In my previous two blog posts I shared a base view and two examples. In this post I will share some ways to get to a state of the art level of digitization in your business.

As stated in the previous blog post, computerization or digitization 1.0 started in the 1960’s. With rare exceptions, most businesses are fully computerized. Computers, smartphones, Internet and the corresponding software are simply the underlying infrastructure for digitization. In my follow on blog post, Digitization is a mindset,  I described the effects based on the two examples: Amazon and Uber.

Find out your degree of digitization

The degree of digitization today, can also be seen as a collection of individual and unique competitive advantages. If you like to further explore full digitization of your business you may want to use the following guidance:

  1. Think in degrees of digitization?
    – Digitization is not a have or not have. It is a sliding scale from basic to medium, to good, to excellent
    – Can you identify the degree of digitization in your business?
    – Do you have a customer advisory board you can work with to increase the level of digitization?
  2. Modern Business Culture?
    – Digitization is a mindset and requires a modern, open minded and transparent company culture.
    – Do you have an executive team or business owners who don’t want more transparency and rather keep everything close to their chest?
    – Do you have an old style sales and marketing culture that prefers to deliver information only on request and see it as a special value rather than an obligation to freely provide it such as pricing etc.
  3. What is your logistics integration look like
    – Do you still need to manually enter orders, requests or anything else?
    – Are your customer and business partners able to access any record of their transactions online?
    – Can your customers see the order or return progress at any time online
    – Can your customers access business history with you online?
    – Are there any rewards systems for customer activities?
  4. How deep is your sales channel all the way to the individual consumer integrated in your digital presence?
    – Are your direct customers, business partners, vendors, supplier all the way to the individual end user of your products or services fully integrated in your digital presence?
    – Can any of your customer access their own data easily in your system, maybe change their names, email addresses etc? Can they see the products they have and the services they can acquire?
    – Do your customers have access to all the manuals, service descriptions, pricing, spare parts etc.?
    – Do you have a customer community where your customers can meet and exchange experiences?
    – Do you know if your final end consumer is interested in finding out more information from you?
    – Do you have any form of relationship escalation between the end consumer, sales channels, yourself and maybe suppliers of yours?
    – Are customer rewarded when they mention you online on public networks?
  5. What services, knowledge and information can you provide completely paperless?
    – What is the degree of paperless information flow from brochures, to orders, invoices, or contracts?
    – Do you still require a hand written signature on any document?
  6. How many technological channels do you support today?
    Is all the information available on classic websites, do you support mobile devices, do you have dedicated mobile apps, is information exchange possible via social media?

Competitive Advantage

Each and every act of digitization 2.0 should be considered a unique and individual competitive advantage. If it is not a competitive advantage it is probably just a regular digitization 1.0 measure to run your operation.

Obviously the above are only some samples of obvious digitization measures to increase your degree of digitization and creating unique competitive advantages. True so called “disruptive moments” in your business model, network effects and other topics are rather individual to your specific business case.

Share

We have been in Hanoi, Vietnam, from March 7 to 9, 2018 to learn about Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Vietnam. The Society3 and World Innovations Forum Ambassador, Nguyễn Dũng from BKHoldings, Hanoi’s top Accelerator and Co-working space prepared two packed days with insights about Vietnam and a startup event in Hanoi. The two main cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Min city compete for attention and leadership in a great way. Vietnamese are very competitive people and power worker.

Innovation in Vietnam

Vietnam is on the forefront of innovation in the areas of AI, Blockchain, Crypto currencies and other areas based on the Russian Education System. Vietnamese universities create great mathematicians and scientists who in turn work on the above mentioned topics. Our Innovation & Entrepreneurs event was having a gigantic 7 meter LED display. No more projector needed.

