It’s hard to believe that his course is about to wrap up. Just wanted to give some closing feedback and reflect on the last couple of weeks.
I can definitely say that Serdar, you brought in some great speakers that really connected with us aspiring entrepreneurs. Also, the personal stories that you shared both in and out of class really hit home. I hate to say this, but I think our conversations outside of and after class have made more of an impact on me than your lectures. And thank you start for making us blog and establish online presence because that has been something that several folks have urged me to do and I can see the potentials of it now. The next step for us all is to start our own websites.
I have to admit – my expectations coming into this class were high. I was hoping for more practicality and doing. I was hoping for more “entrepreneurial experience.” But I have realized that that’s what courses like “Execution – Running Your Own Company” and “Ideation” are for. Although I was not quite satisfied with the actual substance of this course, I have begun to realize (especially as I am skimming back through the readings) that what this class has truly taught me is two things: passion and execution.
Nothing will just fall out of the sky as much as you would like it to happen. They just won’t. An idea really is useless until you execute. Talk is cheap. Really. And to have idea without all your heart and soul fully in it will most likely never make it.
To keep it short, it is time to go out, try things, and execute. Even if one fails, there is much to be learned. And so what, sometimes failure is the greatest teacher. Let’s go make things happen!
Following in the footsteps of my fellow Dreamgineering pioneer, Lenny Boldin, I would like to get some quick feedback on my idea, the Draincoat. I have received some advice and feedback from some folks and will share quickly here.
Tom Magnergård (business coach of KTH Innovation) – Among all the ideas I pitched to him, he questioned whether this was my true passion or not (I have been searching for something to jumpstart my entrepreneurial career, to have a track record so I just have a list of ideas written down but I haven’t taken action on any of them yet). He actually recommended me, if I did choose to pursue this idea, to narrow my target market down. He is a cyclist and advised me to look into fabric for pants that would direct water off the front laps because it is so exposed to precipitation.
Tore Hanssen – I first pitched my idea to my fellow American the day after I thought of it. He is from Seattle and also wears a raincoat. He liked the idea but he was just probably being a good friend. From our brief discussion it didn’t seem like there was a burning need for a raincoat of this sort, even in a place like Seattle where there are plenty of wet days each year.
Check out my idea sketch and all feedback will be much appreciated!
Danny and I visited The Royal Coin Cabinet yesterday where they had a temporary exhibit on Entrepreneurship.
It was actually quite inspiring to read stories of past entrepreneurs while further cultivating more motivation to begin my entrepreneurial career.
I would like to bring up 2 of the most important take away messages, timing and motivation, among other things.
We’ve touched on timing here in there in class sporadically and this exhibition really helped put it into perspective. You could have a brilliant idea, but if it is ill-timed, you may not have a market or customer for it. Likewise, you could possibly stumble across the right opportunity at the right time. Take for example Spotify. After the Pirate Bay was raided by police in 2006, two guys saw the need for free online music, hence Spotify was born. The exhibit had more excellent advice on timing:
1. Timing requires preparation
2. Timing sometimes involves pushing the boundaries
3. Timing is often about having the most modern offering
Motivation is hard to cultivate and pinpoint, but also maintain. There is a reason each one of us has chosen to take this course. Maybe it is because you believe starting a company will result in money in the long run. Maybe you believe in a cause. Whatever it may be, your individual motivation is a driving force that is important to never forget as you go through your entrepreneurial journey. I took an interactive Motivation Test and this is what I got:
The exhibition’s thoughts on motivation (sorry intopreneur.com doesn’t allow me to rotate the pic):
What is your motivation?
I would like to bring back up the first exercise we had. We didn’t get a chance to here each others outlook on each topic so I hope that a person from each group can share.
My group was education and I have thought extensively before this instance about how the educational landscape would look in the future. There are 2 issues that education reformers want to solve: 1) the current infrastructure needs to improve and keep pace with rapid globalization and technology use 2) there is a lot of untapped potential in third world countries where access to education is held back by geographical, political, etc boundaries.
One of my dreams one day is to start my own school to address the first major issue. Education should be personalized and more analysis needs to be done to properly channel teaching to learning styles to maximize potential. But I also hope to provide an answer to the second issue. There’s a school in San Francisco that I applied to transfer to that I showed my group: https://minerva.kgi.edu/academics/seminar-experience. I think this is part of the answer to the future. In fact it addresses both major issues to some extent – we just have to find ways to put technology into the hands of those less fortunate (which is already being done).
Our group, in the little time we had, took some of the approaches Minerva had and expanded beyond it. I think the depiction is pretty self explanatory – most importantly just realize we have to tackle developed and undeveloped nations differently.
Thoughts on our idea for education in 2030? But more importantly, what was your group’s topic and what did you come up with? Thanks for sharing.
I had the privilege to take part in the inaugural Nordic Life Science Innovation Challenge (http://www.biopeople.dk/index.php?id=819) this past weekend from 5 September to September 7. I found out about the opportunity on the KTH innovation website. Ironically, the majority of the event took place in building Q, where our exercises take place.
Half the folks flew in from Copenhagen and most were well into their graduate degrees or were involved with their own start ups already. It was quite the experience to network with these individual from many walks of life with impressive track records. I was put into a group that consisted of a Dane, a Belarusian, and a German (yes, quite the diversity).
I was expecting more of an event with training on pitching an idea, but ultimately it was a case competition centered on the biotech industry. The 6 or so ideas we as a group could choose from were given to us, some more open-ended than others. I didn’t have the background as the others did on biotech and life sciences but I sought to input as much of my perspective as I could throughout Saturday and Sunday. Nonetheless, my biggest takeaway was the impressive collaboration and mix of varying viewpoints that drew together to come up with a 5-minute pitch to a jury of established entrepreneurs with only 10 hours of work.
Considering that this was the first time this event was held, I was and still am impressed by the quality of it, the presenters that came to speak, and most importantly, the diversity that was represented. I was told that this is something that will take place on an annual basis together with the Nordic Life Science Days in Stockholm. If anything, this is a great networking opportunity with individuals that have tremendous entrepreneurial spirit. I hope to participate in it again and I highly recommend it to those that will be here in the coming years!
And I will leave you all with a couple of pictures of the participants and the coordinators of the event: