their hard earned money, no matter how much they have, to put it i your business and not in some of the other 1 million startups around the world? Your vision gives the indication of the opportunity down the road.
  7. Have a vision to attract anybody who matters to you
    There are millions of businesses out there. All competing for a tiny slice of the market. Most struggle to keep their business alive – because why them and not somebody else. Do not use the buzz words of the day – don’t even TRY to be attractive. You ARE attractive when you explain what matters most yo you and why you believe what you are doing is important to many others – more important than what is out there today.

You can only lead a market if you can actually ‘envision’ where you want to lead it to. And a very personal super positive ‘side effect’:  You even have a MUCH more fulfilling life if you know what it is that you really really really care about and make it happen — no matter what, and no matter how impossible it may appear. In the end it makes the difference between LIVING or just EXISTING.

@AxelS

 

You already started very very well – togetherness. Yet this is one of the biggest challenges of first time founders. Hence the long and detailed answer.

It takes teamwork to make a dream work.

People all to often simply focus on the act of “finding”. That doesn’t get you anywhere and you end up with nothing. Therefor my recommendation:

1) CO-FOUNDER

Make it very clear to yourself that you are actually looking for a co-founder, a partner for your entire business life. That co-founder should stay, no matter what. You will face rough times and need to get through together. The best way – by far – is to look for two co-founders, not one and share the equity of the company rather evenly 33, 33, 34%. You as the original idea giver earn the extra percent. But since the initial value of an idea is zero – don’t feel you should have more than that 1 extra percent. If you put in $34,000 the other two have to pony up $33,000 to participate. If they don’t want to give that much money (typically they claim they don’t have it), they are not worth being a partner in this venture. If they don’t have it, they can sell their car, their TV and so forth. Sounds radical and brutal – right? Unfortunately you all will have to make much more radical and brutal decisions in the next 10 years than that. Make sure everybody is “ALL IN”. Meaning they and you put all your eggs in one basket. If the company fails it hearts seriously and twice (financially and emotionally). Best founders are co-founders.

2) TRUST

With the above straightened out, forget trust. Period. Nobody can afford to let the company down. Every founder will be caring about one thing: Making this ventor work no matter what. Trust becomes a non issue.

3) TALENTS

Now make sure you look for exactly the talents you need and complement your talent. Start with making clear to yourself what you are really good at and what you love to do, day in and day out. Then write down what you just don’t like and hope to never do. Split the list of “don’t wants” and look for those talents. Assume you are an engineer do not look for another engineer no matter what. If you are an analyst, finance, production person look for the engineer and a visionary sales and marketing executer. Be very clear what you are looking for. Then go to LinkedIn and check if these talents actually exist :) If not – iterate.
Find the humanly best possible people.

Look for people who you could never – ever – afford to hire.

4) VISION

If your vision for the company’s future is not compelling and unclear – you would never attract top talents. Make sure you have a vision that compels others to look up to it. Your vision not only need to attract top talents, it need to attract customers, partners, investors, board members and so forth. No big vision, no big business, no good people.

5) SEARCH

After you went through the above exercise, your search will feel entirely different.
Promote your idea first. Instead of just searching for people to join, you will first promote your idea in your network. Give people the WOW. Let everybody know who you are looking for. Share the profiles of your ideal co-founder on your website, blog or something you can easily share with a link.
Adjust your LinkedIn profile. Put on your LinkedIn profile that you are looking for co-founders.
Go to meetups and conferences where you feel you find potential people and just talk to them. Business Cards may be out of date a bit but have them. Put your vision on the back of the card. Maybe hand written (of course printed). Share the card with everybody you like to hire and note their email address.
Directly contact people on LinkedIn. Connect and NEVER forget to send a comment with the connect request. Let them know what you are looking for and ask them if they know somebody in their network. I found some of my greatest talents that way.
Throw a party. You want to start a business. This is exciting enough to give a party. Rent a space in a fun and and inexpensive restaurant and just offer beer and sodas for everybody. It’s not that expensive but real fun. I did that once in Palo Alto and it is still remembered by many people. When you great everybody in a very short speech. Let them know that you can only do a follow on party when you have your co-founders. And once that is the case everybody is invited again. It worked wonders.
Advertise yourself. Buy yourself a banner for $100 and mount it on a small truck that you can rent for another $100. Drive and park around 11am at a university nearby, move on and hang out for a few minutes at around 12:00 in front of your biggest competitor. MOve on after just 5 to 10 minutes before they kick you out to the next. In the afternoon hang out at a train station and so forth.

