By the end of this course I can establish some facts that I have learned, both about entrepreneurship but also about myself. Firstly I would like to stress the lessons learned through the experience of the simulation game which mostly was about taking decisions as a team, based on data/information. The great thing about this is that we all had the same objective, improve wealth and gain market shares, but we all had a slightly different view on how to do it. Some of us wanted to prioritize marketing and stick with our products to play safe, and some of us wanted to create new computers and take a slightly higher risk. This meant that we had to compromise and listen to all of our team members thoughts before we could make a decision. This always went very well as we sat together every time we were about to discuss our decisions or make plans for the coming quarters. We all took this game very seriously and really wanted to win, but we didn’t… I think that we all were Ok about this since we got the experience of taking important decisions on a fluctuating market with big competition and also to present our success to fictive investors. This task was both challenging and great fun at the same time, and I really hope that this game can be used in other courses so more students can benefit from these kinds of experiences!
The lectures about entrepreneurship and the guest presentations were good in the sense that we got solid information about entrepreneurship in real life to both give us perspective, but also get information to help us becoming better entrepreneurs. But I would say that the greatest experience of the lectures was the fact that we all had to participate in discussions and encourage our class mates to engage in the discussions. This made the lectures very dynamic and interesting, but also very demanding as you had to be attentive and alert 100% of the time. I really enjoyed these lectures and after every time I really felt that I got something out from my attendance and that the effort I had to put in to stay alert somehow has made me a little bit more outgoing.
Speaking of being outgoing, I have never been to any networking event like the start up bar I went to in the beginning of October (starta&driva start up bar 5/10). The people were so eager to engage in conversations with just about everyone! If this was not a compulsory task, I wouldn’t have gone there but I am glad that I went since this appeared to be a great opportunity to know new people in the start up scene in Stockholm which can be helpful in the future depending on the outcome of our venture idea…
In reference to my point made about the simulation game, I am really glad that Impetus could continue working as a team in the Venture game as our team work was close to flawless. We started off with a very thorough description of our idea and that really helped us in the start of the venture project. This project was though probably the biggest challenge in the course, but also the most fun part! We did almost everything together, and really worked through every detail of the report as we were sure that we would try to execute our idea in real life. We all got input from external people that shaped our idea even more. I am really excited about how this will end up! Even if the idea is a failure I still think that it will be a GREAT experience to execute this in the real world and probably the simulation game will help us on the way…
I want to thank to every participant of the class as you all have contributed to a very interesting course with your blog posts and discussions in class! -I really hope we will meet again, and perhaps on a start up-event in the future!
Entrepreneurship affects your social life, so why not include your social life in your entrepreneurial projects? I have actually interrupted 3 different pleasant dinners to talk about the venture idea we currently are writing about and hopefully are about to execute. I have asked a couple of my friends, my girlfriend and my family which makes them a jury consisting of 7 people and the feedback I received were actually so good that I wrote almost every idea/question down in bullet points.
Idea in short: The idea is basically a platform to connect part time restaurant workers with companies in need of employees due to suddenly changed work load. We will act like a consulting company where we are ‘’hiring’’ people and their availability will be frequently updated so we can match the restaurants needs with some suggestions of workers they could hire from us. The revenue streams will mainly come from a percentage of the salary the restaurants will pay us for supplying them with workforce and the biggest cost will be the salarys we have to pay our ‘’employees’’.
The most relevant questions/ideas:
- How are you going to verify the workers?
- How will you be sure that your workers wont sign a contract direct with the restaurant?
- What happens if your workers don’t show up/perform badly?
- Is the part time workers for restaurants in Oslo a big enough industry?
- What taxes will you have to pay as a consultant employer in Norway?
- Will you outsource the verification process or create a software for it?
As I said I received quite a lot of feed back, and these bullet points were the most relevant questions which we had to answer in our written project. Actually no one said that idea was not feasible and they all seemed to agree that the idea was good enough to actually execute. A negative aspect of getting feed back from your friends and family could be that they do not want to be negative and tend to encourage maybe a little bit too much. But as my friends are entrepreneurs themselves I am sure that they provided me with honest opinions and thoughts!
This was actually really helpful wherefore I suggest that you all do the same!
Defining a start up could be hard if you have to consider all details to be correct, for instance the scalability of the concept…I have tried a start up with a scalability that is beyond question, but is the business concept and execution good enough…?
