Showing posts from 2012

Things Entrepeneurs should not pay for ...

Following my previous post, here are a few things that I don't think entrepreneurs should pay for. Networking I do not believe that paid networking events are necessary. There are many very good, free networking opportunities, especially in big cities. There are meetups, forums and many avenues to try before one needs to pay for a networking event. It might be worthwhile joining a long term group, but my experience of one-off paid events has always been a poor one.     Pitching You should never pay to learn how to pitch, there is a world of information, examples and resources for free out there. You should use your family and friends as soundboards for your pitches. There is absolutely no reason to pay to learn how to pitch.   For that matter, I don't believe you should have to pay to pitch to investors (for example). Investors struggle more to find good opportunties than entrepreneurs struggle to find investment. As an entrepreneur you need to target the right perso

Selling the Entrepreneurial Dream is not productive

There is a growing industry of consultants, incubators, accelerators, books and courses centered around the "dream" of being a successful entrepreneur. The reality is that most of the individuals or organizations making money in this space are useless. This is a sector of the economy that is unproductive and for the most part does not add economic value.  The resources that any country has can be put to use in a number of ways. If these resources are applied in a productive manner, economic growth will ensue. However, misapplying these resources can generate no growth or contraction for the economy. In a situation where young graduates are encouraged to innovate, to become entrepreneurs without the proper support, this is an un-productive use of resources.  These graduates might be better used in an existing organization (be it at a reduced rate of pay). Fueling this misappropriation of resources are a host of organizations, who make their livelihood by selling a dream,

The road not taken and the death of traditional retail

Fuel prices are increasing and they are unlikely to decrease in the near future. Time is valuable, in our fast paced lives it is a valuable commodity. Moreover, the amount of specialized products is also increasing and this trend is likely to continue. The true experience below illustrates why traditional retail is dying and why data overload and inaccuracy is also going to become ever more costly. We will all need to use technology in more productive ways and once implemented to maintain the data which is an integral part of digital technology. My grape vine arrived overnight in the post, ordered online and delivered by a courier company. The online instruction video insisted on planting quickly and using a "friendly" fungi applied to the roots, called "Mycorrhizal Fungi". I hopped into the car and headed down to the huge home superstore 7km from my house. Once there I headed for the gardening section and scoured the huge isle for the Fungi. There are hundr

Define, Design, Develop, Operate

Over the last five years I have met, talked too and worked with hundreds of technology entrepreneurs. Looking back I am horrified at the number of failed software projects I have encountered. From the now ex-wife, I heard about an entrepreneur who sank the family fortune into an ill-fated software project, outsourced to India. I met with the entrepreneur who had developed a web application without ever specifying it, naturally it never worked. I consulted with the astute businessman who after eight years was still nowhere near developing his software idea, due to a lack to sound technical knowledge, a lack of specification and software developers with no methodology. Moreover, I have received more calls than I can remember from disillusioned entrepreneurs who have fallen out with software developers, have systems that they want fixed or simply cannot get their vision implemented (in software). In my view, these failed software projects are a very unproductive use of valuable resourc

Tech Entrepreneurs - Problem of the CTO

Focus on the development process The biggest problem is not money or resources, it is lack of knowledge in undertaking the development process. Effort should be focused on creating an "open-source" development process for web-start-ups with a complete series of artifacts for them. Process Model Most web-start-ups that get past the concept phase, fail not due to lack of resources, rather they are unable to use the resources they have effectively. Most software projects are problematic, and for start-ups the problem of getting software developed in a efficient, painless way is a major problem. Little time or effort is spent in the specification phase and hence what is developed is often not what is required. We should develop an open-source framework which guides the development process.