Last week Jack Ma’s company, Alibaba Group–a family of Internet-based business–appeared in the stock market on Wall Street and he thus becomes the richest man in China and ranks 24th on Forbes with a net worth of  $21.8 billion. It’s a really huge news to us and suddenly Jack Ma, the founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, becomes the focus of almost every one’s discussion.

It’s not truly a surprise I think, at the beginning of the year I saw a movie called American Dreams in China(,which tells a similar story of 3 entrepreneurs struggling to make their ‘American Dream’ come true. Ma, a man of ordinary birth and ordinary family, makes all his way to Wall Street. He deserves to be the most successful entrepreneur and philanthropist of China.

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At early age, Ma decided to learn English well so he rode his bike to a   hotel nearby every morning to practise talking to foreigners there. Later in his youth, he fail the entrance exam twice and attended Hangzhou Tearcher’s Institute, which is quite similar to American Entrepreneurs like Mark Zukerberg and Bill Gates who quitted college to start up. Ma first started building websites for Chinese companies with the help of friends in the US. He has said that “the day we got connected to the Web, I invited friends and TV people over to my house,” and on a very slow dial-up connection, “we waited three and a half hours and got half a page…. We drank, watched TV and played cards, waiting. But I was so proud. I proved the Internet existed.”

In 1995, Ma founded China Yellowpages, which is believed to be China’s first Internet-based company.He then founded Alibaba in 1999, a China-based business-to-business marketplace site which currently serves more than 79 million members from more than 240 countries and territories. In September 2014 it was announced Alibaba was raising $20 billion in an IPO. Ma now serves as Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, which is a holding company with nine major subsidiaries –, Tmall, Taobao(just like eBay in US), eTao, Marketplace, Alibaba Cloud Computing, Juhuasuan,, and Alipay(which is the early competitor of Paypal and now serves the same way amongst China).

Now as the richest man, Ma said to journalist, that he lived a happier life when he earns 90rmb a month and struggled in society than being the richest one, which of course we never believe. Why telling all this? Simply because I think Jack Ma has a story worth telling, and as a business symbol of China, Ma becomes a new star that guide Chinese entrepreneurs to head his way.

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Yesterday Daan and me literally “Get out of the building” to prove his business idea: use the velomobile to do advertising, and in this way helping the people to buy this kind of vehicle at a less price.
For who doesn’t know what is a velomobile,like I was before know Daan, see the picture below.

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At first I didn’t think that it was a good idea, but yesterday I totally changed my mind.
We drove from his house to KTH and then came back, through all Stockholm, making some stops; that were for me , it was very hard to follow him and at the sime time took pictures.


People asked him information about the velomobile, but more important, during the trip a lot of people stared at the velomobile and took pictures.


I think that Daan proved that his idea is good.
Here there is a good opportunity to do a good advertising, obviously he has to try to improve this vehicle(there are some visibility problem when it is closed) and he has to pay attention at the economics of the business, but he is a mechanical engineer and he is going to take a course into accounting, so I think he is in a good position and moreover he wants to improve himself!

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P.S. I also tried the velomobile, but I’m too high 😛

On wednesday the 8th of october, some guest speakers were invited in the last lecture of ‘Ideation – Creating a Business Idea’ by Gregg Vanourek. First David Johansson, a life entrepreneur with a lot of interesting quotes and explanations about the true entrepreneur. After the break three short speakers: Nathalie Ahlstedt Mantel from Ashoka Scand, Mohamud Osman from Mitt Liv and Maew Osataphan from SE Forum.

I want to share the story of the first speaker with you. David Johansson, a formal KTH student, is co-founder of Swedish Bar Systems, set up a start-up ‘Secure Mailbox’, another start-up ‘Growyn’, won the SSES Business Plan Competition in 2005 and finished third in the Venture Cup in 2006. Also he is the founder and CEO of ‘Happyr’, a start-up that helps people discovering their potential and finds the perfect job-match. ‘Be yourself and hire with confidence’.

