Fix education!

Looking at what is happening in the US, I think it’s fair to say that their education system is completely and utterly broken.

Forget about universities or colleges being about preparing you for a corporate career. The first order of business should be to have the fundamental ability and urge to teach kids and young adults about critical thinking, civic behavior and the likes.

To enable them to actually like in a democracy and not being taken on crazy rides by whatever authoritarian person offers to do so.

Failure to ensure that people can think the themselves and not be drawn to conspiracies and flat out lies will ensure failure in everything else – none mentioned, none forgotten.

Fixing education and the equal access to quality education is the biggest problem and – by association – the biggest opportunity for entrepreneurial spirits who thoroughly understand what’s truly at stake if this doesn’t get fixed.

We can only move too slow on this.

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

Become (sort of) a journalist

A day doesn’t go by without someone deeply questioning the value of higher education. It’s the cost, it’s the hazzle, it’s the time wasted on subjects you never get to use etc.

And a day doesn’t go by without young people feeling anxious about making the right choices for their education and subsequent careers. Because how do you make sure, you have got it right? That you can make your interest and passion pay your bills?

I have one cowboy trick for you:

Study to become a journalist (if you can get it, of course).

Don’t listen to all the people saying that there are no jobs to be had in the media industry.

First of all, there are, they are just more fragmented than ever and not in the usual places.

But second – and most importantly of all – an education in journalism can lead to whatever you want it to lead to.

I am the perfect example of that; I have been a journalist by education since 1999, yet has still to work as a traditional one in a newsroom.

But what I have done instead is to use some of the skills that I have in my genes and I learned to control more during my education;

My curiosity for asking questions. And ask again and again.

My determination to get to the bottom of something and not take ‘No’ for an answer.

My thirst for knowledge.

My passion for trying to connect all the dots.

My instinct to cut to the chase and settle on an angle.

My talent for communication and presenting the story.

When you have those things and you study to get better and better at them, you can apply these skills anywhere. Especially in todays world, where noise is amplified, and signal often gets lost in translation.

Studying to become a journalist is not a one-way street; it’s more of a giant roundabout with plenty of exit options in different directions utilizing the skills, you learned.

So if you want to take a safe punt, go and study to become a journalist.

It just might help make big things happen for you later on.

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

Emotional at work

Looking at the future of work, I am convinced that those who can nail the emotional intelligence and belonging aspect of work in a working-from-home environment will be onto something truly amazing.

Why?

Because no matter how much I think about it, I still can’t see anything other than the current fascination with working-from-home as being driven by the same sort of industrial society mentality, we pretty much all felt we were in the process of moving well away from.

Why on Earth would we want it back?

In it’s present form the thinking around working-from-home as solely a matter of efficiency and crossing off items on the to do list IMHO totally misses the point about forming and sustaining a culture in the organization where new ideas thrive, innovation is unleashed and real progress is made.

It fits more into a narrative of a guy on the old factory floor timing processes looking for places to optimize and cut – but in no way bringing anything forward.

Those that understand the difference and focus on developing the emotional sense of belonging between employee and employer no natter the physical distance, will have amble opportunity to make a real difference.

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

New life to dead markets

Dead Sea Markets.

A fascinating term. A term that suggests a market that has pretty much killed every entity in it (due to various reasons) but could still serve as a fertile ground for new entries and perhaps entire ecosystems.

Why is it so fascinating? Because it essentially provides a ‘firehose’ option. An option where if you can come up with the right thing, the right solution, customers will already be flocking looking to try and perhaps even buy. You don’t have to build and convince people there is a market, which is a huge advantage.

And yet, we often overlook these opportunities. We tend to find these industries and verticals slightly ‘tired’ and even ‘boring’, because it seems like every bit of oxygen has been sucked out of it.

And it may have been – if we look at the incumbents already trying to play in the industry.

But isn’t that exactly what we are looking for; a tired, boring incumbent underserving or even sunsetting a market, we could have the opportunity to serve way better?

My point here?

Don’t only look for highly profitable markets looking for opportunities to disrupt them. Look also for the ones that seems like they are dead, without air or any kind of energy.

Ask yourself this: Is it so because there really isn’t anything there at all? Or is it just because the ones already there are not really there?

