European Startups Success!

Have been closely following the Europe Tech Startup Scene closely for last 2 years & here are my few realisations.
The continent’s tech Hub scene can be easily divided into below regions :
– UK Tech Hub Scene
– Northern Europe Tech Hub Scene (Scandinivian, Netherlands, Estonia)
– Western Europe Tech Hub Scene (Berlin, Barcelona, Lisbon, Paris)
– Central + Eastern Europe Scenes

europa_accelerators

Now coming to the list of companies – the ones which have succeeded by either crossing $1Bn revenue mark or being sold to another Business Giant can be listed below :

  • Spotify!
  • Booking
  • Nokia (Till it lasted)
  • Revolut/Transferwise/ N26
  • FarFetch
  • Zalando
  • Klarna
  • BlaBla Car
  • Avito.Ru
  • Meero
  • Delivery Hero/HelloFresh/Deliveroo/JustEat
  • Badoo
  • Wix
  • Skype

atomico unicorns

Some Key Observations are :

  • British continues to rule but interesting to see how Brexit changes the scene with UK Products will have limited audience in European markets & vis-a-vis
  • US,China are still BIG as compared to European Markets however very few US, Chinese products find acceptance in Europe Markets – WhatsApp, Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft are few I know
  • Few Europe Companies Go Global in terms of office setups & market acquisition

But in my understanding, European Startups are unique in terms of offering & are Long Term for following reasons :

  • IPO Target : They target IPO first rather than being a Unicorn along or raising multiple fundings. This shows a mature Approach – Spotify is one unique example of the same
  • Focus on specific customer offering more than marketing, scaling – I have interacted, worked with multiple Startups & their insistence on researching, experimenting, testing, Data Science Approach is VERY VERY HIGH (to the point of nagging at times :))
  • Data approach, experimentation/Testing approach : Another Mature Approach is that they insist on Data for making all Key Decisions
  • Not in a hurry to scale
  • Skill Focussed & Way Upward from Down
  • Doing Simple Thing But Very well!
  • Options to move around different countries in a small space
  • Social Safety Net & Wealth Equality (Social Democratic Setup)
  • Egalitarism

I do think that where they differ is that Americans tend to be a lot better at sales and marketing from day one. They don’t even have a product and they are shouting about how good they are and really selling the product before it is even built. But Europeans will wait three years until the product is completely finished, or at least up to their standards, and say, hey, we exist. It is really bad from both sides. As a reporter, you are kind of fed up with people shouting before it is ready, because it is nonsense. But I really wish the European entrepreneurs would be a little be a little bit more proactive and shouting about their publicity and making noise and selling. They are very bad at selling.” —- Robin Wauters, Founder Tech.eu

risks chart

Ref :

https://www.businessinsider.com/most-valuable-startups-europe-2011-12?IR=T#mind-candy-pivoted-from-a-failed-idea-into-a-social-network-for-kids-thats-worth-more-than-200-million-2

How European and U.S. startups go global: A look at the numbers

https://www.ft.com/content/bf7b3dd4-127d-11e5-8cd7-00144feabdc0

https://www.inc.com/inc5000-europe/special-report.html

27 European startups that have reached unicorn status

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My Moroccan Diaries…

I chose Morocco coz I wanted to experience the different offerings of Middle East World Zone – The blue, white & Brown Arabic Architecture in between the inter-twining streets against the Blue Sky & Blue Sea with Quiet & Conventional People Folks really appealed to me as a place I really wanted to see.

I had been to Mountains a lot, European destinations, South East Asian Beaches, Cape Town’s valley streets but never to Middle Eastern World & that appealed to me as something I have to see with my eyes to experience. And surely, overall I was not disappointed.