And on it goes – get creative – get crazy… get into the mood of the greatest startup in 2019. :)

@AxelS

We believe having a massively big objective requires a laser sharp focus. At least that has been true for any business and we think it is also true for an organization that is not profit oriented – yet very goal oriented. With that we propose the following to our leadership teams:

One goal:
Prosperity for all nations, through innovation and entrepreneurship, resulting in closing the gap between rich and poor, eradicating any level of poverty.
One method:
Stimulate, support and accelerate already existing entrepreneurial minds and innovative initiatives within each country
One approach:
We do not bring success models from developed countries to help less developed countries but help understand global standards and inspire people to meet or exceed them with their own ways and ideas based on their own culture and innovative thinking.
One path:
We see leading nations losing their leadership over time, like Egypt, Inka, Greece, China, Rome, British Empire, USA. None of those countries vanish away but their achievements, ingenuity, creativity and prosperity was/is fading away and with it all the previously developed entrepreneurial spirit. We need to stop those collapses and even help developed nations no longer loose their momentum, and all nations prosper together.
One KPI
Export volume per capita of innovative products, services or business models

 

Why the extreme focus?

The top developed countries are leading the world since the inception of the industrial revolution and continuously grow in prosperity and influence. Emerging countries grow rapidly through natural resource extraction or outsourced production power and services, The slow or not developing countries, either determined to keep things as they are or struggling in finding their way.

Based on the “Export Per Capita” list we see a deep correlation between sustainable wealth and developing and exporting innovative products. We also began to look at grouping countries differently than today.

  1. The most prosper countries are the ones that exporting innovative solutions across the globe. The massive export power is a key contributor to their wealth. The US and Europe are good examples for those countries.
  2. Countries with more natural resources than they need for themselves and export those resources also gain significant prosperity for their nation. However they show an extreme dependency on the global needs of their natural resources. At the same time the innovative countries innovate to reduce that dependency and look for alternative materials. Middle East and Africa are good examples for those countries.
  3. Countries with high production power, or large services sources at cheap labor are exporting their services and gain an increase in prosperity through outsourced production and services. Also they are extremely dependent on the global needs of their production output. And also here the innovative countries try to further and further automate production and reducing outsourcing as their development effort to ever less expensive products and services. And therefor putting those outsourcing and production nations unwillingly at huge risks.
  4. Countries with no natural resources, no outsourcing or production power and no innovative solutions may need to either develop a different strategy to be self sufficient and not follow the race of innovation, growth and prosperity – or – decide to connect with the innovative countries, get help for education and trying to still catch up with the development.

The gap between innovation countries and the other countries is constantly widening as we progress. The gap between emerging countries and least developing countries is widening even more dramatically. While some emerging countries are well under way to catch up and even sooner or later surpass todays developed countries, other emerging countries are just too weak, mainly due to lack of education, leadership and political structure to catch up.

To close that gap between all nations, we are trying to help stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation – regardless of their political or economic environment. And to keep the gap closed once we are there, we try to help developed nations to understand the risk of falling behind by slowing down in their innovative efforts.

To better understand the dynamic of becoming innovative, being innovative and potentially loosing the innovative edge, we explore a different classification of countries.

We are currently exploring the following classification in 5 groups:
1) Innovative nations (Exporting innovative products/services/business models) A, AA and AAA grade (see below)
2) Previous innovative nations (Exporting* previously innovative solutions, older than 25 years)
3) Non innovative industrial nations (countries with industrialized production power)
4) Non innovative natural resource nations (countries exporting their natural resources)
5) Non innovative non exporting nations (no significant exports of anything)
Grades of innovative nations
AAA Most innovative nations, highest export per capita volume, export into more than 25 other countries
AA Innovative nations, reasonable innovative product export volume per capita into more than 10 other countries
A Early innovative nations, some innovative export volume of more than € 100 / capita into more than 5 other countries
For relevancy reasons we define “Export” as continuous delivery of products, services or business models into at least 5 other countries and a combined export volume of more than € 100 per capita of such innovative solutions.

