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Top Tips for Founders

Top Tips for Founders

TOP TIPS FOR FOUNDERS

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One of the great things about the startup ecosystem is the sense of community. The following are some great tips shared by Simona Agolini, Co-Founder of QiDZ

  1. Be clear to yourself about why you are starting a business – what’s driving you, what do you want to get out of it
  2. Decide if you think you can do it alone or whether you are better off with a team – both approaches come with pros and cons so think through them carefully. Ultimately it’s a personal choice
  3. Start developing your idea (if you can) while you are employed so that you have income while you perfect and improve your idea
  4. Be clear on your values (personal and professional) and share those with your partners
  5. Don’t share your business idea with anyone you are not very close to
  6. Identify trusted advisors / mentors – people who will give you real advice and you know have your best interests at heart
  7. Deal with difficult topics early on with your co-founders. Make sure discussions are always factual – never personal and make sure that they are always fair. It’s healthy to disagree, but you have to respect each other and find ways to overcome different perspectives
  8. Accept that everything takes longer than you expect, that there are ups and downs and that you need to be flexible to adapt to external inputs
  9. Leverage your network and speak to other entrepreneurs – share stories and tips
  10. Learn quickly – make mistakes, analyse and move on
  11. Be yourself
  12. Be willing to take risks, put yourself out of your comfort zone and don’t take yourself too seriously
  13. Have fun….!

Contributor: Simona Agolini – Co-founder of QiDZ

 

BLOCKCHAIN OR BLOCKHEAD

BLOCKCHAIN OR BLOCKHEAD

BLOCKCHAIN OR BLOCKHEAD?

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We need to get rid of hype and engage our brain before we jump on the bandwagon of all things crypto and blockchain.

Over a glass of bubbly, someone tried to convince me to invest in a blockchain project.

“There’s a great opportunity using blockchain technology in electricity.”

So, I asked how it works.

His reply? “I’m not sure, but it’s the same technology behind bitcoin, and a lot of people have made money out of bitcoin. Also, Branson, Gates and Bezos have invested $1billion in it.”

Brilliant! Yes, please take a lot of our money to invest in something you have zero clue about.

A significant injection of discernment, diligence and better decision-making are long overdue.

DISCERNMENT

Pitches are great, but it’s how people answer questions that matter. It is probably a good idea to not put your money where the promoter can’t explain it and uses other people’s names to justify you joining the bandwagon.333

 

“Pitches are great, but it’s how people answer questions that matter.”

DILIGENCE

Is it true? The pandemic of fake news shows how people love to share information without fact-checking. So, have Branson, Gates and Bezos invested $1billion in blockchain for energy? No – they are part of a $1 billion fund (Breakthrough Energy Ventures) investing in clean energy technologies, not specifically blockchain technology in energy.

DECISION-MAKING

There are many potential winners out there – but there are also a significant number of potential losers. The furore of hype is often hard to resist and, like any virus, a vaccine is needed. A useful resource is a checklist highlighting the elements that matter to you. Taking a leaf out of one of the greatest investors of all time – Warren Buffet – one of the principles should be ‘do I understand it’. If you don’t, seek out more information. If it still makes no sense, it might be worth staying away.

Please keep your wits about you while others are losing theirs, and let’s make sure we’re funding innovators worth backing.

 

The Story Behind AMANI

The Story Behind AMANI

From the Founder

The Story Behind AMANI™

Previously in Executive Search, I had the privilege of meeting and interviewing brilliant people every day. My challenge wasn’t finding talent – it was finding great companies I wanted to find talent for. I didn’t appreciate the urgent need to address this until I received a link to water poverty. This wasn’t water poverty caused by a drought. It was due to a water privatisation deal where the tariffs set were too high for the poorer members of the community to afford. The result? The water supply was cut off. One of the consequences? Little girls being bullied and teased at school for being dirty. What confounded me? The company leading the transaction had a link on their website to CSR (corporate social responsibility). I ask you, how can a company’s business practices cause harm but they have a department ‘to do good’?

It got me thinking about the people leading the transaction and the company’s strategy and modus operandi. Having interviewed many Investment Bankers, I knew that none of the ones I helped my clients hire would ever have been so short-sighted, so irresponsible. Moreover, my clients would never have accepted them.

So what was creating this? What impact is business having on society? How can we improve things?

I explored water poverty – what’s causing it, who’s impacted by it and what needs to be done to solve it. I was saddened by what I found, from questionable policies and poor principles to bad practices, misaligned performance metrics and poor decisions. The crux of it all? People and organisations – their collective mindset and motivations, their actions and inactions.

But I also found some great companies with incredible people doing a lot of good. These weren’t charities. They were profitable commercial entities (including banks). I studied these companies and profiled their people. The findings were extraordinary. These companies and their people gelled and excelled. They were principled and profitable. They were companies worth emulating. The findings were translated into the AMANI™ protocol.

AMANI™ is a work in progress, strengthened through the thoughts, actions and interactions of our community. Join us.

Previously in Executive Search, I had the privilege of meeting and interviewing brilliant people every day. My challenge wasn’t finding talent – it was finding great companies I wanted to find talent for. I didn’t appreciate the urgent need to address this until I received a link to water poverty. This wasn’t water poverty caused by a drought. It was due to a water privatisation deal where the tariffs set were too high for the poorer members of the community to afford. The result? The water supply was cut off. One of the consequences? Little girls being bullied and teased at school for being dirty. What confounded me? The company leading the transaction had a link on their website to CSR (corporate social responsibility). I ask you, how can a company’s business practices cause harm but they have a department ‘to do good’?

It got me thinking about the people leading the transaction and the company’s strategy and modus operandi. Having interviewed many Investment Bankers, I knew that none of the ones I helped my clients hire would ever have been so short-sighted, so irresponsible. Moreover, my clients would never have accepted them.

So what was creating this? What impact was business having on society? How can we improve things?

I explored water poverty – what’s causing it, who’s impacted by it and what needs to be done to solve it. I was saddened by what I found, from questionable policies and poor principles to bad practices, misaligned performance metrics and poor decisions. The crux of it all? People and organisations – their collective mindset and motivations, their actions and inactions.

But I also found some great companies with incredible people doing a lot of good. These weren’t charities. They were profitable commercial entities (including banks). I studied these companies and profiled their people. The findings were extraordinary. These companies and their people gelled and excelled. They were principled and profitable. They were companies worth emulating. The findings were translated into the AMANI™ protocol.

AMANI™ is a work in progress, strengthened through the thoughts, actions and interactions of our community. Join us.

Harmonising Co-Founders

A new venture had three founding partners all sharing the same vision. However, in trying to deliver on that vision, it became rapidly apparent they had different views on how that vision should be executed. We had to figure out if and how they could best work as a...