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

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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

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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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As Post 2008 Generation, My Learnings

I have recently been thinking & discussing with my friends about “What should be our Generation’s & Particularly of People with our Background’s Differentiation Offered to this World?”
What is it that will make our Generation stand tall amindst its previous (Baby Boomers & Early Millennials IT, Manufacture) & future generations (Internet & SaaS).

Am realising for a standard working professional with a Graduation Degree & Maybe Masters with few years of experience, there are following area gaps which are left to be filled by individual her/himself :

  1. Identification of Subjects which truly stimulate your Motivation cells (which you will do unconditionally)
  2. To enhance your thought process beyond your subject of expertise – reading, podcasts, documentaries, travel, side projects?
  3. To create your own differentiation – by connecting the dots! Also no one can teach you above – one has to find a process on their own to find their Juice/Mantra/Fibre.

And then I came across below article

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/rajat-gupta-is-unrepentant-for-his-crimes/articleshow/68536851.cms

This article was more of a trigger but my research includes lots of documentaries (Around Brexit, Subprime Crisis, Corporate Functions, World History), Podcasts, Books, Travel,  Time spent with Family along with Self Talk & Analysis, meeting & networking with some right people resulted in below List. Am certain that am quite close to the answer :

  1. INTEGRITY – DEFINED BY PERSONAL & WORK ETHICS is most critical as the value associated with this will only increase in times since majority around you (as one can observe) will take the easy path always while compromising on multiple things
  2. NETWORK CIRCLE – AUTHENTICATED & ALIGNED TO YOUR PERSONAL VALUES : I personally attach alot of importance to this since it is not possible for a Monk also to remain completely sane without some basic human interactions
  3. MULTI SKILL HAT – of doing different roles required to understand everyone’s viewpoints along with different sized organizations and in different geographies. Have seen such people to be easy to mingle & quick at Problem Identification
  4. THROUGH & THROUGH INNOVATION – Creativity cannot be proven by your social media posts or by your dressing or just by speaking some cool jingoisms, you should/must have proven records of what you believe you stand for & Yes a Proven record of having done innovation in some capacity will give a certain edge
  5. DETAILING & PRIORTIZATION – Breaking a situation Down, first in Mind and then on Paper. And the ability of Breaking Down is an adaptive one where you need to master different models & implement depending on the problem statement.
  6. FUTURE TECH ADAPTATION – This is where being an engineer becomes useful coz one understands technology & its implementations
  7. PEOPLE SKILLS + LEADERSHIP – Outgoing, Easy to get along but difficult to get perturbed are very useful daily skills. Also what kind of Leader are you going to turn up to be from being an Inclusive Leader to Strategic to Transformational to Facilitative to Democratic to Autocratic to Cross Cultural to Laissez Faire (My Least Favorite) to Transactional to Coaching to Charismatic to Visionary
  8. WORLDLY AWARE IN MOST TOPICS – Music, Netflix, Travel, Politics, History, Sports, Culture Insights, Food & Wine – Strategy Ideas & References come from here a lot. Late Discovery but it has the Power of increasing your mindspace & mindframe to a greater extent than few other.
  9. YOUR OWN MOJO SKILL (PREFERABLY FROM HUMANITIES OR SCIENCE SUBJECT TOPICS FROM SCHOOL – Something You always knew you were Good at) : I have observed that every person while doing their job (numbers, coding) & following their passion, there is always some art/science from which they daily seek solace which becomes like their secret power. In many people’s cases I have seen them to be cars, gardening, cooking, etc.
  10. TO HOLD SELF AGAINST TRENDS – This I will give alot of value as well since the trends are most dangerous for those who don’t believe in themselves so much! I have personally felt the strongest of all urges by Old worlds to pull me into complacency and New Worlds to pull me into Anxiety Competition Led Atmosphere. Its important for one to find their own pace & atmosphere suited to what they believe & stand for so as to master their ownselves first & then others around them.

Loads of things like being Hard Working, Articulate, Charming which were considered to be High Value skills for Pre 80s generation will be considered basic must haves for Post 2000s.

Plus a lot of extra-ordinary skills of 80s generation will be considered Good to Have!

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Emotional Quotient

EQ is a very rare quality in a human being & even a rarer quality in a Successful Leader.

I used to study & try to understand in college, but it’s a different ball game when you appear in work arena & then see how work demands/pressures are to be met with the People/Cultural aspects.