Co-Working & Acceleration in Vietnam

BKHoldings Co-Working Space is certainly a leading example of a highly comfortable, yet very accessible space for young entrepreneurs to work in. But here is not only a work space but also an accelerator, helping young entrepreneurs to be prepared to go after the business quickly and avoid unnecessary mistakes. It’s owner, a young entrepreneur himself created that space in a way that everybody can easily communicate with each other and still has a very professional appearance. And talking about communication: It’s worth mentioning that all startups, investors as well as representatives from universities or government spoke fluently English. It appears that there is a clear understanding that if one will want to do business on a global level has to speak the global language. We noticed that first in Bangkok then in Nepal – English is the universal communication vehicle.

Vietnam will be represented at the upcoming World innovations Forum in Switzerland as one of the highly innovative countries in the world. We will share some more insights in the Vietnamese Startup World and some top startups from several industry segments.

 

Share

Most people associate Nepal with Himalaya, Yak, Temples and Monks. And that’s OK – but that was 20+ years ago. Kathmandu, the capital city is a 6 to 8 Million people mega city. The Universities produce entrepreneurs and scientists and the management schools develop top candidates. And the Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal is on the rise.

Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal, Khem Lakai, Society3 and World Innovations Forum AmbassadorWe have been invited to Kathmandu Nepal, from March 4 to 6, 2018 to learn about Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Nepal and share entrepreneurs experiences from around the world. The Society3 and World Innovations Forum Ambassador, Khem Lakai (Photo) made this three very impressive days for us.  Marita and I learned a lot about this extremely friendly culture which has to offer a lot more than Mountains and tracks – even though it is a breath taking experience being so close to the tallest mountains in the world.

Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal

We saw some very interesting startups in all kinds of fields from Medicine to technology and data management. And prior to the event that was organized by our Ambassador For Nepal, Khem Lakai we had a chance to meet leaders from the university, government, and industry on the campus of the Global Management Academy in Kathmandu.

Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal at Academy For Management Kathmandu

At the Event “Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal” we talked about the need to connect entrepreneurs from all countries to learn from each other, inspire each other and possibly create business partnerships across the globe.

Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal with Axel Schultze, Society3 at Nepal Entrepreneurs Night

In many countries, including Nepal, there is a huge interest in connecting with the rest of the world to learn what is needed, what problems need to be solved and how young entrepreneurs can share experiences from technology issues to business model development or fundraising challenges.

 

During the Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal, Marita Schultze addressed several points that are continuously discussed with female entrepreneurs such as the work/family balance, the perceived differences and why female entrepreneurs should not adopt to a male behavior but instead understand their advantages as a woman. “No need to copy a male entrepreneur’s behavior – put your uniqueness in the foreground instead”.

Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal with Marita Schultze, Society3 at Nepal Entrepreneurs Night

Female entrepreneurship is not just something Nepal will do but already has several years experience of engaged female entrepreneurs.

Podiums Discussion,Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal, Society3 at Nepal Entrepreneurs Night

The podiums discussion only emphasized what we already recognized: Nepal is on the verge to become another highly agile country in Asia that has to be watched and taken serious as one of the most potential innovation countries in the world. Clearly Nepal will be represented at the upcoming World innovations Forum in Switzerland and added to the list of the highly innovation countries in the world.

 

And last but not least, Mount Everest is an absolute must see, letting all innovations behind for a moment and meditate about the wonders of that world.

Entrepreneurial Wave Nepal and Mount Everest

Flying along side the Himalaya Mountain Ridge having Mount Everest straight in front of us.

In the next few weeks we will introduce some of the Nepali Entrepreneurs and what they do. Interestingly enough some actually come already from other countries to start their opportunity here in Nepal. One of them is Tirza Theunissen. but we will talk about her and her amazing project in a dedicated post.

Share

OK in my previous post I talked about the European Digitization Issue. And rather giving it yet another abstract and very complicated explanation what it supposed to be, I’d rather talk about the effects it has today and why we it is a mind set and not a way of using machines. that solve all the problems.

