Today we may debate whether or not a robot will ever be superior to a human. Superiority has many angels. And a robot may not catch all of them. But in the basic work life, it is different. And maybe one robot may not be as good as a human – but a whole range of networked Artificial Intelligence-based robots will outperform us in almost any segment of work on all levels and all industries !!!

 

Our single biggest disadvantage

The vast majority of humans, still today, keep knowledge close to their chest. Sharing of knowledge, experience, and mistakes is not our biggest strength. Sitting in a corner, thinking through the permutations of what happens with a machine in certain circumstances – is our biggest strength. But we know that our brain capacity is not unlimited. As long as we continue to share only if really necessary, think for ourselves, hope we earn special attention for our knowledge – we are in danger that all our jobs get eradicated before we adapt to newer better behavior. Our physical limitations are too weak to stand up against a series of highly developed AI networked technology – whatever we call it.

Cultural Advancement

We are what we got introduced to by our cultural frameworks. Our parents teach us to be humble, not to share our experience unless it is necessary, to experiment for ourselves until we are sure that our experiments are successful. We are conditioned to not talk about things that are still uncertain. Our communication prison is huge. Some cultures however advanced already. And the most interesting thing is that it was actually that very advancement that brought the AI / Robotics technology to life – Silicon Valley. Now some may argue it was elsewhere and so and so already had developed that first version of AI years ago. Well – so sorry to say that, an innovation has absolutely no value unless it is brought to a broader market. “The initial value if any innovation is zero”. Without cultural advancement, we will maintain that widening gap between developed and emerging countries. As long as emerging countries do not embrace more openness, a culture where failure is not just OK but actually good and a key part of learning – the country will remain to be an emerging country.

Artificial Intelligence, biggest driver for human advancements

Humans have one extraordinary ability: humans can adapt to new situations within one and the same generation. No other life form can do that. Big Data is giving businesses who leverage big data a huge advantage over others because they simply know better and faster what is going on. If we learn that networked AI systems will be able to tap into those data and create analysis, able to make decisions and derive strategies from the results, They will be ahead of us and we will essentially do what they suggest. We can’t even verify in time so we simply go ahead and do it. Yes it’s still a tool – but we do what the tool is telling us what to do without even being able to debate it. But we will learn one thing: if we connect our brains we get a whole new edge – maybe beyond our own imagination.

Experiment at Society3 World Innovations Forum

Imagine we do what these AI networks do and network our brains, very simply on a daily base by sharing, communication, analyzing our own mistakes and come to new conclusions every day? The collective intellect when really in action has unknown and incomprehensible reserves. The least we can do is to explore them. And it is almost for free. We only have through some of the old cultural remains overboard. At Society3 this is exactly what is going on right now. Society3 is building a digital layer across the globe that exists to connect people and their ideas, challenges, questions and answers together. http://society3.com We are not here to win a competition with AI-based robots but simply bring human entrepreneurs to a level that has never seen before.

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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.

 

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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.

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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”

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Digital is about 60 years old

The world started to go digital in the 1960’s with a big push from IBM. In the 80’s the digital world was developed further by bringing the power of digital to every desktop in form of a PC or laptop. In the 90’s with the rise of the Internet to every home and in the early 2000 years with social media to absolutely everybody and their dog. Digitization also branched out to mobile devices and with the inception of the iPhone computer power was at hand of virtually everybody in every continent by the 2010’s

Our Industry is fully computerized

Businesses obviously ask: “What the hell are they talking about, we have computers we do online banking, we have a website, our machines run with CMC systems, the products are designed with CAD system and the processes with an ERP system.  What is the big push about digital? Even the word digital is more than 30 years old. Right. Modern businesses in most European, US and Asian countries are at that level already. Most businesses have a high level of internal computerization or digitization.

So what is all the fuss about digitization then?

We are fully digital! No – and definitely no – YOU are not fully digitized. Your processes are as old as 30+ years. Your customers do not play any significant part in your processes and the degree of automation that helps customers versus automation that helps your internal organization  is roughly 100:1 in our organization’s favor. So what is digitization then?

I feel sorry but it is a misleading term, that has never been even explained in Europe and is absolutely NOT used in the US. Most of us in Silicon Valley has at least a smile with a sorrow face about Europe. But in the US economy that is actually completely down with no idea how to fix it is thankful for any confusion outside the US to give them time to find ways to fix the country. Unlike in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s or 90’s where top notch US business people flew to Europe and showed them how to use computers, how to connect them in LANs, how to do e-commerce, how to use the Internet and how to do social media – absolutely nobody come to show us “digitization”. Why? The term does not exist. Google for “Digitization in the US” or “Obama and digitization” you will notice there are only a low number of findings and the content has nothing earth shattering.

Can we call the “digitization” push OFF? Please NO.

Yet there is a reason why Europe needs a weak-up call and the term “digitization” was just a word – unfortunately not explained too well. Compared to the US and now even in super fast growing China, what we call DIGITIZATION is ahead of Europe – again. Why?  Because Europeans follow advice and when reading the explanations that describe digitization or sometimes digitalization, it is so abstract and completely useless that people find their own way into something that is actually 180 degree opposite of the purpose of digitization: completely networked activities. Now – if I describe the term in my way I would do what many others do and at the end we have thousands of interpretations. Therefor I’d rather describe the effects of digitization in our normal day to day lives and in our businesses.

I will do that in the next post.

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With 50% external funding rate since its start in 2014, the S3 San Francisco Accelerator is one of the most successful accelerator programs out there. In 2015 Society3 was named top 100 most influential accelerator. Now we will make it available for all entrepreneur in the world – no matter where they live.

AN ONLINE VERSION OF THE SILICON VALLEY MINDSET

It is impossible to get millions of startups to San Francisco / Silicon Valley and have them participate in the unique spirit of open minded people, breaking all barriers to find solutions and collaborate day in and day out to create world class solutions. But what we can do is to create that same spirit and the same connectedness online so everybody can benefit. A mindset is not something that works physically and therefore is independent of the online or offline world.

EIGHT WEEK PROGRAM

The program is restructured for attendees to completely participate online. All workshop sessions will be done during the 8 week program wherever the entrepreneurs live. The typical program requires entrepreneurs to participate in the weekly online sessions on Wednesday where knowledge transfer, reviews and discussions take place. During the week, local or remote mentors maybe available. The anchor elements of the program include:
* Vision & Purpose of your business (1 week)
* Leadership, Talents & Culture (1 week)
* Disruptive business model development (2 weeks)
* Go-to-market strategy (1 week)
* Traction & Growth Hacking (2 weeks)
* Fundraising, from Seed to IPO (1 week)

The first online accelerator program (Flight 7) starts April 11.
Graduation and Demo Day is during the World Innovations Forum in Switzerland in June 2018

APPLICATION PROCESS

If you are interested in joining:
1) Make yourself more familiar with the PROGRAM DETAILS
2) Apply here: PROGRAM APPLICATION

 

 

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