This application called Spontano has been around for around a year and is available on all platforms. The service they offer is that they are providing the user with suggestions for events with short notice. This means that they serve both event companies with a new source to sell/market tickets, and also the user with last minute entertainment offers. The idea could work in any city as long as the company can market themselves to event-companies so the application can get filled with exciting proposals to the customers
I have now tried this application several times wherefore I trust the application which I did not do in the beginning. Booking tickets through third parties often seems like a bad idea and could mean that you have to pay a price premium. But the thing about this application is that the accessibility of event-suggestions and the easy-to-use interface makes it so easy to discover new events that the price is not the main USP and since many events seem to offer reduced prices due to last minute bookings the price premium is hard to distinguish, and I am not even sure if there is one. Since I am very tight-fisted I have only used the app to attend to FREE events, and all of them were great fun! (Thank you, spontano!). So it is possible to be a free rider if you want to.
The application itself is very easy to use and there are some features that makes the user able to share events and also connect other friends to the app and gain points and trophies. For Stockholm area, there are a quite few suggestions and possibilities to choose from, but I get the feeling that the diversity of the suggested activities could be bigger. The application is backed by sponsors and seem to have partnerships with big event companies wherefore the supply could be a little bit too homogenous and tight. These partnerships do really raise the trust for the user though and it feels like the application will provide you with legit information and suggestions.
Basically this concept is a start-up in my definition since they have just targeted Stockholm right now, but I truly believe that this concept could be successful if Spontano expands to more cities. Which should be feasible, since the scalability of the concept is rather high in my opinion due to the fact that the software/database already is established and the next step for entering new markets is customer relations and marketing.
I can strongly recommend you to try out this application if you are boored and want to do something else than go to the movies or kick your boyfriends ass in bowling…
Download the app and get started!
He has a net worth of 21.1 BILLION USD and has worked his way of from a small tayloring business to one of the biggest retail companies in the world. Maybe Tadashi Yanai, chairman, president and CEO of Fast retailing (most known for Uniqlo in Europe) can learn us something since he started of small and soon made a great name for himself in the retail industry. He started as an entrepreneur and moved on to be a business leader and luckily he wrote down some of the management principles he learned through hard work and experience. While I read these principles it really got to me that these bullet points can be good to embrace for any entrepreneur in general and maybe entrepreneur students in particular.
- Put customers first
- Contribute to society (My favourite)
- Embrace optimism
- Learn from failure
- Focus on details
- Be your own critic
- Connect to the world
- Disrupt yourself
WHICH ONE IS YOUR FAVORITE
An aspect that we shall not forget about this is that there are probably not any specific criteria for being a good/great/the best entrepreneur but I think that it is always good to be responsive to what society wants and what other entrepreneurs have learned through their mistakes/success in their career.
If you want to read the full interview where I got the principles just visit:
Please share if you stumble upon anything similar as advice like this could be useful in our venture projects!
As many other of you I attended to STHLM tech meet, where I got to meet a lot of people from class and also experience som real elevator pitches and several great presentations about start ups. H&M, EQT and Deutsche Bank are just some of the names among the companies that held presentations and attended the event. This was all taking place at Hilton Slussen and it was really crowded, and it was hard to even get a decent spot to stand, even though we were over a half an hour early…
The presentations were all very interesting and it was a great experience to listen to many different elevator pitches. Some of them better than other, but I will especially remember the person who sort of called himself Steve Jobs, even though his pitch was regarding a mobile game based on wikipedia…
The most interesting thing from the event that made the most impact on me was how the manager of renowned MMA star Alexander Gustafsson presented how they as a team started to invest in tech. start ups. Of course he presented several reasons why they have chosen to invest in this industry and the ones he emphasised the most was:
- It’s the future (-A bit of a cliché, but still an important reason)
- Important for his brand (-Interesting take on brand management…)
- They think that the mindset of entrepreneurs are similar to Alexanders mind as an athlete (A thought I have had myself as many of the characters of an entrepreneur are so similar to the dedication you need to perform as an athlete)
Point number 3 is certainly my favourite since I have heard some of the ground rules about being a successful athlete before. I have been active in cycling at elite level and our team manager were always clear about the sacrifices we had to make to become better and more successful. –Actually, the points were pretty much the same as the warnings that we got presented in a lecture about entrepreneurship…. (fast prototyping customer development mockups, http://www.slideshare.net/SerdarTemi )
As many of you, I have been in contact with start ups in many ways, in lectures, as a user or just as a spectator in general. But this autumn I have been in very close contact with a pretty interesting start up project as one of my closest friends has got the responsibility to run the whole project himself. This has meant that I have been having to hear about all of the problems and challenges he is facing and also the thrills of his many possibilities, even though we have been hanging out under the circumstances where talk about work/school is very far away. Needless to say, he is living and breathing his project and all of his friends and family have to put up with it…
As they are in the early stage of the process seeking funding at the moment I wont present the name of the app/idea/company, but the service they provide is local news in an application for iPhone/android (The name can be exposed when they have approached investors). They have already developed an available application to be able to measure the performance on a small test market to show investors some useful KPI to be able to move the business forward. The organisation consists of 4 software developers and my managing friend, and the founder has invested enough money to cover all of the expenses for 6 months, wherefore the funding stage is very crucial.