A country can be both, a former innovative nation and an innovative nation.
Germany for instance is primarily a previous innovative nation and a single A innovative nation. PIN, A-IN
The US for instance is an AAA innovative nation and a previous innovative nation AAA IN and a PIN
Italy maybe just a previous innovative nation “PIN”
China maybe a “Non innovative Industrial Nation” NIN
Emirates maybe a “Non innovative Natural Resource Nation” NRN
Nepal maybe a “Non innovative non exporting nation” NNN

Thanks for any feedback

 

 

There is a lot we can learn from Nepal. The very beautiful and sometimes considered mystic country could not have more orthogonal dimensions. Nepal is at the very low end of the GDP list, is unfortunately high up on the list of “perceived corruption”, is a nation with the one of the most kindest people on earth, has exceptional talents, a still under developed infrastructure, is still dependant on donations from foreign countries, yet some extraordinarily ambitious people to turn the nation from a “receiver” nation into a fast emerging nation on the way to become a “giver” nation. When such a country, with a new generation of sheer infinite determination can organise to breed talents working on globally latest technology such as Artificial Intelligence, with goal to turn the nation to prosperity – we must ask shouldn’t that be possible in other countries too. We also must wonder if the combination of a new agile government, highly engaged academia, highly motivated entrepreneurs, all working together – is a superior model of the future? Or will the model of a public being permanently on confrontation course with their government, ego driven groups with nothing but steering up the nation with horror scenarios for their own good and media loving to confuse information consumer for the sake of popularity be the winner of the future?

Khem Lakai – Nepal

While we, the World Innovations Forum, has pretty much all ducks in the row here in Switzerland, a very active community in San Francisco, where it all started, and a very good start recently in Bosnia, great energy in South Korea, Vietnam, Germany, Macedonia, Nigeria, and other countries, our current Role Model is Nepal. Khem Lakai our Ambassador, had by far overachieved our wildest dreams. After our first Meetup in 2018, and a good exchange during the year, Khem understood, it was important to get top technology created in Nepal. Since natural resources are limited and industrial production is not too well developed yet, competition in other countries is fierce, he decided to help stimulate tech development. Together with Ranjan Mishran, a Nepali who is studying at ETH in Zurich they inspired a team of PhDs from Zürich and other Universities to come to Nepal. The Swiss Embassy in Nepal immediately recognized the importance and supported his actions.

Kathmandu, Nepal

In nearly no time, students in Nepal are being trained and built an AI systems and have been stimulated for Entrepreneurship. With yet another group of Nepali tech enthusiast in diaspora, lead by Prof. Bishesh Khanal who decided to quit his dream job in London to move back to Kathmandu and help Nepal move forward with other very successfully tech professionals and experts in the field of AI. Khem worked closely with various entrepreneurial enthusiasts in the nation, co-sponsored national events with Nepal Tourism Board and mentored youth in politics from all different political parties to raise awareness for a “visionary leadership”:  Nepal is to change the narrative of poor and sorry nation to a successful strong nation.

 

Premier Minister Khadga Prasad Oli of Nepal with World Innovations Forum Chairman Axel Schultze.

A few months later they invited Axel to speak with the Prime Minister Oli about the World Innovations Forum’s overall plans and also having talks with their Finance Minister Dr. Khatiwada. The power play continues this year with a first International Investors Summit in Nepal. Now Axel is preparing to attract international startup investors from the US, Germany, UK, Switzerland and maybe a few other countries to Nepal. While the country is still perceived as a rather corrupt nation, we see already Nepali Finance Minister starting to bring the legal framework in alignment with International expectations. The extraordinary journey is just in the beginning.

