Hello!

We’ve during the course been warned about making a business out of our hobbies. I hope you recall the lecture about needs where we learnt that if you like the product there is no guarantee that there actually is a need for it.

However I haven’t since then got the thought about market testing a hobby and the more I think about it it becomes an even balance between pros and cons. The cons are obvious:

  • Not based on need
  • Unsure market
  • Biases
  • Lack of time
  • Might not be scalable

The pros are on the other hand quite relevant:

  • Low costs (you are already doing it)
  • Low extra effort (hey, you are already doing it)
  • You like it

So in all aspects my thoughts are: Why not try? What is the worst thing that could happen? Okay, the idea is not viable, but then you’ve learnt something important very cheaply.

This might be a crazy idea that I have when I should study production planning and control but rather think about the many liters of beer brewing in my apartment. So, my question is: Do you have a hobby that would be marketable? And why don’t you try to make it into a business?

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Axel

Hi, today I had the elevator pitch on my Remembox. I would like some feedback on it. Please comment freely!

For me the most important things are:

  • Did you understand the product?
  • Did you like what you heard?
  • Were you inspired by the pitch?
  • If you were me and wanted to start a enterprise, would you go for this or scrap it?

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Axel Heumann Bauer Werin

P.S. If you are fed up with studying tonight and still think you need to study? Watch some entertainment tv-series! The new Southpark season started with the episode: Go Fund Yourself. Other good tv-series are: Silicon Valley and How to Make it in America.

When Ludwig and I got to Guerila Office on Monday, we arrived a little late and had no idea what to expect. The first people we met were two people engaged in a conversation with each other. One was Vasilis and the other one was Marlena, founder of startitup.se (a ten week course were you learn to start a internet company).

When we spoke with Marlena she firstly asked us for some help with her webpage, but since we are have no clues about website programming we said we couldn’t help. As we talked more we asked if there was anything we could do and then she asked, maybe jokingly, if we knew anyone in Kalmar with mass media experience. As it happens, I grew up there and still have many friends there so I put her in contact with some of them. I found it amazing that, within 20 minutes of arriving to an unknown place and an unknown organisation, I connected an unknown person with some friends of mine in Kalmar. Networking is extremely important for start-ups and Guerilla Office is the place to network.

During the rest of the time we had a really good conversation with Vasilis were he explained the concept of Guerilla Office, but it was nothing compared to experience it first hand. So if you have some free time, drop by and see if you like the concept. Tomorrow Vasilis will come to the class, so please prepare some good questions for him and PLEASE be on time!

 

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Axel and Ludwig

This is our first visit to a Start-up activity, and to mix it up, we decided to meet with Guerrilla Office; a community-based start-up that aims to provide a portable office at hotels and coffee shops for start-ups and entrepreneurs in order to just get things done, but also to share ideas and issues with others. This is simply for everyone, if you have no office, if you want new inspiration, if you don’t like your office etc. I found that this quote from their website explains the concept very well: “This is a cool community where we are all colleagues. Take the opportunity to water-cooler talk and meet your GO colleagues”.

Guerrilla Office is a movement that arrange events at the six cities of Sweden that have the largest start-up-communities, oh, and Ronneby for some reason. These events are, at least in Stockholm, occurring every week and everyone is invited to share and build together. The reason behind this movement was that the initiator of Guerilla Office, Vasilis Mavroudis, worked a lot from hotels and coffee shops during his studies as well as his earlier career. He constantly met a lot of inspiring people, that either felt the need to get away from home and change atmospheres (writers, journalists and such) or that were on business trips and did not have an office in the city or were bored with the office landscape (multinational enterprises or freelancers). He thought that someone should do something about this, but no one did and he himself did not have the time.

Another aspect of Guerilla Office is that Vasilis has previous experience as a SCRUM manager, so the Monday-meetings starts with a stand-up-meeting where they can formulate their goals for the coming week as well as assess the progress on last week’s goals. Remember, these are the goals of the individual start-ups and aren’t tied to Guerrilla Office in any way. This is a way for people to network to support each other and to pep everyone to continue forward.

When Ludwig and I visited Guerilla Office this Monday, we had a long chat with Vasilis and though, why not invite him to the next lecture? So hoping that we haven’t spoiled any surprises we would like to announce that on the lecture on Thursday Vasilis will come and hold a short presentation (so it’s important for everyone to be on time).

 

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Axel and Ludwig

We were, during the last exercise, faced with a dilemma. The scenario was as following. You had an idea of selling some special kind of orange juice and asked your friend to help you. During the first hour on the first day of the venture were both of you operate the organisation the profit it 1000 SEK. You are, after the first hour, called away because of some external factor (e.g. sick child, SO, dog, cat). What will happen with the profits from the rest of the day, and do you trust your friend not to hide profit?

At first I didn’t understand the dilemma. If you are friends you trust each other, if you venture into a business together you should trust each other and if you trust each other you can have an open discussion about it and find common ground that makes every pleased.

The questions continued to echo through my mind during these last few days and I remembered when I was working in the Netherlands during the summer. There we had a similar fictional dilemma, were one of our “employees” failed to show up to an important mandatory meeting. The natural response from many of my co-workers was to immediately follow the rules and remove the person from the organisation. I was shocked by this response since my initial thought was: Is this person okay, has anything happened?

I decided to research the subject and in a study from 2011 about trust from ESS and ISSP (http://bit.ly/1nV8x0R) the Nordic countries are world champions in trust. In the study, approximately 84% of Swedes express high levels of trust in each other. In comparison, the OECD average is only 59% and the United States of America trails with 49%.

When I read this study many questions popped up in my head:

  • How does this affect entrepreneurship in Sweden?
  • How does entrepreneurs from Sweden interact with non-Nordic entrepreneurs?
  • Is this an asset or a liability?

Please comment and discuss this here in the blog!