CASE STUDY AMAZON

Beloved by many consumers – hated by many retailers.  Amazon a prime example for digitization. Not only Amazon but many catalog reseller before them understood that it will be impossible in the future to have a store with hundreds of thousands of products to choose from. It will be harder and harder to drive with your car into city centers buying a coffee machine and a mixer and a TV and a few other things and bring it to your car somewhere in a parking garage or actually carry it with a bus. But most importantly the seller with a less privileged brand but a very good product would have no chance to win in such an environment. And as a result we would have only a few global enterprise based products to choose from. The way to solve that problem was to involve the unbiased buyers to share their experience. Recommendations from other users, the information what other users also bought and the whole experience with other buyers was a breakthrough that could only work in a digital environment. Then the idea to let standard seller participate from the Amazon solution was yet another powerful move to integrate other sellers and at the same time make the offer even broader. While we have hundreds of thousands of online shops who are leveraging computer technology and software to sell their wares, it took companies many years to understand that the customer experience is so superior over any others that they could grow to the undisputed market leader. It wasn’t the technology but the mindset of Jeff Bezos to fully integrate the consumer as the most important part of a business success into the digital flow of their business. Today that includes the overview of what was purchased in the past, when, from whom and so forth. Also it included the return process and makes the consumer a part of the entire logistics chain. If we want to analyze Amazon versus other online shops – we may say that the degree of customer integration is by order of magnitude higher than from the other competitors and that could lead to saying the degree of digitization is much higher than from all competitors.

INTERESTING TO NOTE
In several countries or cities innovative businesses like Amazon are pushed out. The top case is Switzerland where companies are inspired to be digitized and innovative, but Amazon is not present in Switzerland. It’s mode so complicated that they give up. Yet Swiss consumers buy hundreds of millions worth of goods from amazon in other countries.

Germany: Crowdfunding startups is a great way to get some seed financing from the public. In most countries the digitization of fundraising is normal. Bafin, the regulatory administration in Germany seem to have no interest in supporting this way of digitization and so it is simply not happening. Germany however is one of the countries pushing digitization the most.

CASE STUDY UBER

Beloved by travelers, hated by taxi organizations. Also Uber is a prime example for digitization. The company was built based on the incredible bad customer experience when standing in line waiting for a taxi and looking at the line of taxis waiting to be used at the Las Vegas Airport. The idea was pushed further by the frustration of those who call a taxi and it never comes as well as the taxis that come to pickup a traveler who in the meantime just grabbed another taxi.  Many taxi organizations have been completely computerized and felt pretty digital but the customer experience was still terrible and the most important part of that business: the traveler was just not part of their digital processes at all. Uber developed a system where the traveler knew where the “taxi” they called is at any given point in time and the Uber driver already had the digital id of the caller and could theoretically request a payment if the passenger would just walk away, Similar to Amazon the widely understood business was disrupted by an organization  that included the customer into the already existing digital processes in a way that it completely outperformed the old business.

INTERESTING TO NOTE
Also here, countries that otherwise call for innovation and digitization, banned Uber as the taxi companies had no better idea to fight back by convincing lawyers and city officials to stop Uber in a different old fashion and somewhat corrupt way. In many cases the lobbyists from the disrupted industries fight back by pulling politicians into the game who don’t really know what is going on and rather block the innovation and digitization then helping embrace it.

SUMMARY

I can share hundreds of similar examples where we can look at Facebook in social networking, Google in search and advertising, HomeAway and Hotels, Expedia and travel agencies, E*Trade and broker business…. and very soon to come Banks, Insurance companies, Car Manufacturer, Hospitals and so forth.  All existing and future cases have one in common: The full integration of the customer experience (B2B and B2C) into the digital workflow will massively attack the old way of doing business.

To the contrary, not only Amazon and Uber are having problem to disrupt an old industry with their innovative models, AirBnB, BitCoin and many others face the same challenge.

Country official look for innovative technology to accelerate digitization. Yet stop it as soon as the degree of digitization is too high “in their very personal opinion, limited by the understanding of the technology and their effects”

Share

Getting innovation to global markets

Bringing innovation successfully to market is key for prosperity

Nations all over the world pour millions and billions into innovation support – yet only a fraction of those inventions are ever seen their markets. Innovation officers consider bringing those innovations to market the sole responsibility of the entrepreneurs who created them. The job is done when an innovation was funded. An estimated 2% of the innovations funded by the European Commission become eventually successful solutions – the rest of the Millions in funding evaporate.