My impression of the application itself is very good since the interface is user friendly, easy on eyes and easy to use. The problems I see is more related to the whole concept due to the fact that there are certain things that obviously are not decided yet. Therefore I will present some things that I really think can help them improve their KPIs.
- The target group seems very wide according to the content. A great target group can lead to many users but a low click rate.
- No clear borders in the map function (where the user can choose location for the news)
- The lay out of the advertisement does not match the application. The confidence in the product will be higher if the general impression is more complete, which could lead to more loyal “users”
- The revenue streams will mainly consist of advertisement between the news which could lower the value for the users and poison the experience…
- The name of the application is not related to the idea, content nor provided value.
- No marketing research have been made, wherefore the company should initiate such a thing before deciding which KPIs to choose
Since I have gotten a lot of insider information about their business I have had much more insight than the general customer of their services, but I think that my points are important to consider before continuing to investors. It will certainly be exciting to see where this start up ends or takes off, and hopefully I can tell you a bit more about the company in detail in a couple of weeks!
The other day we talked a little bit about the actions of Elon Musk when he shared the patents of Tesla to the industry. Elon Musk is a sharp business man but also a real fighter for environmental and scientific improvement, so why release patents that must have cost a fortune to develop? According to a Swedish car magazine it is due to the fact that Tesla cannot produce enough environmentally friendly cars to solve the climate crisis (http://www.forbes.com/sites/investor/2014/06/13/tesla-giving-away-its-patents-makes-sense/#534d91a567dc). This is one way of stating the same fact that Forbes did in this article where they stated that the actions solely were taken due to the lack of real competition in the market where Tesla is active (http://www.forbes.com/sites/investor/2014/06/13/tesla-giving-away-its-patents-makes-sense/#534d91a567dc). I truly believe that the reason behind Musk’s decision is that he wanted to enhance and add new competition to the market to push the development forward both business and environmentally wise. If we believe in a free market we all know that competition is something good, but in business not everyone are your friends. In the case of Elon Musk he has not and will probably not experience any trouble with other companies taking over the patents trying to block the development of competitors due to different strategies and market approach.
With this said I do wonder why so few of you offered Impetus R&D licencing agreements…Don’t you want the market to move forward?! (Im not bitter)
This Wednesday was a good day, a surprisingly good one…
Through a link found on the Linkedin page for KTH entrepreneurship I found out about a start up bar hosted by www.startaochdriva.se which took place yesterday (5/10). I went there with a few friends from KTH and ended up seeing a few more students from class and I also got to meet a lot of friendly, ambitious and outgoing people. To ease up the ambiance, everyone was to pick a sticker to put on their shirt, showing the purpose of their attendance or just a quality that could be offered to others. No one commented my sticker, but I like the thought even though it did not work… While my sticker was ignored and as I went there without any expectations or objectives I was surprised that the people were so friendly and interested. As a rather introvert person I was certainly not the conversation starter but a lot of people approached me and I ended up with a lot of new contacts and business cards. This trigged me a bit and made me start to approach people myself but most of them were trying to sell their services and products, -but they were also friendly and interested in me and my own interests.
The event took place at Scandic central, a hotel but also where they have established the first concept of continental apartments in Stockholm (This basically means that you can buy an apartment and also get some of the benefits from staying at a hotel http://www.esny.se/sv/new-development/view/klara-vastra-kyrkogata-stockholm-continental-apartments-540035 ). The event was held in a bar at the 8th floor (of 16) and the view was great but I must say that the people were even greater!