Of course one learns to manage the work demands & skill demands depending on one’s capacity. It’s always the people skill management that is the trickiest to master as it is very dynamic, variable to unpredictability.

I struggled with the same as well – majorly because there were a lot of aspects about myself that I had not explored or made myself aware e.g. how I respond to pressure, to a New team person, to a vendor, etc. Since I had not given them any thoughts consciously, mastering them was a far away task.

I think – till the age of 28, and 5 years of work experience – the effort was more or less optimise/adjust for survival and observe around. But I think it was during my 6th year of work experience, in 2015 when I decided to do a proper analysis & self haul of :

  1. Who i am?

  2. What do i want in life?

  3. What do I want in work life?

  4. What I need to do achieve 2 & 3?

This gave a lot of perspective & a lot of peace to myself as I then felt am moving in life with some sort of direction (not 100% clear but still some LIGHT). This made a lot of people interactions & my senior leadership alignments easier as well. I won’t say that it has been absolutely smooth sailing since then but still the choppy waters have seemed manageable & the belief to be able to make it the shore has grown stronger.

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Of course, the presence of my last manager & a few other leaders with higher EQ has made me realise even stronger & clearer on what I want in life & am thankful for that. I cannot stress more on the importance on such People focussed Leaders who groom young people & motivate them to achieve what they want in Life. They become life coaches & mentors, role models for them in moments of crisis.

Last week, one of the senior women leaders decided to move out of the company & it made me feel bad beyond what I imagined. Of course in the short span that I got to know her – she came across as an extremely understanding, warm, affectionate and easy to approach (Again rare leadership qualities). The extent to which she understood your position & could advise you accordingly amazed me – High High EQ. The amount of comfort she offered to a non – direct team member speaks volumes on her ability to connect. The fact that it wells up my eyes every time I think about the fact that she could not continue due to family commitments, speaks volumes about her ability to connect & leave a positive mark.
I do wish to be always there in her life & vice versa plus also hope for many more such people in life moving forward to make it worth it!

Topic of Terrorism!

I have never written about the same though I have always felt strongly against it since a young age!
As I remember the stories of Revolutionaries, War of Independence, World Wars, History Books always fascinated me & there was a great sense of Pride associated towards having an identity in the World filled with contradictions.

My Generation might be one of those who were organically introduced to the topics of Terrorism, Communism, Socialism, Capitalism with LIVE examples all around amongst both sides debated points & forming our opinions in the midst of the same as we went about our lives.

No One supports Terrorism & its very much in Black & White but what makes this topic worth debating is when it becomes political as a mean to achieve bigger means. When Terrorism is fuelled by Religion then still, few can find sides based on rationalism but when it becomes a Politically Motivated Terrorism Issue then its a fight about who’s More Wrong.

Unfortunately, this is what has happened in Kashmir – fuelled by the 1947 Partition Venom, Kashmir has just not been allowed to come to terms to what it deserves to be.

Under the clout of Unaccepted Ownership of Indian Republic to a certain section of people based on Old Age reasons, a Young Beautiful emotional State has been played with time & again by the neighbours for a higher Political Relevance at Global Arena.

It’s nothing but unfortunate that Kashmir & India including their people have paid such heavy prices for this long due to indecisiveness on Political aspects.

At times, it is impertinent to take some STRONG rational calls for the overall Good! Israel’s stand against Palestine, US stand against Afghanistan, Lankans against LTTE are some recent modern day examples. Time India does the same!

Surgical Strikes have been widely appreciated & such mechanisms to separate & expose Militants from countries’ politics, forcing them into receding will create a LongTerm & Well Appreciated Example. India is well aware that it is amongst the Top 2 Growing Economies in the World & everyone looks upto them for solutions.

The decision is Long due & is evidently on the Walls – India is a much much more prosperous, educated, developed, flourishing nation as compared to Pakistan hence Kashmir (if and when has to fairly systematically choose its Future) shall be a part of the Former including PoK.
Execution & Enforcement of the same has to be fast & clear but Indian Subcontinent has always been slower in creating such strong consensus.

My Prayer – last attack on 14th Feb 2019 to our CRPF Men in Pulwama be the Last Ever! Amen

Changing faces of Us & Our “Friendships”

Hello! So am back to write after a small self forced hiatus 🙂 It feels good to see the words flowing from your brain to your fingertips & appearing in front of your eyes again!