Instead of taking some of the grants to ensure that the major part of the investments in innovation even has a chance to survive – more money is thrown into ideas that all too often already from the beginning have no chance to get anywhere. This frustrating waste of money time and resources drove us to rethink the core values of innovation.

The initial value of innovation is zero

Any invention or innovative product or service has no value just because it exists. Assume, somebody develops a battery in the size of a matchbox that can host 1 Gigawatt of energy for 500 hours. As long as nobody has access to it, there is absolutely no economic value for our society. That power box does not create revenues, it does not create jobs, it does not give business to trade organizations and no added energy to its actual consumer.

Only if that invention is brought to market, it begins to create an economic value to the economy / society it is made available to. And the larger the geographic range is, the higher the value. Social networks have been in existence in very rudimentary forms before Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. But only once the innovation of digital social connections became a user friendly appearance and was brought to large numbers of the population it became of real value. And in almost all cases the value for the company is created when the value for the consumer is created.

Innovation Value

We see a clear correlation between consumer value and innovation value. If we stay with social media media for a moment, we see that correlation in several instances pretty clear. The US social media company LinkedIn started in 2003 and shortly thereafter German competitor Xing. Xing was even able to make it to become the first social media company in the world to do an IPO. However LinkedIn was more appealing to users and was strategically marketed on a global scale. Xing vanished away and LinkedIn dominates that part of the social media tools. The IPO for Xing did not help, the money they gained did not get them to the top. And exactly the same happens in the early phase of a business – when they are still startups.

Switzerland for instance is known for its innovative people and companies. It’s the country with one of the most patents per capita. Yet – in the past 20 or 30 years not a single tech company made it to the top. The innovation was purchased on an very early stage, investors and entrepreneurs chose the quick money over the economic value potential it could have for the country and sold the business, one after the other to companies who mostly siting other countries. The Innovation Value for country of Switzerland is nearly zero because the value creation, job creation, revenue and tax creation is happening in other countries.

Innovation Value and Valuation

Companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Intel, WordPress, and lately Bitcoin dominate the technology related behavior, data usage and providing across the entire planet. All those companies have been considered vastly overvalued and part of a crazy hype. Just a few years later we most realize that the value seem to be OK and even if not, those companies dominate the rest of the world. Recently however the US dominance is broken and another country is becoming the most critical enemy: China. Europeans, Africans, Latin Americans just turn their heads from west to east and now complain about overhyped companies like Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent, Huawei, Xiaomi, Geely and so forth. All those companies shine with their high valuation. And the high valuation in turn attracts investors, talents, consumers and general attention. Only the combination of highly innovative products PLUS well marketed solutions create an economic value for a society by creating large amounts of jobs, revenue and taxes.  And the valuation from far sighted investors is the best indication for the economic potential in the future.

Innovation Value for a Economy / County

A country which does understand that network of value, innovation, valuation, and marketability of their startups and entrepreneurs has a great chance to benefit from the innovation they support, sponsor and fund. For others it is a risk of a large money and brain drain and even worst – like in Switzerland, large sums of money are poured into innovation and those who actually seem to have a great chance to grow are purchased long before the value could provide a return to the donor.

 

Share

First global innovation gathering

In June 2018, for the first time, entrepreneurs, investors, enabler and government officers from around the world meet at the World Innovations Forum. The forum helps to get a better picture about the status quo of global innovation and entrepreneurship. This conference of the visionaries will show how far even emerging countries are and what we can do to help bring innovation  better to market.

Innovation of no value

Around the globe, billions are invested in innovation. However as long as no support is given to bring those innovations to market, the large majority of great ideas evaporate. The World Innovations Forum will address that and help make a change. More innovation need to find their markets and contribute to global prosperity.

Technology at Risk

Artificial Intelligence, Crypto Currency, Robotics, Autonomous Vehicles, Technical Implants, DNA Manipulation and more are considered risky technologies and at the same time great advances of the human mind. We don’t want to have neigh sayer pound on the technology and obsessed engineers defend it. Instead we will discuss many of those topics with those who have a common sense and explore the future evolution of those technologies.