Khem Lakai, the World Innovations Forum Ambassador, together with his connections and a very ambitious country is making the sheer impossible a reality. It’s the concerted effort with an exceptional leadership that made this work. It was only a spark of inspiration from the World Innovations Forum,  yet the highly focused, ambitious and self determined Khem Lakai did what he felt is right for Nepal, connected with likeminded people and relentlessly executed. It’s that mindset and the understanding what really makes sense for the larger part of a country that moves mountains. In the meantime a new innovation lab is in the making. Also a collaboration between another Swiss university with a Nepali University is considered to create an exchange between some top Nepali talents and Swiss talents to also shorten the distance between cultures.

Its the right time for the right action with the right people that makes a change possible. This is the spirit the World Innovations Forum is trying to embrace. Our most sincere THANK YOU to Khem and his team of equally ambitious team of exceptional people like Ranjan Mishran, Prof. Bishesh Khanal and many others to build this World Innovations Forum poster child.

Even though Khem is the prototype of a self starter, let us inspire all of you to do what is best for your country as every country is in a different situation. But we are all one world – together.

@MaritaR

 

In my previous two blog posts I shared a base view and two examples. In this post I will share some ways to get to a state of the art level of digitization in your business.

As stated in the previous blog post, computerization or digitization 1.0 started in the 1960’s. With rare exceptions, most businesses are fully computerized. Computers, smartphones, Internet and the corresponding software are simply the underlying infrastructure for digitization. In my follow on blog post, Digitization is a mindset,  I described the effects based on the two examples: Amazon and Uber.

Find out your degree of digitization

The degree of digitization today, can also be seen as a collection of individual and unique competitive advantages. If you like to further explore full digitization of your business you may want to use the following guidance:

  1. Think in degrees of digitization?
    – Digitization is not a have or not have. It is a sliding scale from basic to medium, to good, to excellent
    – Can you identify the degree of digitization in your business?
    – Do you have a customer advisory board you can work with to increase the level of digitization?
  2. Modern Business Culture?
    – Digitization is a mindset and requires a modern, open minded and transparent company culture.
    – Do you have an executive team or business owners who don’t want more transparency and rather keep everything close to their chest?
    – Do you have an old style sales and marketing culture that prefers to deliver information only on request and see it as a special value rather than an obligation to freely provide it such as pricing etc.
  3. What is your logistics integration look like
    – Do you still need to manually enter orders, requests or anything else?
    – Are your customer and business partners able to access any record of their transactions online?
    – Can your customers see the order or return progress at any time online
    – Can your customers access business history with you online?
    – Are there any rewards systems for customer activities?
  4. How deep is your sales channel all the way to the individual consumer integrated in your digital presence?
    – Are your direct customers, business partners, vendors, supplier all the way to the individual end user of your products or services fully integrated in your digital presence?
    – Can any of your customer access their own data easily in your system, maybe change their names, email addresses etc? Can they see the products they have and the services they can acquire?
    – Do your customers have access to all the manuals, service descriptions, pricing, spare parts etc.?
    – Do you have a customer community where your customers can meet and exchange experiences?
    – Do you know if your final end consumer is interested in finding out more information from you?
    – Do you have any form of relationship escalation between the end consumer, sales channels, yourself and maybe suppliers of yours?
    – Are customer rewarded when they mention you online on public networks?
  5. What services, knowledge and information can you provide completely paperless?
    – What is the degree of paperless information flow from brochures, to orders, invoices, or contracts?
    – Do you still require a hand written signature on any document?
  6. How many technological channels do you support today?
    Is all the information available on classic websites, do you support mobile devices, do you have dedicated mobile apps, is information exchange possible via social media?

Competitive Advantage

Each and every act of digitization 2.0 should be considered a unique and individual competitive advantage. If it is not a competitive advantage it is probably just a regular digitization 1.0 measure to run your operation.

Obviously the above are only some samples of obvious digitization measures to increase your degree of digitization and creating unique competitive advantages. True so called “disruptive moments” in your business model, network effects and other topics are rather individual to your specific business case.

We have been in Hanoi, Vietnam, from March 7 to 9, 2018 to learn about Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Vietnam. The Society3 and World Innovations Forum Ambassador, Nguyễn Dũng from BKHoldings, Hanoi’s top Accelerator and Co-working space prepared two packed days with insights about Vietnam and a startup event in Hanoi. The two main cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Min city compete for attention and leadership in a great way. Vietnamese are very competitive people and power worker.