Here are the things I loved :

  • The Medina walks with amazingly interesting architecture, culture, people, markets, practices (one of the most fascinating was how pretty houses were hidden inside non revealing brown walls), lives insights, handicraft industries (though my new friend Gracia mentioned that its not possible to make so much of stuff by hand alone – I agree).
  • The Hasan Mosque in Casablanca was breath-taking with its architecture & grandness – Pure Grandness of location & design – WOW!
  • The landscape were varying from Mountains (Green, Brown) to small villages to loads of markets to wide open spaces. Morocco has apparently everything from seas, deserts, mountains, modernism & medina lives to offer.
  • How the infrastructure is so much in place – very similar to Europe & a developed Islamic Country – very impressive.
  • The hotels we stayed in were majorly 4 star with lovely swimming pool views
  • Some Interesting travel places thrown in form of Roman Remains, French ski resort amongst many others.
  • I was amazed with what Progressive Islamic nation with Monarchy Dictatorship focussed on public spends at infrastructure, education, tourism, agriculture (oranges, indigo, handicrafts) can go on to achieve – my regards for this small (in geographical area) has gone up many times.
  • Though I did not expect the group I got – was able to make friends with two Italian ladies which worked out rather well & also got to see how Italians & Spanish families travel which was quite interesting
  • Morocco was filled with visitors at this point & hence one could see all age groups & nationalities floating around with so many Japanese thrown in with their selfie sticks!
  • I got some time to do self evaluation which is MOST CRITICAL for me while travelling
  • The weather was mostly pleasant with some times becoming too hot or cold
  • Also very few Indian tourists thankfully.. and no extra charge for camera..

For my next travel, here are my thoughts :

  • I would like to be more involved in the planning & probably do it on my own totally & see how it goes
  • I would want to know the itinerary more in detail so I can plan what to buy, what to wear, what to carry a bit more in advance
  • I think 4 days is enough for me to get a flavour of the place & I would like to explore something more new next quickly

Will share the pictures & some more insights in some days.

Have 0 Resolutions, 100 More Dreams!

Yes! Dreams Work!

Visualise them, clearly, cleanly & with no references nor influences. See them with a Happy & Relaxed Mindset with no pressures & no desires. Just visualise where You See yourself doing what, with who!

It is important that you see your Dream Vividly & Stay Honest to IT all the while.

Believe.

Now find steps to reach them & Get after them Non – Stop with complete focus & belief.

Surround Yourself with People who will be happy to see you there!

Be Patient.

Yes, its that Simple – Dream, Be Focussed, Find Steps, Work incessantly & Surround Yourself with Right People.

All Your Dreams will come True Like A Brightly Lit Sky Full of Stars & The Moon! Just Believe & Be Focussed.

Absolutism vs Relativism

A lot of Youngsters must have explored this topic especially after reading “The FountainHead” – Your High School & Graduation Years are the times when you explore such ideals, socially accepted norms to understand them better so which path to follow.

I recall doing that myself starting at the age of 15 years & somewhere found the answer in being self dependent, financially independent, emotionally self reliable, socially responsible, well-read + travelled as my answers amongst other thoughts. Reason being that only in being free of other’s influence (most of it is financially rooted) can one choose the best for self & others. And hence all my efforts have been to deem myself resourceful enough to have my own perspectives.

I won’t deny that it has been difficult remembering these thoughts all the time despite knowing them intrinsically. Being emotionally (beliefs + trust) defeated at work & personal level has been the most difficult to manage/ navigate through.

Coming from a secure small loving family & industrial colony setup in a small city, I had challenges dealing with people’s perceptions & people’s intentions/ expectations plus I didn’t know how to maintain the balance between that & my own objectives/ beliefs.
Somewhere the belief that letting things ‘be’ in uncontrollable situations is the best thing to do. But how it can impact you & what changes it can make in you – I was always sceptical of that. I was not sure if I am emotionally that deep or aware to be able to manage the wrath being thrown at me.

Somewhere, making myself travel & explore different regions, people, cultures, relationships, situations was one of the ways I felt I can help myself understand Life & hence self better – am glad I did that.

This tells me loud and clear to KEEP THE CORE ABSOLUTE! KEEP THE CORE CLEAN for you to refer to it anytime & feel Good & Confident.
It’s the Layers that you have to develop & manage – the various layers of protection/ disguise which can be discarded/ transformed/ thickened/ softened/ added as per situations. They don’t mean much if Your Core is true & honest.

self-discovey1

SM_Personality-RussianNestingDolls-01

Most of the world, times, people, situations (Especially social, financial, transactional) can be dealt with the Layers Interaction so let it be judged/ commented. They Have to be Thickened to not let unnecessary things penetrate even emotions, empathy! THICK-SKINNED IS THE MOTTO!
There are only a few which bare your soul for the world – music, love for few chosen ones, values/beliefs, travel + clicking and that true connection with the SuperPower.
Your Work, Personality, Perspective, Interactions are a byproduct of the above two which showcases them.

