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.

Zingography 11 : Cognitive Abilities in PM

Cognitive Science involves linguistics, psychology, artificial intelligence, philosophy, neuroscience and anthropology. My learning & experience says that if we are able to include Cognitive Science into our Product Management Process – they results shall be much more refined, Long term & closest to objective.

Cognitive Science has to include multiple stakeholders views from :

  • Customers perspective
  • Team management perspective
  • Leadership & changing Business Landscape perspective

Am quite sure of developing successful models around the same for different PM Cycle stages & this is my effort for the same.

Below are the key PM Stages & recommended Models for the same :

  1. Business Strategy Roadmap based on Market Research & Secondary Research Data Insights — Model 1 (Leadership Management + Market Analysis – BCG Matrix, PLC, 7S Framework, Value Chain)
  2. Need Gap Analysis Identification — Model 2 (STP + 5Porters Forces)
  3. Recommendation Solutions & Prioritisation of Features (New & Enhancements) – Model 3 (Phase Gate Model/ Spider Mapping Technique ; High & Low Impact)
  4. User Persona Identification – Model 4 (Demography & Behaviour (Tech & Products) Mapping)
  5. Roadmapping + Project Management – Model 5 (Gantt Chart)
  6. BRD/ PRD – Model 6 (Process Note, Unified Modelling Language)
  7. MVP Approach – Model 7 (User – Action – Story ; Pain – Gain)
  8. User Journeys/Scenarios mapping – Model 8 (Decision Tree)
  9. Designing-> with quick dipsticks & quick changes around suggestions Model 9 : Neurological Emotional Branding + Decision of buying

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10. Development/Middleware – Library & its adaptations for agile expansion
11. UAT all scenarios/Hackathon (Model 10) /CUG – AB Testing Hypothesis linked to Data          Mining & Big Data Analysis…. Statistics & its variance test analysis! Frequentist vs              Bayesian ..
12. Success Metrics formulation (Model 11) Data visualisation /K Nearest neighbours/              Regression/Clustering ; Random Forests; Time series/sequence; text mining!
13. Launch & Optimise
14. Team Management Model

Disclaimer : My suggestions are based on my experience, research, interactions with other companies & my own theories/understandings on this space. Am quite confident of their inter-relationship with each other.

Some Books I recommend in this regard are :

  • Design of everyday Life
  • Sapiens
  • Art of Deduction
  • Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
  • Cognitive Science
  • Psychology of Persuasion
  • Infographica

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

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.

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) !

Colorful_emotions_by_Samsshi

Social Welfare on my Mind

Yeah, social welfare is always on my mind without doubt!

This is the space I wanted to be in since a kid & this is the space I aspire to be in post making some money, network, resources, skills for myself.

It motivates me, it guides me & most importantly find the true me when am lost! It also helps me connect with some amazing people & also learn to be a better person on regular basis without boasting.

It brings a sense of duty, a sense of balance to the whole Capitalism drive inside us – it makes me see things in a quiet, deep & well meant light. It doesn’t let me give up when am down & out – it makes me prevail the goodness & badness with same virtues : fortitude, temperance, prudence & justice.

Moreover, technically it helps me build some interesting models based on key human behavorial insights. It helps in keeping people like me who are city dwellers (mostly out of choice for lifestyle, jobs) understand the deep & true rural/small City simplicity connect!

How I want to incessantly work for the same & build something that outlives me forever.

Somewhere my ideal model is – within the walls of liberal capitalism, the values of socialism & simplicity to flourish.

The 4th Dimension – TIME

Science is Guided by Spiritualism … Spiritualism is ably supported by Science!

TIME! Its the mightiest… The most Powerful!

  • It can do the impossible
  • It can Grant you Miracles – never imagined
  • It can make hurdles appear boons never imagined

At times – my sense says that all you are trying to do most of the time is convince Time to be on your side. All you are trying to tell Time is that am Good & hence be gentle on me.

But nobody can fool or lie to TIME – as it sees through, through & through! You can’t be drinking most of the time & then complain about gaining weight or losing concentration or about shivering hands later on.

So here is how TIME can be on your side :
– Be Consistent with who you are & who you wish to be
– Be Persistent in what you want from life
– After this, there is not much you can do – Believe in Time & Let it Be!

Yes its that simple but never that easy to follow. Because there are demons (Self created, society adapted, unnecessarily thrown at you) on daily basis which you have to fight – more mentally than physically. They make the above 3’s strengths weaker. Hence it is important to Believe – strong & with Patience.

Here is something which I have acquired recently which helps me :

  • Looking back at Historical characters – the few ones I admire from mythology, medieval + modern periods & studying their responses to various situations – good & bad. This is a childhood fascination which has become more vivid & I have somehow started relating with them on human level more than leader or figurine level.
  • Choosing a few strong personalities with impacts – mostly female (As I understand that emotion is tough to avoid for them too) in fields which I relate a lot with – Sports, Services, Journalism who are fighting for the Right at the same time fighting in male dominated spaces to be their own best versions. But am particular about not selecting Females with connects, wealths, privilege or other non- conformists ‘starting grounds’ as it makes the whole study biased.
  • A few other role models in my personal, work life to relate with & understand me by, while understanding that no overlapping can be 100% true.

I do not state that these are the only ways by which Time can be controlled or befriended at best – but I feel by doing above I feel much in control of my own demons to face the Swings of Time Reels!

Happy Weekend Everyone!


The Past is over, no matter how you look at it. The future is only anticipated on the basis of your past experience. What you completely overlook in your emotional involvement with what is over and gone… is the Present, which is the only time there really is. The Present is the only time in which you can experience the whole Universe. It is the only time in which you are happy and free and alive. The Power of Now holds everything you really want, and everything that is real. This is the essential message of awakened teacher, Eckhart Tolle in his bestselling books, “The Power of Now” and “A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose,” which is also the universal experience that A Course in Miracles reveals.
The thing to remember is that the transition from time to eternity does not occur through death, but through a change of mind about yourself and the purpose of the world. Be assured that this is not a sacrifice, but a joyful glad return to the natural state of the wholeness and freedom of your mind.
We are made whole in our desire to make whole. Let not time worry you, for all the fear that you and your brother experience is really past. Time has been readjusted to help us do, together, what your separate pasts would hinder. You have gone past fear, for no two minds can join in the desire for love without love’s joining them.-A Course in Miracles

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