Getting startups into global markets

It’s always too late and always too early when young entrepreneurs grow international. Today’s networked world, digital and online practices and new technologies open up all new opportunities. How can a startup from Nigeria go global 2 years after founding and be in 20 countries a year later? Yes it’s crazy, not health, too fast, irresponsible and way too risky. And yes, it’s the core spirit of entrepreneurship. With the Society3 leadership team having brought 4 companies international within their first four years and today’s technology we will help startups go broad faster than ever before imaginable. Of course with all the risks and challenges and with all the opportunities.

A global entrepreneurial mindset

After all, it is the unbelievable spirit in Silicon Valley that is responsible for driving all the other advantages of the area. Silicon Valley is known to be the epicenter of innovation, the best place to get funded and the most compelling place to work. But if you do a deep dive analysis you find an interesting chain: The amazing mindset of all the like minded people makes working more like fun – not work. With that it makes it easy to learn from each other, probably 10 times faster than anywhere else. If you combine the work energy and the super fast learning, top notch companies are only the result. That attracts investors who in turn learned to nurture that spirit and develop it even further. NOW – since we cannot send millions of startups to San Francisco / Silicon Valley, we need to get creative if we want to increase the success rate of all entrepreneurs.

Creating that spirit in other places has been proven to be possible. Now we want to create it across the world. This is one of the key projects we are kicking off at the World Innovations Forum in June this year.

TICKETS

Unfortunately we have only a very limited number of tickets for this year, about 10 for each of the 25 countries, so please register early to make sure you can join.

Ticket sales is now open.

Share

SOCIETY3’S FIRST GLOBAL ONLINE MEETING

After creating one of the most successful accelerator programs and working with entrepreneurs for the past 4 years, we decided to take our vision global. Today we are represented in 25 countries. And since we cannot bring millions of entrepreneurs to Silicon Valley – we need to do something radical different. We, the founders of Society3, are used to disrupt and make a difference. Today we begin to make a difference in how entrepreneurs in all countries get supported, treated more equally and have a chance to become a big company as if they would have started in Silicon Valley.

We need to rethink our abilities to permanently collaborate on a global scale. Creating a simple copy of Silicon valley is not going to work and definitely not the very spirit of Silicon Valley. Disrupting the main disrupter is. The digital world already holds all the necessary assets. We don’t won’t to ‘improve’ Silicon Valley but stand on it’s shoulders taking the amazing culture that was created there to an all new level.


REGISTER CON CALL EAST

Best for attendees from Europe and Asia


REGISTER CON CALL WEST

Best for attendees from Europe, Africa and Americas

AGENDA

* THE NEW EXCHANGE
Creating a global exchange for innovative minds.
How can entrepreneurs, investors and enabler benefit.
What’s our experience after 20 years Silicon valley.
How can every entrepreneur around the world leverage
global connections.

* GLOBAL ACCELERATOR
Running the first global online accelerator so every
entrepreneur can join, no matter where they are.
Main topics are: Bold visions, disruptive business models,
zero budget go-to-market strategy, traction and growth
hacking, fundraising,

* INTERNATIONAL TRADE FOR EVERY STARTUP
Building the first global trading & transaction system for
young entrepreneurs using blockchain technology.
Getting business rolling into almost any country faster then
ever before imaginable – at nearly no cost.

There is no substitute for a great in person meeting, like there is no substitute for an amazing live concert. Yet we hear MP3 music every day. This online conference is about online engagements, creating a mindset for online collaboration and an experiment to create a permanently connect online ecosystem – very much like Silicon Valley.

HOW TO CREATE A SILICON VALLEY CULTURE?

Every group of autonomous people can create a culture. We are on the verge of creating an all new entrepreneurs culture and significantly increase startup success rates no matter where they are located.
We do not want to change anybody or their culture. But we want to connect those, globally, who already have a good idea about an open and sharing ecosystem where we all can learn from each other and build businesses who can grow fast, create new jobs and provide value.