So nothing to worry or be sentimental about – this world’s system has been long created before you were born & there are lots affecting it all the time beside your own space. Best you can do is to play your role fulfilling while trying to make your mark via your Core + Layers Cohabited System! 🙂 Amen.

TOP 5 Europe Moments.. I might need to stretch it!

Meeting Dr. Emily Bacon

Drinking Bar sessions with Nicole, Darcy, Emily, Chriss

Prague City Walk

Budapest Evenings

Krakow Late Night Walk

Berlin History Tour

Slovakia Sleepy Town Walks

Vienna Amusement Park Fun

Vienna Concert

Schindler’s + Auschwitz Guided Tour

Details + Pics later

How Media Aversion Has Helped Me!

It was a hard thought decision but something I should have done long back to be a much STRONGER & MORE CONFIDENT Human Being! Yes You Heard It, Long Back!!

I stopped quite a lot of Media Inflows towards me (my ears, eyes, most importantly Mind), in order to do that I did the following :

  • Stopped Reading All the Media websites & Apps (TOI was banned long back, NDTV, IndiaToday, IBN, etc.)
  • Removed TV Subscription (Best Decision Ever)
  • Shortened Facebook time to <5mins/week & diverting the remaining time to reading, linkedin, twitter, medium on filtered interests/subjects.
  • Forming my Viewpoints towards everything based on my own Research (well judged resources + Authentic sources) rather than word services of others
  • Adjudging the Media, Film world, Cricketers in my life what they are – PRESSTITUTES!
  • Avoiding all so called friends/influencers who promoted the Above or spoke mostly about the same

This happened as a result of above :

  • The filtered content was self approved & self adjudged
  • Got more time to do my research & form my own opinions based on topics that I was curious about, which is much better than being involuntarily educated at topics of no interest or motivation
  • Found & Relied on much informed company of intellectuals & common believers
  • I could only focus on what I WANTED FROM MYSELF !! I COULD SEE MYSELF AS A CLEAN SLATE & JUDGE MY BREATHE, MY ACTIONS, MY WAVES, RAYS, ENERGY IN A COMPLETE IMPARTIAL LIGHT
  • PM, Startups, Tech, VCs, Design, Statistics, World Politics & Trade, Travel, Clicking, Values, Ethics, History, Human Psychology, Sports (Quality), Social Entrepreneur – these are subjects that I know am not going to leave till the end of my breath! So happy to have discovered them as interests, serious hobbies, passions.
  • I can see my Vision & Dreams alot more clearly & am much more determined than ever to achieve them by building small blocks & gathering people around.

Hope it helps others as well!! Peace for All, Amen.

 

Human’s Stay on Earth

Have been thinking lately (these thoughts are definitely not based on any recent developments but are based on my observations, interactions, discussions, reading over the past known years).. am quite certain of following views as well :

  • I do not think that Humans were supposed to breed on this planet, this planet was (if) created then was meant for appreciation, wonder, happiness, peace, plentifulness, etc. As story goes Adam n Eve faulted & every one later are bearing the (black) fruits of it!
  • Coming on this earth, in which family, country, religion, etc. are not chosen by anyone. However what one believes, controls, speaks, acts, behaves, etc. are & should be owned by the individual herself/himself. Saying this is how it happens coz of background or circumstances is simply a poor craftsman
  • Now that one has come on this planet & got a life, body, mind, heart – one should make the max use of it to lead a fulfilling life which does not harp on any negativity, demeans others lives, compares, hurts oneself or others, etc.
  • Whatever life one gets – 10/30/50/70 years – one should lead a healthy meaningful life while trying to uplift others around, give hope/faith amongst others. Create & sustain happiness while discarding materialism.
  • In order to achieve this, one is gifted skills/knowledge/awareness which are to be made the most use of to uplift themselves as well as others around them. Acting selfish is going against the basic purpose of this life.

