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Last Wednesday I went with Niclas to Stockholm Entrepreneurs’ event “Innovation & Disruptive Technologies: Entrepreneurship As A Mindset” at Epicenter. The topic was discussed by a panel with a lot of experience in the field;

Mahesh Kumar – Digital entrepreneur, Innovation advisor

Lisa Renander – Founder of Hus24, ‎Manager & Advisor: Innovation, Entrepreneurship

Yatin Sethi – Innovator and Design Thinker, working on societal challenges

The event was moderated by the serial entrepreneur Peter Fosso, Founder of Global Music Project, NetMusic Entertainment, Stockholm Entrepreneurs.

They covered a lot of big questions about innovation and startups. The panel was very competent so it was really nice and interesting to hear what they thought about innovation in today’s society and also what they thought awaits in the future. The panel interacted with the audience and for example asked a question if we are afraid for anything due to future innovation? Should we? Some responds was about AI and data collection, interesting subjects which could not be covered in depth because of the limited time unfortunately.

Besides the panel discussion Hannes Sjöblad presented shortly Epicenter and his work with implanted microchips, which replaces access cards. He is currently using it to access his office, open his phone and computer and he believes it might replace credit cards and keys in the future. You can read more about it at bionyfiken.se.

Another cool item was presented by Robert Nyman from Google and it was the Google cardboard, http://www.google.com/get/cardboard/index.html. It is a simple cardboard box with two lenses that enables you to experience VR with your phone. Very simple but very fun, check it out.

I had great experience and I can truly recommend Stockholm Entrepreneurs’ events!

Yesterday I went to STHLM Tech Meetup and it was a really good experience. I really like the concept and how they carried out the event. It was a little bit like a talk show with a fun and outgoing host and his sidekick. They started of with some information about what is going on in the Stockholm startup scene and what media is writing about on the topic. It is great to summarize in a forum like this and highlight interesting and actual news.

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Then they smoothly transitioned to interviews where they talked to KnCMiner and their startup story. They also talked to Bonnier growth media and Dawn capital about what they are up to right now.

After the interviews three startups got the chance to pitch their ideas. The setup for the pitches was really interesting because the host interrupted and asked the jury what they thought so far, when only the basic outlines of the idea were given. It was interesting to see how the persons who pitched handled the situation and the input during the rest of the pitch. This way the pitches got interactive and the audience got a chance to understand what potential investors might think about during a pitch.

I had a really positive experience and can recommend a visit to the STHLM tech meetup which was fun and informative in a relaxed way.

Sandra Uddbäck from Tink told us to “go out of office” and interact with potential users in order to receive information about them. She did also give us a great advice, which I totally agree with, about how to get the right answers. Just like she explained, you should not go out and present your whole idea and ask them “Do you like it? Would you pay for this?” A lot of people might say yes but this is not equal to that they would actually pay for it when the idea is launched…

The book “The mom test” (by Rob Fitzpatrick) is a great source of how to deal with this situation and what the right questions are and how you evaluate the answers. Fitzpatrick explains how to save time and money while receiving reliable information that is not biased because someone is polite to you. Tink handle their marketing smart due to the fact that they do not have a lot of money. They have to get a lot of value for the money they spend and I think that is the right approach for most of today’s smaller businesses and start-ups. I mean, who does not want to be efficient?

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I have actually some good experience myself with interviewing people after reading “The mom test”. After reading the book you are not actually interviewing people but more having a casual conversation and receiving a ton of useful information. You and the person you are talking to will be more relaxed. Just like Sandra pointed out you do not want to have short answers on very specified questions. Instead you should ask open questions and let them tell you their story and how they deal with a certain issue. For example if you want to develop a toothbrush you should not ask if they would like a toothbrush that could decrease the time they spend brushing their teeth. You should instead ask them to walk you through their morning routine. If you find out that they are actually not in a hurry in the morning it might not exist a demand for your toothbrush idea. This can save you a lot of money and time when evaluating your idea and can give you good information about another need.

So I advice you to read “The mum test” if you want to get good information out of your users that really matters.

Just let me know if you are wondering anything about the book!

Sebastian