Happyr is a recruiting platform that matches great candidates with jobs they’ll love. To give this an introduction, David defined seven states of entrepreneurship:
– Passion
– Confidence
– Uncertainty
– Doubt
– Solitude
– Purpose
– Happiness

How David started his start-up ideas was passion, he did other stuff (like exploring what he could do) than the stuff he should do (like going to lectures). Passion for him means exploring (himself), push (himself), and the tendency to know more about everything he is interested about. And he is interested in a lot, so knowing more was a very big thing, curiosity is a good drive. Try to make something out of your passion and enjoy it! For example, if your passion is making enormous excel sheets, then try to find people that don’t share that passion and be successful together. Passion is about the stuff that makes you forget about anything else, this will make your journey start!

Confidence makes you go in the right direction, don’t let people who say ‘no’ stop you. Here I like to refer to a quote of George Bernard Shaw: ‘People who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those who are doing it’. Also your mom probably says it’s a bad idea and says you should just get a normal job like everybody else. If you’re confident (of course for a good reason), stop listening to your mom and start the execution of your venture!

Confidence goes together with certainty, but uncertainty is a terrifying catalyst for action. Face it and don’t push uncertainty. Certainty will start to grow. It is always important to ask yourself the big questions and don’t be blindfolded for information regarding uncertain factors.

Then doubt, the worst thing about it is that it may work against yourself and it can even be destructive. David and his cofounder had different views about aspects in the venture sometimes, they didn’t want to heat up the discussion so heart for the company first and don’t think about it. They focused on other stuff instead and this almost kills their venture and partnership. David says that doubt is like a sickness, with a good immune system you can avoid it and safe your company. So be honest and true to yourself and have some faith.

If you’re an entrepreneur, prepare yourself for being alone. You have to work a lot, so less time for friends, so maybe this results in fewer friends, but hopefully better ones. Also, if you don’t feel at home in the environment you’re working at, you’re probably not the only one. More people are in the same situation, so try to help each other in the times that you’re starting up your own company. And as a leader you should be comfortable that other people lead their own parts of your business. ‘Lead others to lead and you will never stand alone’.

The most important thing when it comes to running a business is purpose. It is the drive for people in your team and for people who want to be in your team. You want people that have more in common with you than just launch the product or service. A shared purpose is the foundation for success, so find people that share your purpose.

And last happiness, happiness is giving you the best working conditions. Happiness does not lie in your goal, but in the achievement of it. You can’t put happiness into your bank account and you can’t touch it.

David also gave us some tips to think efficiently: experience helps you and you can make decisions quicker when you have more experience. He recommended us to watch ‘Mondo Enduro’, a documentary about a trip around the world on a motorbike in the worst way ever. The participants faced so much difficulties and challenges and that made it the experience of a lifetime!
(Link to the video on youtube: ).

But experience is not everything, when you become older you will have less energy, so use it now while you have it!

Read more about Happyr here: (site is in Swedish)

Martijn Legêne


(edited, 12-10-14)


Since day1 I get to Industrial Engineering 2 years ago, I heard this words over and over again. ‘If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.’ And also, IE is nearly all about optimization and simplification. I cannot quite understand it clearly from the beginning, but later on as my major courses go further, I have a better understanding 😛

Elevator Pitch last week let me think of this again. Yep, if you can not even go over the venture in 60 seconds, how can you do it well enough? Simply ( but comprehensive ) explanation means you have a deep understanding and mature plan for it, which suggests that you can develop well later on.

That’s just a little don’t-want-to-get-up thought in bed 😛  All advice is welcome ~

Speaking about entrepreneurship and innovation I want to point out a quite new international start-up company named Greenely. The company is founded by KTH students and Greenely offers visualisation of energy consumption using a smartphone application. The main goal is to make reduction of energy consumption fun and easy for its users.

The venture is under development and the founders are currently in California to meet venture capital firms, entrepreneurs, several energy researchers, grid operators and more for further discussion. I surely believe that this venture has a huge potential for expanding in both Sweden and the States. Please check out their website: for further information and updates.

See you!


Some time ago (before I came to Stockholm) I met a very interesting couple during a hitch-hiking competition in the Netherlands and Germany. First, a guy who picked us up in my hometown. He worked for Microsoft and had a lot of interesting stories to share with us. His main point was mostly that it’s not really important what you know or what you can do, it is more important that you know the right people and you can improve your knowledge and skills in a later stage. Because we had such a great conversation (yes, we students also had quite a lot of experience and lots of stuff to talk about) from where he picked us up, to his work in Amsterdam, he called his wife in Amsterdam to bring us further and help us gaining distance in the hitch-hiking competition we were in. This woman was at least as much interesting as her husband. F

rom now on I’ll skip the story about the hitch-hiking (we became 3d place) and continue of how we kept in contact and did an interesting test for her.