Innovation in Vietnam

Vietnam is on the forefront of innovation in the areas of AI, Blockchain, Crypto currencies and other areas based on the Russian Education System. Vietnamese universities create great mathematicians and scientists who in turn work on the above mentioned topics. Our Innovation & Entrepreneurs event was having a gigantic 7 meter LED display. No more projector needed.

Co-Working & Acceleration in Vietnam

BKHoldings Co-Working Space is certainly a leading example of a highly comfortable, yet very accessible space for young entrepreneurs to work in. But here is not only a work space but also an accelerator, helping young entrepreneurs to be prepared to go after the business quickly and avoid unnecessary mistakes. It’s owner, a young entrepreneur himself created that space in a way that everybody can easily communicate with each other and still has a very professional appearance. And talking about communication: It’s worth mentioning that all startups, investors as well as representatives from universities or government spoke fluently English. It appears that there is a clear understanding that if one will want to do business on a global level has to speak the global language. We noticed that first in Bangkok then in Nepal – English is the universal communication vehicle.

Vietnam will be represented at the upcoming World innovations Forum in Switzerland as one of the highly innovative countries in the world. We will share some more insights in the Vietnamese Startup World and some top startups from several industry segments.

 

Most people associate Nepal with Himalaya, Yak, Temples and Monks. And that’s OK – but that was 20+ years ago. Kathmandu, the capital city is a 6 to 8 Million people mega city. The Universities produce entrepreneurs and scientists and the management schools develop top candidates. And the Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal is on the rise.

Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal, Khem Lakai, Society3 and World Innovations Forum AmbassadorWe have been invited to Kathmandu Nepal, from March 4 to 6, 2018 to learn about Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Nepal and share entrepreneurs experiences from around the world. The Society3 and World Innovations Forum Ambassador, Khem Lakai (Photo) made this three very impressive days for us.  Marita and I learned a lot about this extremely friendly culture which has to offer a lot more than Mountains and tracks – even though it is a breath taking experience being so close to the tallest mountains in the world.

Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal

We saw some very interesting startups in all kinds of fields from Medicine to technology and data management. And prior to the event that was organized by our Ambassador For Nepal, Khem Lakai we had a chance to meet leaders from the university, government, and industry on the campus of the Global Management Academy in Kathmandu.

Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal at Academy For Management Kathmandu

At the Event “Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal” we talked about the need to connect entrepreneurs from all countries to learn from each other, inspire each other and possibly create business partnerships across the globe.

Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal with Axel Schultze, Society3 at Nepal Entrepreneurs Night

In many countries, including Nepal, there is a huge interest in connecting with the rest of the world to learn what is needed, what problems need to be solved and how young entrepreneurs can share experiences from technology issues to business model development or fundraising challenges.

 

During the Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal, Marita Schultze addressed several points that are continuously discussed with female entrepreneurs such as the work/family balance, the perceived differences and why female entrepreneurs should not adopt to a male behavior but instead understand their advantages as a woman. “No need to copy a male entrepreneur’s behavior – put your uniqueness in the foreground instead”.

Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal with Marita Schultze, Society3 at Nepal Entrepreneurs Night

Female entrepreneurship is not just something Nepal will do but already has several years experience of engaged female entrepreneurs.

Podiums Discussion,Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal, Society3 at Nepal Entrepreneurs Night

The podiums discussion only emphasized what we already recognized: Nepal is on the verge to become another highly agile country in Asia that has to be watched and taken serious as one of the most potential innovation countries in the world. Clearly Nepal will be represented at the upcoming World innovations Forum in Switzerland and added to the list of the highly innovation countries in the world.

 

And last but not least, Mount Everest is an absolute must see, letting all innovations behind for a moment and meditate about the wonders of that world.

Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal and Mount Everest

Flying along side the Himalaya Mountain Ridge having Mount Everest straight in front of us.

In the next few weeks we will introduce some of the Nepali Entrepreneurs and what they do. Interestingly enough some actually come already from other countries to start their opportunity here in Nepal. One of them is Tirza Theunissen. but we will talk about her and her amazing project in a dedicated post.