On April 5 we want to talk about how we can do that and how the culture in Silicon Valley was created.
All you need is an internet connection and a way to listen and ideally talk online.

Please register here:


REGISTER CON CALL EAST

Best for attendees from Europe and Asia


REGISTER CON CALL WEST

Best for attendees from Europe, Africa and Americas

There is no charge to attend

Share

competing successful with enterprises - Society3

Once in a while I meet entrepreneurs with amazing ideas but they don’t know how they could compete with even the largest enterprises.

I started my first company from scratch with $20,000 and needed to compete with 3 other businesses, each $200 Million to $1 Billion in revenue – 10 years later we were market leader on a global scale ($5B in revenue)

My second company was a little more different

I started my third company right after the bubble burst and competed with two other competitors who had $70 Million and $68 Million cash in the bank from pre bubble rounds – I started with $500,000 – 5 years later we were close to acquire one but let go because the due diligence made clear there is nothing we could gain – being the market leader already.

Here is how we compete:

1) In each case we developed a disruptive business model. We completely went of the beaten path and redefined sales channels or we made payments in very different ways, provided transparency were was none, service integration in the pricing and so forth. It was the market that forced the competition to follow us and compete with us – or loose it.

2) I never competed based on technology, product functions or any of those short term win or loose features. I learned: “The best product never wins”. However we did have great technology because we had great engineers – yet it was not the winning factor in the end.

3) Business is done between people. I knew I can win more customers when I have a nicer team – and I always had a stellar team. :)

In retrospect: all big winners won with a superior business model and amazing teams.

Obviously I don’t know anything about your business and therefor it is hard to make more specific suggestions – but look at your business model and your team before you even spend a millisecond on your product when it comes to competing for market share.

A good read to make sure you can handle such a problem is the question to find great founders

Share

I’ve worked with over 100 startups in the past years and ran 5 businesses myself.

My experience – in this order: 

No. 1) Weak execution

Most failing startups could just not execute in a timely manner and/or showed a huge lack of judgment. They worked too hard on product features, too little with the market. They built too many “nice to have” features. They did not launch in time and did not work hard enough to build a use/customer base. Didn’t manage expenditures well enough. Failed to identify opportunities, failing to build strategic connection…

No. 2) No long term vision

It’s hard to convince a customer that your young startup is the right business if you just focus on your present product features. It’s hard to convince investors, partners, top talents if you can’t express where you want to take the company. 

As a result you won’t get enough traction and most likely fail.

No. 3) Superficial market/customer research

Lack of product-market fit. Very often startups develop products for themselves instead of for a large market. They keep their development too close to their chest instead of involving test customers very early on – even before they create their first prototype. The result is often to too far off from what the market needs. 

No. 4) Team weakness

No sense of urgency. Not fit enough on the technology side, not fit enough on the marketing side, not fit enough on the finance side, not fit enough on the operational side. 

5) Lack of connection power

Startup teams all too often underestimate the importance of building their own network of influential connections. Connections to influential users, influential industry groups, influential analysts, influential media, influential business alliances… Or they hope to find investors and mentors that provide those connections. In reality it’s just not working that way.

Re- money 

Many comments are made that money is one the problems. In all the cases and startups I’ve seen, lack of money never brought a startup down. Lack of funding is a function of one of the above issues – not a problem in itself. There is more money available than ever before – but the above weaknesses prevent startups to raise funding.

Share

You have only 24 hours a day minus 10 to sleep, eat and recharge makes it 14 hours.
I assume you are tackling a large market and want to conquer the world. I also assume you want to have about 30% market share of whatever billion dollar market with roughly 20 Million potential customers.

This post was inspired by a question on Quora: As CEO and non-tech co-founder, what should I be doing before we launch while my tech. co-founder is coding?

The 14 hour day of a startup CEO

1) List building 1 hour
Start spending an hour a day to extend the list of potential customers who should test, use and buy your product once it is ready. Make the list a simple spreadsheet with first name, last name, company (if B2B), linkedIn profile, twitter name, location, interest (B2C) or title (B2B). Try to get 50 names a day (so work fast).