She is calling herself rebeL wiTh a Cause within her company (Raad Van Stuur), because she helps organizations to grow to a trustful and entrepreneurial environment. She helps to let people go out of their comfort zones and gives them energy.
She helps people to get to know themselves better and how they should use their capacities. This was also what the test was about, it was called ‘Discovery with CompeTalent’.

We were going on a mission in Utrecht, a city in the middle of the Netherlands, with minimum information and without smartphones. The first part of the test was individual, just to find some stuff and places in the city and find the other players in the test. Then we made teams ourselves and split up for the assignments in a later stage of the test. We received cryptic descriptions about places we needed to go to and there receive the next instructions.
Before the test we needed to fill in a survey about ourselves, the main point about this was that the organizers could via this way figure out what kind of person you are and how you can help other people with your capacities. From those capacities I got to know myself better, I didn’t know most of them before.

What the organizer knew was how the test would have ended, which teams would be formed and which way we thought about the descriptions we received. The test was not about winning or being back first, it was just about confirming their survey. Afterwards we talked about the test, and again a lot of the conversations happened as the organizers expected because of the survey.
This whole test may sound a bit blurry, but long story short: You have some (entrepreneurial) capacities you might not know, you maybe can’t call them skills or knowledge yet, but they are useful for sure! Go out and find yours, maybe entrepreneurship is your big capacity and you can develop them into one of the most important skills of your life!

Martijn Legêne

By accident I attended a workshop meeting tonight held by a meetup group ‘Toastmaster’. I’m still confused what exactly is this group about but did have a great time then. The main purpose is to offer people who want to improve their speaking skills the chance and guidance they need. 10-20 people meet together, each give a short speech on arbitrary topics and evaluate each other’s performance.

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I was like a dog sneaking into cats’ get-together but still enjoyed it a lot. For me it’s not like a speaking training class but more of listening to others’s thoughts and experiences. I could just focus on what they talked about rather than how they performed the speech.

There are 3 speaker tonight to give a short speech.First one is Elena Vernigora, a Swedish lady with a likeness of Princess Kate. Her title is ‘Where Buda and Pest meet…’ , and she talked about her experience of a week in Budapest and around. She was planning to spend one-week holiday in Milan for shopping, but by accident she ran into Budapest, a city not that famous for tourism. But instead of complaining and desperation,she had a great time exploring this mysterious city and fell in love with it. That’s her story where Buda and Pest meet, life is like that, full of surprise for you to find out.

The second speaker is Elena Fadeeva, she talks about water–the BLUE GOLD. She put emphasis on the importance of water and worldwide use of it. She points out that water is the base of agriculture and without water there’s not food, no life at all. So shouldn’t we treat water the same way as gold? I think it’s quite old stuff and well-know fact, so didn’t pay much attention.

The last and most amazing speech is given by the president of Toastmaster, Antoinette Olander. She is a passionate and friendly woman. Her title is ‘What Have We Done?’ She enumerates the historical events happened in her generation( the boomers, as she puts it).15 years from high school graduation, some become entrepreneurs and bosses, some are employers and some are employees, some went to Vietnam and some become widows. Some marched with Martin Luther King and some died with the twin building in NY… but all these just make her stronger and give her tools to make it in this world: respect to others, self-discipline and not to be judgmental. In the end, she quoted the lyrics of the famous song ‘Forever Young’ to end the speech and we all felt passionate and confident.

Here is what I want to share with you 🙂


May God bless and keep you always 
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others 
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars 
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young 
May you stay forever young.May you grow up to be righteous 
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth 
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous 
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young 
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy 
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation 
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful 
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young 
May you stay forever young.


Hi everyone!

Talking about business model canvas I would like to share with you a work done by me and my friends in Italy this year.
We had to write a business plan for a Californian startup (with Italian origins): this firm wanted to launch in europe (our investigation regards only Italy) a diet product already approved by FDA in  U.S.A.
The first step was indeed to draw a first version of the business model canvas.