Often you will find it’s the latter. Which should be your signal to consider an entry. Because chances are nobody else is having the same idea. Or just feels it is too hard (which, full discretion, it may indeed turn out to be).

And because you might be able to turn a Dead Sea into a Blue Ocean.

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

I am looking for YOU!

Do you have experience in Product Management and – preferably – in MedTech? Then maybe you’re the one I am looking for to join our new MedTech X-startup at inQvation Studio?

I am extremely passionate and excited about this project. I have been working on it from different angles for months, and it is a super interesting case:

We have a big interesting problem, we’re addressing, in a space where there are no good solutions today. We are working with a team of experienced scientists on some potentially breakthrough-technology. And we are putting a killer advisory board in process.

I have worked on a lot of different things over the years, and I can safely say that this is by far the most interesting, worthwhile and challenging thing, I have ever done – in every good way.

It makes a ton of sense and feels 100% right no matter how I look at it. And we have a unique opportunity to make a real difference in peoples lives. No kidding around.

Sounds interesting or even exciting?

Take a look at the job post here: http://inqvation.dk/headofproduct

Or better yet:

Book me for a chat right here.

I look so much forward to hearing from you.

(Graphics: inQvation)

Turn on the jets

When the shit hits the fan, you have got a choice:

You can either panic and retreat. Hastily. Or you can grab the sword and fight your way out of it and count on that the other guys will choose option one and just head for the hills.

On that note now is the time to grab your sword and go out full swinging. Seize the opportunity of the moment and “turn on the jets” as professor Scott Galloway calls it.

Why?

Because the learnings and skills you get in a time of crisis will serve you super well, when things start getting back to normal. Because you will be used to fighting and (hopefully) winning everything else that follows will seem more like a breeze.

You will simply enter the next new normal at a higher level than those around you, who chose to bail or just do nothing. And that will be able to set you apart.

Furthermore, when you stand up and fight now, you will realize just how hard things are. You will be forced to look super hard at things, make tough decisions, go into full frontal mode and just face the challenges head on.

You will NOT cut any corners, not get lazy, not get into excess habits of spending both money and time on things that don’t really get you forward.

You will be able to stay laser focused while your experience grows – and you will come out of this…

Alive and kicking. With all jets at full throttle.

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

This is real leadership

What is the difference between leadership and management? A manager is someone making sure you cut your way through the jungle. A leader is someone who makes sure we’re in the right jungle to begin with.

We’re in a time of crisis. Managers are busy making cutbacks, weathering the storm and looking at whether to retain employees or let them go. They are trying to optimize for the moment. To survive.

They’re not especially creative. They were not hired as managers to be creative or even innovative. Rather they are looking in all the usual places for all the usual plays, and as a result we’re likely to see more of the same going forward.

Underwhelming.

And then there are the leaders. The visionaries even.

People like Jeff Bezos of Amazon.

Who invests the entire profits of an entire quarter into Covid-19 related initiatives around testing, extra risk pay for employees – existing and new who are joining in droves to meet demand.

Giving the short term thinking analysts and shareholders the bird in the meantime.

Boom!

What’s he gunning for on the longer term?

The first virus-free supply chain worldwide. A safe alternative in a time of great turmoil and anxiety. Coming with a premium. Or maybe only available to Amazon Prime members.

Who knows?

But it is the difference between deadwood management and visionary leadership.

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

The FANG virus

Nothing is so bad that it isn’t good for something else.

If you’re an investor in FANG stock – Facebook, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet (Google) – and potentially Microsoft as well, you will probably have one eye on your portfolio, which is doing pretty well and have recovered what was briefly lost.

The other one you will be having on how the FANG companies use the lockdown and the uproar to create new opportunities for themselves and become even more dominant.

Case in point: Facebook is still getting stronger, Amazon is cementing it’s lead in e-commerce and almost anything else with its customers being under lockdown at home. And so on and so on.

And there is reason to be optimistic (if you’re an investor, that is), because what does the FANG companies have that many others don’t at this point?:

Cash. Piles of cash.

In a situation where cash is king, those with an abundance of cash can go on the offense, when everybody else is forced on the defense.

Right now the only thing stopping FANG from using this pandemic to dominate the online space even more – infect, even – than before is regulation.

What are the odds of that happening any time soon?

I thought so.

(Photo: Pixabay.com)