Real ‘Best Practice’

Best practice is NOT to do what you did the last time and the times before that.

Best practice is using what you have learned in doing what you now know you SHOULD have done the last time, which – in hindsight – would have given you a better outcome.

The first – and most often used version – is for the lazy ones, and it will ultimately stop being effective.

The latter one is for those who are deeply involved in what they’re doing and are committed towards continuous improvement in everything that they do.

In order to get a better outcome – next time.

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

Celebrate invalidation

There is one thing we often forget when we talk about validating ideas and business models for startups (or any other entity for that matter);

That it is also an accomplishment to invalidate something.

Usually we have a tendency to see things that didn’t work out as extremely wasteful from which only fractions can be saved for later use. If we’re lucky, that is.

Nothing could be more wrong.

Not only do we get immense learning when something doesn’t go according to plan. Here everything is only lost if we forget to put those learnings to good use the next time we venture into something new.

We also save precious time. Especially if we manage to get to the invalidation of an idea or a business model relatively quickly.

Why?

Because if we conclude that something is not worth doing, it’s better to get to that point sooner rather than later, so you don’t spend to much on something that is going nowhere.

Simple really.

Add to all of the above that one of the hardest things is to work diligently to try to destroy your own idea, before it gets to far, and the picture of invalidation as something to be celebrated every bit as much as successes are become that much clearer.

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

Happy New Year

Could 2021 be any more miserable than 2020 was?

Of course it can – things can always get worse.

But lets not go there.

Let us instead enter 2021 with a positive frame of mind and just tell ourselves that it will take something to make the new year worse or more challenging than the one, we’re (happily) leaving behind.

2021 have everything working for it to be great even if its for no other reason that it’s NOT 2020.

The only way is up; onwards and upwards from here.

Light the candle, and let’s get underway!

I will not so much remember 2020 for Covid-19 as I will remember it as the year, where the physical interactions human-to-human came to a minimum – and the realization just how important they are for our overall wellbeing.

Even though many are busy heralding the marvels of technology and its ability to help us keep the wheels in motion, let us also make sure 2020 is a reminder to us all of just how limited technology can also be (and will likely always be);

It. Is. No. Replacement. For. Real. Relationships. Between. People.

It is my wish for the new year that it will be the year, where we keep this rediscovered sacred knowledge in our hearts and use every opportunity we can to reach out, connect – and be human to one another.

Happy New Year!

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

Capturing learnings

One of the things I am trying to do while we work to get our new MedTech startup off the ground is to document my learnings so far.

I do that in a mindmap using SimpleMind. Because when taking notes and reflecting on things the easy of speed of getting it down into some sort of structure beats trying to get the format right from the go.

Anyways, the learnings I am documenting serve a couple of purposes;

First of all, I am trying to get the learning myself. Reflect on the things we have done as a team and I have done as an individual and try to use the instances, where we could have done better or been more efficient, to become better and more efficient in the future.

Second, I am trying to document whether there are some patterns in what we have done that we can put on formula for later use and thus make the next startup startup process a bit more smooth.

Looking at the latter point, two things have already become abundantly clear:

There are a lot of learnings around process; when to do what in order to create a flow where everything around establishing the team, the corporate structure, strategy etc can happen at a pace, where people are in it and don’t risk feeling either overwhelmed, not heard or just straight out of the picture. I think those learnings are universal and can be directly applied to other future cases.

On top of that there are a lot of learnings about people; what’s important, what’s not important, how to interact in ways that builds a great degree of trust, which I think is absolutely key for a future long term corporation to work. Some of those learnings are directly applicable to future cases, but as it relates to people, and people are inherently different, some of them will have to have major adjustments on a case by case basis.

Basically, two things are fascinating for me in jotting down those learnings:

The sheer volume of notes, thoughts and reflections is just daunting and is both a reminder of the process so far and the sheer amount of work, we have put into making our new startup work for everybody. But it also has immense value in itself as a future (part) blueprint for how to do these things.

The other thing is that I will be curious to see what will end up being the differentiator for future cases and the applicability of our learnings to them? Will it be predominantly the process parts of the people parts.

The jury is still very much out on that one and as such the journaling continues.

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

Remember the rearview-mirror

It is so easy setting new goals that you can just as easily forget to follow up on the goals that came before them.

That is a real shame, because it is from actions past that you learn how to improve and getter better in the future. And with that also how you succeed in your new goals.