Canvas version 1

At the beginning we didn’t have so much knowledge  about the product (it was not an our idea…), so it was difficult to undestand the possible value proposition and the other parts.

After few weeks and some researches we change the canvas

Canvas version 2

We change the customer segments: the previous two segments (Middle age and Health conscious people) became only one single segment, and a new one was added (customer with age & weight diseases).

The changes occured also in other parts in the third version of the canvas.

Canvas version 3

Pay attention only to the channel part, you can notice that we added pharmacy like a possible channel, that’s because our research showed us that in Italy similar products use this channel.

The final version went under a deep change!
Our interviews pointed out that in Italy the people trust only in dieticians advices, if a physician say them that they have to purchase a certain product they will buy, and through the pharmacy.
So also our customer segment completely changed.

Canvas version 4

You can notice other changes, but my example want only to show you how many changes in the canvas occur during the time,especially in the important areas; and this was only a student work in 6 months.

Thanks, I hope that you like this simple example!

P.S. I’m sorry for the small pictures 🙁


Last evening there was “expertnight” in the SUP46, a place in Stockholm where they help startups in various activities, the most simple is to give them a space where to arrange meeting and to do networking with other people.

The topic of the event was “mastering conflicts”, in fact lot of conflicts arise during the startup life and we have to be able to manage them.
The panelists of the evening were: Gustav Nisser (Serial Entrepreneur), Per Jonsson (Everyday) and Gustav Aspegren (Adprofit). Nils-Erik Jansson (Jansson & Norin). They all shared their experiences telling some interesting stories.


Master conflicts is a necessary capability in the startup work, that is because time uses in fight is time lost in handling customers. There are different kind of conflicts.
The first ones are with your partners in the venture, at the beginning all are aligned with the same ideas, but then everyone evolve differently: someone don’t want to be part of the company anymore, others could have new ideas, new aims for the ventures. These problem are normal, they usually emerge due to a lack of communications between partners, it’s very important to keep talking with your team mates over time, arrange regular meeting and so on. If there is not solution left and it is impossible to keep working together you have to split; in this case it is much better if you have some split agreement written before, in order to avoid useless litigations.
Another kind of conflict is the one with your competitors, but the panelists told that in the startup environment there are not much of these conflicts, all the business rivals are very fair, the problem only arise with ex-partners who build similar ventures.
A strange and funny conflict is the one with yourself, the problem is the nowadays the people are too stressed, they have to relax sometimes. So you have to take 10 minutes per day only for yourself in order to rest your mind.
At the end the experts give some advices that I can resume in the below bullet points:
• Negotiate, don’t be afraid about the conflicts;
• Do conflict practices;
• Check-in the status of other members regularly;

I hope that these advices will be useful in your entrepreneur’s life, see you in classroom!
Stay entrepreneur stay skapa!


This evening I attended an event organized by “Stockholm startup weekend”.

The main purpose of this organization is, like you can get from the name, the startup weekend competition: a 54 hours event about people working on their ideas and trying to set up a simply structure of their startup. At the beginning of the evening they explained this event and the winning team of the past year gave some tips.

After all these preliminary speeches, the main purpose of the meeting took place: a lesson, following by a workshop, entitled  “Online conversion from a designer point of view” led by Erik Ceder from Veryday.


He gave some important suggestions about how the web site of your startup should be, we can resume the concept in 4 points:
1. Credibility: it doesn’t have to contain “dark patterns” which mislead the customer, instead it has to include statements by testimonials and social proofs which enhance the brand experience;
2.Personality: the website must be playfulness (for example using a mascot), consistent and unusual in order to capture the attention of the customer;
3.User experience: we have to focus on the conversion goals, we have to drive the customers attention where we want;
4.Disposition & Layout: obviously the website has to be attractive, it doesn’t need to have too much information on the same page but it has to emphasize the most important points.

Talking about the workshop, its main task was the rethinking of the website of a very innovative product, Easystove ( a wood cook-stove, created to help the poorest populations, which is very easy to use. Divided in groups we have to produce a preliminary layout about the new website, created in order to sell the product to the people who do camping.

The event was very interesting, especially regarding the website tips, but the best part was to see how the designers work: it was amazing to watch how they translated their ideas in effective layouts in only one hour. They are very gifted people to take into account when you develop a startup!