Life has been a bit different with the new role & hence the changes – its weird that how my Life has undergone so many changes around the job roles I have done in past few years. Shows good that my job profile is the most important thing for me in these years but bad that am not able to keep my own personal life in control to be unaffected with changes around it!

I do feel certainly that I took time to find MY SHOE FIT.

But am glad I tried so many different ones & then finally found my best fitting, comfortable ones that were customised to my needs. Did that with my lifestyle, career & now am optimistic of same happening for my Life Partner.

Now coming to the subject of “Friendships” which has been my favourite subject unconsciously since childhood days.

anyone-who-encourages-intellectual-spiritual-and-emotional-growth-is-worth-6875440.png

Emotion is one of the strong things that I was introduced to as a kid during my growing up years – valuing your family, respecting your elders, always speaking good, believing in God & the values, understanding our history & ancestry to learn good practices.

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So I could never forget it!

And I always valued it a lot wherever I found it – it was like me becoming a gemstone expert & start wanting to polish the gems as soon as I locate one during my education, travel, professions, social circle, etc.
What I also figured out with relating to emotion was that investment was not foolhardy, it was giving me returns to be a more self aware, worldly wise, mature human so I continued to invest & even do so now.
Maybe my portfolio selection has undergone a change now thanks to a few bad experiences in the past where I either invested too much too soon (more) or I failed to overlook a good opportunity (less).

And I do feel proud that I have become wiser to selection of my people – friends, colleagues, networking groups & others thanks to updating my qualifying parameters & accordingly updating myself + tastes. I definitely do not take things on face value any more & I definitely do not make an opinion about others or try to form a bond inorganically.

With People, it is best when it is ORGANIC!

Getting-Personal-Physical-and-Emotional-Growth

Sometimes, circumstances play a role in making that judgement or bond formation quicker but as a qualified and self aware human – one should understand those factors well! I feel this is the beauty of a human being always be able to prove it’s superiority over machines.

ADAPTABILITY & EMOTIONAL BONDING makes HUMAN > MACHINES

Am happy where I have reached so far in my journey – looking forward to explore More & Meet New interesting people before reaching my final destination.

I wish to become more quieter, observing, less expressing, A polished Digital Consultant (who is truly a PM at basics) Profile, socially more acceptable & enhance my intake of ignoring the unnecessary (Thickening of SKIIN – adding more Onion Layers Happily) !

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Current Global Economy Scenario

Yes – it is worrying & highly concerning!

Disclaimer : Am no Global Policy or Economics Expert, am a Digital Product Specialist with my own vested interests for causes, people I love & care.
But I do credit myself to thinking well for the World & be able to suggest from my experience & in-depth research skillsets – what can be done to improve the situation.

My Key Concerns :

  • TRUMP (Face-Palm) : He is going on making drastic changes around employment, Trade Policies, Climate Pacts, Foreign Relations without taking long term & wide level impact into considerations. US Politics these days is more interesting than watching Live Sports & Avengers Movies. The latest being launching trade war on China – You cannot be serious about being so impractical about such critical decisions which directly impacts jobs, lives of people.
  • Brexit : How on earth UK is going to be a stronger economy by separating itself from EU, same EU nations which in medieval, modern history have helped UK become richer & supreme power, baffles me. This is a stupid game of Power which Conservatives have got all wrong – I still pray EU can make them pull back & there is no need for referendum as the decision to exit was on false foot always!
  • Tech Giants to Douche Bags : Yes how Silicon Valley CEOs have exposed their immaturity & unpreparedness to manage bigger issues has proved to the world that nothing Good is created in a hurry. They have to take the hard way to be well accepted by all – Mark Zuckerberg’s expressions during the council grilling sessions will call for some nightmares for most of the entrepreneurs. Elon Musk’s everyday antics to tweets are such an embarrassment to the talent Tech space possesses.

Refer this article : https://www.economist.com/briefing/2018/01/20/the-techlash-against-amazon-facebook-and-google-and-what-they-can-do

  • Bad Media Boys : How Media has played into the hands of power & fame hungry industries + individuals is scary to the least. In my view, Media industry has lost maximum value in recent past though it should have grown more reputable with time since its one of the key pillars of a functioning Democracy. There are so few names in the space of Journalism & Media industry who you can trust to give authentic unbiased information & be done away with opinions & mind feeds.
  • Absolute Authority of Power : What is with this world of keeping order by creating complete surrender to power of authority? Why can’t issues be openly debated & views be formed on them by mutual agreement & settlement? Judicial & Legislators have to play a more informed & vigilant role in here.
  • Impatient & Wannabe Generation thriving on Instant Gratification & material possessions : Have given up on them though high on confidence + Awareness & low on hesitation, these folks run away from grinding & do not believe in playing hard & long & patient & gradual to win. It’s now or never with them all the time.
  • Creativity & Art not being allowed to flourish : There are umpteen examples of creativity & artists coming under the hawk eye of politics, regulations, restrictions! Unfair… Let creativity flow & let consumers decide it’s trashy or classy.