OK in my previous post I talked about the European Digitization Issue. And rather giving it yet another abstract and very complicated explanation what it supposed to be, I’d rather talk about the effects it has today and why we it is a mind set and not a way of using machines. that solve all the problems.

CASE STUDY AMAZON

Beloved by many consumers – hated by many retailers.  Amazon a prime example for digitization. Not only Amazon but many catalog reseller before them understood that it will be impossible in the future to have a store with hundreds of thousands of products to choose from. It will be harder and harder to drive with your car into city centers buying a coffee machine and a mixer and a TV and a few other things and bring it to your car somewhere in a parking garage or actually carry it with a bus. But most importantly the seller with a less privileged brand but a very good product would have no chance to win in such an environment. And as a result we would have only a few global enterprise based products to choose from. The way to solve that problem was to involve the unbiased buyers to share their experience. Recommendations from other users, the information what other users also bought and the whole experience with other buyers was a breakthrough that could only work in a digital environment. Then the idea to let standard seller participate from the Amazon solution was yet another powerful move to integrate other sellers and at the same time make the offer even broader. While we have hundreds of thousands of online shops who are leveraging computer technology and software to sell their wares, it took companies many years to understand that the customer experience is so superior over any others that they could grow to the undisputed market leader. It wasn’t the technology but the mindset of Jeff Bezos to fully integrate the consumer as the most important part of a business success into the digital flow of their business. Today that includes the overview of what was purchased in the past, when, from whom and so forth. Also it included the return process and makes the consumer a part of the entire logistics chain. If we want to analyze Amazon versus other online shops – we may say that the degree of customer integration is by order of magnitude higher than from the other competitors and that could lead to saying the degree of digitization is much higher than from all competitors.

INTERESTING TO NOTE
In several countries or cities innovative businesses like Amazon are pushed out. The top case is Switzerland where companies are inspired to be digitized and innovative, but Amazon is not present in Switzerland. It’s mode so complicated that they give up. Yet Swiss consumers buy hundreds of millions worth of goods from amazon in other countries.

Germany: Crowdfunding startups is a great way to get some seed financing from the public. In most countries the digitization of fundraising is normal. Bafin, the regulatory administration in Germany seem to have no interest in supporting this way of digitization and so it is simply not happening. Germany however is one of the countries pushing digitization the most.

CASE STUDY UBER

Beloved by travelers, hated by taxi organizations. Also Uber is a prime example for digitization. The company was built based on the incredible bad customer experience when standing in line waiting for a taxi and looking at the line of taxis waiting to be used at the Las Vegas Airport. The idea was pushed further by the frustration of those who call a taxi and it never comes as well as the taxis that come to pickup a traveler who in the meantime just grabbed another taxi.  Many taxi organizations have been completely computerized and felt pretty digital but the customer experience was still terrible and the most important part of that business: the traveler was just not part of their digital processes at all. Uber developed a system where the traveler knew where the “taxi” they called is at any given point in time and the Uber driver already had the digital id of the caller and could theoretically request a payment if the passenger would just walk away, Similar to Amazon the widely understood business was disrupted by an organization  that included the customer into the already existing digital processes in a way that it completely outperformed the old business.

INTERESTING TO NOTE
Also here, countries that otherwise call for innovation and digitization, banned Uber as the taxi companies had no better idea to fight back by convincing lawyers and city officials to stop Uber in a different old fashion and somewhat corrupt way. In many cases the lobbyists from the disrupted industries fight back by pulling politicians into the game who don’t really know what is going on and rather block the innovation and digitization then helping embrace it.

SUMMARY

I can share hundreds of similar examples where we can look at Facebook in social networking, Google in search and advertising, HomeAway and Hotels, Expedia and travel agencies, E*Trade and broker business…. and very soon to come Banks, Insurance companies, Car Manufacturer, Hospitals and so forth.  All existing and future cases have one in common: The full integration of the customer experience (B2B and B2C) into the digital workflow will massively attack the old way of doing business.

To the contrary, not only Amazon and Uber are having problem to disrupt an old industry with their innovative models, AirBnB, BitCoin and many others face the same challenge.

Country official look for innovative technology to accelerate digitization. Yet stop it as soon as the degree of digitization is too high “in their very personal opinion, limited by the understanding of the technology and their effects”