The greatest thing that I learned from this is that these events must be great platforms for networking and getting to know the right people since all the attending persons are so outgoing and ambitious and not like classic engineers which was my preconception of people going to a tech-influenced-entrepreneurship-event. I can certainly recommend this event to everyone interested in networking regarding Start ups or entrepreneurship!
Most recently I have had my eyes wide open for anything regarding entrepreneurship, ideas and almost everything related to this subject, and with reference to our lecture with Annika Lidne about Start Up funding in general and the blog post below about Crowdfunding, I would like to present a concept I stumbled upon this morning, Crowdsourcing.
Ok, so what is the difference between Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding? To make it simple we can state that when a group collects its resources to solve a problem = Crowdsourcing, and when a group collects its financial resources to make something happen = Crowdfunding. When expressing this, it is pretty obvious that both of these concepts must have been around for a while, even before the internet…Here is a quick history lesson:
One of the earliest examples of Crowdfunding was when Mozart proposed to his “fan base” to make the payments in advance for a concert, before everything was settled. This could be considered as groundbreaking and was followed by many other examples of a Crowdfunding like concept. This Mozart example occurred in the 18th century and a few 100 years later the world saw another example of Crowdfunding, only in a slightly larger scale when the American government was helped by a publisher who asked inhabitants of New York for money to be able to build a great statue, today known as the statue of liberty. They raised 100k usd from NY residents in 1885 due insufficient funds from the government. (I would say that this is one of the most interesting examples of Crowdfunding due to the fact that a government asks citizens for funds to create something politically symbolic)
One of the first examples of Crowdsourcing is said to be when the British government needed a solution to determine longitude/latitude coordinates at sea, wherefore they went official with the problem and offered money to the one with the best solution. This is something that is used widely today, for example when companies are about to create a new slogan or logo, which Toyota actually already did in the 1930s. They got 27 000 different propositions and one can only imagine how many they would have received today!
Now we know some history and as I stated before I stumbled upon something new today. -A way to use resources of dwellers on the internet, but not financially. -A way to create a logo with external help, much like Toyota did in the 1930s, but through a platform. If you want to create a logo by Crowdsourcing, you can just visit www.designcrowd.com to make it happen. Just write your specifications of the logo you have in mind, invest a few dollars and expect some cool contributions from the contesters from which you have to choose who deserves your money. Pretty cool idea actually and from what I have read this is something that has grown with the internet and today it is possible to use crowdsourcing for anyone who wants a logo, slogan or a problem solved. Today you do not need to be in a privileged position to ask a crowd for resources anymore, and I am sure that we will se some more succesfull business ideas based on crowdsourcing when the world has become even more digitalized. Maybe MOOCs can use crowdsourcing for creating best possible content? I really do believe that some people will make more and even greater business ideas out of these old concepts
Maybe crowdsourcing could be useful in someway for the marketplace game…
Thinking of innovation gives me thoughts about developing new products or services based on recent inventions or discoveries. Unfortunately that makes one forget about other opportunities to innovate something old that already exists on a “mature” market like developing new ways to offer, manufacture or advertise an ancient product. That kind of innovation is something that Mackmyra, a Swedish brand of whiskey has developed and based their business model on. The company is blooming and is noted on OMX Large cap and has today a stock market value of 105 MSEK. The business model is “low tech” but still pretty innovative in my opinion…
The company offers whiskey slightly above the price of an average bottle of “water of life” to customers sold in stores and they also sell larger amounts of whiskey in casks to restaurants and bars. BUT, the innovative side of Mackmyra is that they offer undeveloped whiskey in casks to private customers, which means that anyone can buy their own barrel of whiskey and have it aged in Mackmyras storage until it is finished i.e. aged correctly. In this way they differ from other liquor companies on the Swedish market because of their way of selling a product. This could be a great business opportunity as they offer a product combined with a service that provides great customer value. This makes the product much more of an experience as you get the benefits of being a whiskey maker without having to invest a lot of money. -You get to choose the characteristics of your whiskey, you will own the product during the time its aging and you will be able to treat yourself and your friends with hopefully great whiskey when the time is ready. This is an innovative approach of selling whiskey and I’m not sure if this is innovation in its true form, but since it is revolutionizing for the Swedish whiskey industry I would at least say that this business model really is innovative.
Do you have any examples of something similar in terms of ideas and innovation for traditional markets, or do you oppose my opinion regarding the innovativeness of Mackmyra..?