Zingography : Tech/Product/UX/StartUp Update # 5

I have chosen a subject very close to my heart & mind since long …

“SUSTAINABLE CREATIVITY…”

I personally feel Creativity is great & has to be nurtured.. esp for the corporate space where one is chasing numbers, KPIs, KRAs & hardly has time to think consumers..

So one has to think Creative & Scale while at work or else in my humble opinion you are just not adding value!

I understand the importance of Business Philosophies, Business Visions, Business Leadership Styles with the exposure so far & lately have been reading a lot upon them.

But somewhere my mind tells me that only when one is creating something new & is able to convince internal, external stakeholders for the same does one take one’s company forward and via that the whole society/generation forward.

Let me give some example, Gandhi for all the controversial discussions around creating an emotional blackmail/socialism model was at least able to create something called AHIMSA that is being re-called by the global generations much later.. even if it is debated which is the whole purpose!

Similarly Invention of Electricity, Revolutions, Renaissance have seemed to be extremely tough brainstorming times but have been successful in pushing the society forward..

Since Ancient times, every Kingdom also has tried to nurture the art, dance, creativity, etc. for the free flow of ideas, thoughts, talents, etc. across geographies, caste, creed, religion but without beating the overall purpose of the Preamble, Constitution or Administration! So Welfare & growth of people first however give them a source of relief, outwardness, dream for a better lifestyle.

Even in our Indian Society –  we have the majority who is inspired by the Bollywood & its glamour which is not great always…  but point is anything new, disruptive always catches the eye & makes people inspired, think, talk, maybe even act upon (sadly the last one is toughest yet most critical).

I also feel, in a country like India with a population of 1.3 Billion & life dazzling, bazzling through roads & streets or now digitally on mobile phones – ideas emerge by the micro second, many repeat, many overlapping, many spoken, many hidden, majority waste 😉 a lot waiting to be implemented..

My personal Bias is towards the Rural Youth as I feel they see the root cause & really wish to resolve it – just need to be guided & supported to resolve it…

If somehow a Design Lab can connect with this Rural Thinking Lab – we have a SURE SHOT WINNER in hand ! Godrej has been able to develop one, time shall tell what kind of products & solutions come out of it.

Amen! GodSpeed!

My recent take on Travelling

I think what pains me immensely these days is that how Travel has become a thoughtless activity that people indulge into when they have 1 day or 2 days off or longer vacation at spare.
They just seem to indulge into it without really understanding the true meaning of travel & its benefits. Maybe its a one way opinion as a lot of my critics in the past have commented. However, when I talk to these people who claim to love travelling & indulge into regularly I find & feel they have simply wasted money & their time.
They have gone & done something without taking all the wonderful things which travelling to a new place has to offer.

This gives rise to a lot of unwanted providers or travel agents/portals/marketplaces which are also formed by people who feel they know travelling & business so why not to bring them together. These providers become the eyes of these travellers who do not know where they want to see.

Not taking away from some of the great travelling experiences which are provided by some great individuals, providers. Ganga Panga by Mohit Midha is one of the closest which has achieved greatness plus our Spiti Trip became great because of people’s enthusiasm, great place.

However recently after coming back from Bhutan Trip – I didn’t feel that achievement or euphoria perhaps coz of the company in travel or because I was stressed due to recent office stuff. The place was great, met some lovely people, had loads of road travel which I love, however I did not feel top of the world but felt tired & didn’t feel like going to travel again soon 😦 which is very unlike me. Am I getting too old?

I think I would like to travel to more fascinating places with more fascinating people who also share the love of travel & like to encourage one another to explore more & better in a not so obvious way. People who are a lot more accommodating & giving plus not demanding are the kind of people I know to get along well with on long term.

Am sure there are more wonderful trips coming! 🙂

A few important learnings which came my way : Patience is not about waiting but what you do while waiting, having calmness is a sign of great strength, there is nothing more important than your work – having complete dedication towards is the ultimate way towards Nirvana. Be a Professional & one can hardly go wrong!

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