As vulgar as it sounds, people fuckup all the time and that’s the reason why the organizers name their events as Fuckup Morning Stockholm. Entrepreneurs experience setbacks and failures all the time but learning how to manage these setbacks on the route to success can be a tough journey. However, on the success stories of many entrepreneurs, these setbacks/failures were rarely being discussed. In this event, we had great take-aways from 3 main speakers who spoke about the f***ups they had before they achieved the success they have today.

a. Try and fail but never fail to try

Andreas Vural is the founder and President at Happy Plugs. Integrating fashion, design and music, Andreas created his company – Happy Plugs which sold earphones. One of the setbacks he faced during his entrepreneurial journey is that the ear plugs froze because of the cold weather and it broke when people wrapped their ear phones around their phones. This was a major setback but he did not give up and his product is sold in 6,000+ retailers in over 7000 countries worldwide now. This shows that you must always try and the worst thing is that one fails to put in the effort to try anything.

b. Turn your f***up story into something positive

Emilia de Poret, at the age of 23, was working with a record company and this bring about her pop-star dream. However, for a period of time, she could not contact anyone from the company. As she was wondering what’s wrong, she realized that she got fired by the company. Her dream crashed overnight but after 2 weeks of being in despair, she decided to turn her life around. She took charge of her own life and setup her own music production company which is now a success today. Emilia believes that f***ups do make your life interesting and one should always turn it into something positive. I feel that this is the spirit that entrepreneurs should have because one is likely to face failures and setbacks along the way and if you are able to turn it into something positive, the f***up event might be an opportunity for you instead.

Emilia also talks about her partner and mentioned that one should not do everything alone. Try to find a partner or a team because when there are successes, there will be double happiness and likewise, double f***ups, if it happens. Find people around you to become your partners/teams or network with others and if you find someone interesting, talk to them because you will never know what comes out of it.

c.  Find your customers!

Peder Dinkelspiel is a web entrepreneur with a lot of new ideas and he’s constantly working on new and interesting projects once he has a new idea. He’s inspiring because when someone has an idea, they usually think of a hundred and one reasons to kill the idea but he doesn’t. Peder knew nothing much about technology but with an interest in it, he went on to learn them on his own from the library. In my opinion, not many people have the perseverance to do that but he made it and is now working in the tech-based entrepreneurship industry right now with new ideas springing up every now and then.

During the Q&A session, he was asked about getting investors for his idea. Fortunately for him, he was mainly self-funded and do not have to rely on investors. However, one thing that struck me was when he mention that the most important thing is to find your customers. Once you get your first/second/third customer, they are important for your business. This is so much better than finding an investor because having customers prove that there is a potential for the idea to work in future.

The event has been an eye-opener for me and I have indeed learnt a lot from the session. (:

As we all know, ideas do not appear out of nowhere. The products/services we have today arises from combinations of different ideas. The generation of a new idea today leads to more ideas that could be created in future. Innovation prospers, as people connect and recombine existing ideas into newer and better ideas that can change or improve their lives. However, people have been putting restrictions (e.g. having trade secrets, putting patents/IPs) on their ideas. This seems to be an ironic case because if restrictions are built, it inhibits innovation.

Mr. Musk, the CEO of Tesla, seemed to understand this ideology where he mentioned that the sharing of patents could help to speed up the process of innovation and create more opportunities for Tesla in the electric car market. However, some investors were not exactly happy as they felt patents were assets of the company.

Personally, I felt that the release of patents could be a smart move for Tesla.
1. Tesla could no longer rely on their patents to survive in the market. This forces the company to innovate continuously instead of being complacent. With disruptive innovation occurring at an unprecedented speed, this is important for Tesla if they want to survive in the market.
2. By releasing patents to the outside world, anyone could improve or modify Tesla’s existing design. As more companies enter the electric car industry, newer and better infrastructure might be setup to support the adoption of electric cars. This will provide more opportunities for Tesla to grow their business which may mean good news for them.
3. Also, having patents may introduce lots of lawsuits and cost Tesla lots of lawyer cost and time. By releasing patents free for all, it will save Tesla lots of trouble and allow them to devote more time/money on R&D for the company.

Despite so, the effects of whether releasing patents for public use is beneficial for society can only be seen in the near future. However, companies like Toyota is also following Tesla’s footsteps by intending to release its patents related to fuel cell technology.