Perhaps, we need more of MJs “Save the World” versions not just in Music but in every facet of life.

What is frightening is that these concerns are gonna have long term impacts upto 5 – 10 years on everyone’s lives.

Some solutions :

  • Global bodies like UN, IMF, World Bank, G8, Security Council have to come together to create more strong consensus against the “OBVIOUS WRONG” happening across the globe. They need to address it by first accepting what’s wrong with being Simply Selfish.
  • Bottoms Up :  people will need to start creating noise about their displeasure & make authority listen, in every facets – home, workspace, social media, societies, municipalities, judiciary, law & order.
  • Wait for something drastic to happen at one end of the world for other to abide as no option! This shall have heavy repercussions though, someone will have to pay the price. AMEN

Believe … More with every Day

Especially when someone else or your yourself try to break it… Within yourself or in what you hold close!

Believe even more with every passing day!

You are learning & observing & adapting with every breath…

Sometimes when you think nothing is different in this moment from the last one… Think Again..

Don’t give up on this moment coz last one didn’t go as planned…

Make something new to feel pleased within yourself when you feel surroundings are the same…

That’s what happy people do! They believe more… They never give up on themselves or the World around… But they are adept at letting go what they can’t control! They learn to Let Go with the belief that if it’s meant for right then it will come back to them alright! That’s what wise people do well

They learn to Let Go with the Belief of everything falling into it’s right place at the right time… Pretty well..

We all know it’s tough & takes alot of strength, conscious effort & perspectives enhancements…Self Awareness too..

They adapt better & better as we go along! And slowly it becomes a habit – something unconscious but important!

Sometimes I feel it’s important to put what you know into practice more & more than just preach 😉 Karma is biggest for a reason..

Just keep growing & glowing…

Recent Thoughts on Political Views including Liberalism

This is a result of meeting someone awesome that you are completely in awe of as well as lots of drinking sessions with a bunch of uninhibited people who have their hearts & minds at the right place.

I am heavily convinced that people are same everywhere in the world – there are conservatives who are family bound, there are liberals who believe in being free & carefree, there are educated professionals who think they are liberals but actually don’t care or don’t realise what they are coz its convenient! There are Intellectuals & Deep moaners who just don’t want to Let Go!

People choose their political sides coz of following reasons :

  • Upbringing/ Family (20%) : Perhaps the most impactful & that too unconsciously, difficult to break off once tied to it
  • Professional (15%) : This one is more rational & becomes strong over the years
  • Deep Emotional Reasons (5%) : It has to come from some deep experience of the past – a wrong doing or a right doing
  • Convenience (60%) : This is the most common one, where people choose to not care as its too much effort & Ignorance is Bliss

More importantly, in my opinion, they keep justifying it forever – whatever it may take because somewhere they link their political stand to their personal, moral value system & saying a shade to their political views is casting a doubt on their moral values.

Also interestingly – once they take their stance on Right Liberal, Left conservative, Right Conservative or Left Liberal ; they will project themselves to be agreeing to 90% of its policies and disagreeing with a few again as per their convenience.

I do think that its a touche` matter & needs to be handled with sensitivity & open mindedness. Clashes should be avoided at all costs.

Sharing a 4-quadrant chart to understand where do most of the leaders stand.

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Interestingly – not many leaders fall in the Right – Liberal Quadrant for reasons obvious : since it is meant for Simple Mkt Policies based on science & economics research concepts. Leaders have taken stances favoring Right Liberal policies in moderation but mainly tend to stick to Right Conservative or Left Liberal Stances.
My Research threw up name of Mr. Thomas Jefferson, 3rd president of USA as the only through & through Right Liberal so far & that was perhaps he was an educated professional, scientist/inventor at heart hence insisted on the Right Liberal Policies.

Most of the Leaders in today’s time will go on to support Right Conservative, While the days of Left Conservative are restricted to China & Left Liberalism is kept for philosophers. I do think Right Liberalism is highly under-discovered.

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.

 

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