2) Reaching out to users 1 hour
Try to reach some of those people right away and ask them what they think about the solution you develop. Talk on the phone if possible or online otherwise, Do your very personal market research – but more importantly build connections.

3) Theoretic team building 1 hours
You will need a stellar team when going to market. Look for your best possible marketer, sales people, maybe operations, production…. Make a list, reach out get feedback more on what they think you may need and begin to be in the market. Go through groups, read news, find the top guys and make another list of those people so you can go hire them when the time is right and you don;t need to start looking when you have no more time.

4) Thought leadership building 1 hour
Craft blog posts and answer questions on Quora, write comments on other blogs and become known as a very smart person in your specific field. You may easily extend that to two hours if you have some room for it.

5) Content development 1 hour
You can do that in a few days but exhaust your creativity pretty quickly. Instead you may work a solid hour a day on content creation. Product description, video clips, website improvements, blog posts for the same, industry trends, social trends, product trends….. the sky is the limit – but you have only one hour a day.

6) Operations, processes, pricing
Think through the sales process from soup to nuts. From talking to new customers for the very first time, how they land at your business, what they need to do to buy something from you, how they pay, how you invoice, your pricing model, contracts, services, liabilities, terms of service, privacy, compliance….. an hour a day is only 7 hours a week or some 90 hours a quarter so if you are on top things you should be able to get it done.

7) Company evolution, 1 hour a day
It’s a bit limited but again, you have only so much time. So think through your product road map, bring it in alignment with your vision, weave in the feedback from the conversation with customers (see above), consider the evolution of your competition and think about how your market will evolve in general. Try to write a script book for your business scifi – what will your market, our society, your industry, the technology and your company look like in 10 years from now. Write it down, do a video clip. Solidify your vision.

8) Team building 1 hours
Spend time with your team, how they are doing, what they achieved how the product evolved and bring their work in alignment with your vision – every day. Make sure a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a indeed a MINIMUM Viable Product. Don’t allow yourself surprises “I thought you though that we thought we do this….” Know the progress. Have a chat at the water cooler too :)

9) Make yourself familiar with your market 1 hour
Read the news, be in online groups, understand who gets funded in your market, what they do, what new industry regulations may pop up, who gets quoted very often, meet the mover and shaker know exactly what is going on.

10) Prepping for alliance management – 1 hour
Create a list of potential alliance partners, No matter what you produce a new satellite, a mobile app, a new breed of avocados, new diapers or a new pizza shop – you never work in isolation so find out who are all the potential business alliances. Maybe service providers you can work with, interesting suppliers, industry organizations…. you get the point.

11) Finance & Investment – 1 hour daily
You will want to continuously work on your financials, model the future with everything you learned in the other 10 hours each day, “model and tune” it. Then start looking for investors. Make a list where you add at least one investor per day. The day you are starting to go fundraising you will appreciate that advice more than anything else – because it takes time.

12) Meet the industry 1 hour a day
Go to events, share your vision early on, be in the market talk to people. You may not do that every single day but at least twice a week. And as long as they don’t come to your office, you will need to allocate 2-3 hours for those events at least. And most likely you exceed your one hour budget per day very quickly.

13) Meditate, read a book – work out 1 hour a day
You know you will need to feed your mind by shutting completely down other than sleep – and one hour once a day is most likely just perfect.

14) Socialize one hour a day
Have breakfast, lunch, coffee, dinner with somebody from your business world once a day or every other day. Just be there and listen and learn, get feedback – or help and provide insights :)

Well – now there is a ton of other things that people do: taking an hour to read emails, organizing their day, scheduling the doctor and getting ready for the weekend. Oh not to forget movies – unfortunately and as you see above – no time for any of that. Sorry.

As a tough CEO you will not allow your team more than 6 month from start to MVP. You will need to hurry to get all the above done by the time the product can hit the market.

Enjoy the ride :)

Share