In essence one of your new goals should always be to follow up from your past activities and goals and use that as a way of informing what needs to be in the new goals, you set for yourself.

By doing that you will enable yourself to carry learnings from the past into future success. And you can’t get much more potent fuel for your ongoing success.

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

Circle kind of complete

One of the things, others can never take away from you is your past experience(s).

They are completely yours. Yours to cherish. Yours to curse. Yours to learn from. Yours to channel into something new.

I have often wondered why things happen. Why do you meet the people, you do? Why do you get the job offers you do? Why do you end up with the career, you do? Is it all part of a plan or does it just happen.

I am mostly in the latter camp. There is no connection between what I imagined myself doing 25 years ago and what I ended up doing and the places I went to work.

Until now.

Because as I am working hard to build a strong set of foundations for our new medtech startup, some of my past experiences are coming back into play. Experiences I didn’t know what I could use for back then, but where it has become blatantly obvious, how I can bring them to bear now.

I am not a big believer in anything except what I can see, hear, feel, taste and smell. But to the extend there is something more out there, I am enclined to say that right about now it is starting to dawn on me, why I did the things I did during my career;

Why I spent time working for the Danish Diabetes Foundation as my very first job fresh out of journalism school.

Why I spent time doing licensing and R&D deals for Microsoft Business Solutions.

Why I spent time in business management at Microsoft.

Why I spent a lot of time doing recruiting and getting both the team, roles and culture right at Berlingske Digital.

And so on. And so on.

The only thing I knew 25 years back – and before – was that one day I wanted to try to create something new that could benefit a lot of people.

Fast forward to today, and I am trying to follow up on that passion using the wealth of experiences, I gained over the years. I wouldn’t say the circle is being completed, but it sort of feels like that.

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

R.I.P. Quibi

A mere 6 months after launch and after burning through a good portion of the 1,75B USD it had raised from investors, the short form streaming platform Quibi is closing it’s doors.

Why? Because even if they were almost too big to fail they still managed to hit the one big pole, other entrepreneurs work their butts of to avoid ever getting into an infight with:

No market need.

Well done.

Quibi founders Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman even kind of admit so in their open farewell letter on Medium:

Quibi was a big idea and there was no one who wanted to make a success of it more than we did.

An open letter from Quibi. to the employees…

Exactly, you were pretty alone in thinking this would be a spectacular hit.

Ouch.

Quibi was an exercise in hybris. It was an exercise in the power of the idea alone; that if you build it, they will come.

Again from the open letter:

Although the circumstances were not right for Quibi to succeed as a standalone company, our team achieved much of what we set out to accomplish, and we are tremendously proud of the award-winning and innovative work that we have produced, both in terms of original content and the underlying technology platform. 

An open letter from Quibi. to the employees…

Customers never really came. And those that did ran away as soon as they were asked to pay for it.

It is easy to poke fun of a grand idea flawfully executed. But you could also feel enraged;

That while aspiring entrepreneurs with truly great ideas looking to solve real problems, investors throw money at something that is…well, you get it.

This is what happens when people who don’t “get it” think they can become successful entrepreneurs if they just throw enough money at it.

This is what happens when the smartest people in the room decide to show the world just how smart they really are.

As such Quibi should be a lesson to all with no respect for the grind of trying to build on an idea and achieve product-market fit while at the same time be conscious about ressources spend.

It won’t be. It will happen again. And again.

Because Quibi will be forgotten soon.

That’s how ‘big’ an idea it was.

(Photo: Screenshot)

MEET our new podcast

I am a super big fan of podcasts, and as for many other people, they are a daily companion on my commute to and from the office.

Most of the podcasts, I hear have something to do with tech and entrepreneurship, and now there is a brand new, great one to add to the mix;

inQvation (where I work, full disclosure, ed) has launched a new podcast called MEET, where my brilliant colleague and general partner of inQvation, Christian Tost, talks to different inspiring entrepreneurs about their startup stories, challenges and victories along the way and – most importantly in my opinion – what they have learnt during the journey so far.

The first guest is Frederikke Schmidt of roccamore. While I am not personally into the fashion business at all, Frederikke is super inspiring to listen to for every entrepreneur setting out on the rough seas of entrepreneurship, and Christian asks her some really good, thoughtful questions.

Give it a go and make sure you add MEET to the podcasts, you subscribe to. You can find it on Apple Podcasts here. It will be worth your time.

NB: The podcast is in Danish.

(Illustration: inQvation)