Innovation Powerplay in Vietnam

From Nov 14 to Dec 8, the founders team of the World Innovations Forum is back in Vietnam. Let us share their schedule so you can join one or the other event or arrange for a meeting in between events. Ho Chi Minh City Fri Nov 15, 10:00 am – 11:30 am Inner circle team […]

The end of the startup hype !

I’ve been asked countless times if it is worth to still enter the startup hype – or will it be gone sooner or later. Yes, in the developed nations, where legal structures, capital markets and production gets ever more complicated, it may fade away. If the is is good or bad is a very important […]

Advanced Entrepreneurship

Advanced Entrepreneurship

OK,  you’ve had an idea, you filled in your business model canvas template, wrote a business plan using other templates, you experimented with all kinds of ideas and ways to run your startup. You probably pivoted many times and did everything you learned at school. Great.

Now trough all this away and start building your real businesses. Create a highly compelling vision that attracts top talents you would never get otherwise, attract customers and partners and also investors. Create a robust and disrupting business model followed by an aggressive go-to-market strategy. Stop pivoting, Drive an insane growth curve at all cost – speed is more important than perfection. Disrupt yourself and everything all the helpful instructors and mentors told you. Welcome to advanced entrepreneurship.

Enjoy this podcast – advanced Entrepreneurship in 20 Minutes.

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World Innovations Forum – simply amazing

A 3 day global online live event

Today we concluded an amazing 3 day innovation and entrepreneurship power play. Over 500 attendees from over 40 countries joined the online live event and in local ‘public viewing’ events.

Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, El  Salvador, Germany, Ghana,  Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia,  Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria,  Mexico, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland,  Taiwan, Ukraine, United kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan, Vietnam.

From physical to digital

What’s the secret sauce for the success? The whole event was online. Last minute we changed the whole format from a physical event which would have been only affordable for the wealthy countries to online – and made the access for free for all attendees. The cost to organize the event was significantly lower, we did not need to fly in 500 people – and feel good about the savings in negative environmental impact, carbon footprint and more than ten thousand hours in aggregate for none productive preparation and traveling.

Live Online Pitch from Nepal

Live presentation of a team of scientists who developed a new method to easily test animal pregnancy and getting results within hours. They don’t need any long lasting clinical tests anymore which would not be economically feasible in many countries. Startup winner from Nepal.

The Whole Ecosystem was here

It was extremely interesting to see innovative startups from various industries, tech, biology, health, and more to present. Investors discussed national and international investment strategies, valuation differences and due diligence processes.  Enabler such as incubators, co-working spaces, accelerators, mentors and technology and service providers shared their point of view and how startups from around the world could just go to any space and any enabler and receive help when going global. Government representatives and ambassadors shared what it takes to enter a country and how they can help to make the start and the stay easy and convenient. The 58 sessions in a highly intense 15 minute sequence was a firework of information.

Hot Investor discussion

Investors from all backgrounds explain investment strategies and experiences. Why investing in international startups is attractive but also the obstacles on the legal and taxation side are to be understood. Discussions about valuation, due diligence and what investors expect, how they evaluate and select startups and the best ways for startups to find investors.

Public Viewing of the otherwise global online event

Our ambassadors in Japan, South Korea and Nepal organized global viewing events. The global online event was supported with local on-site events to foster the regional and global community. The Japanese team together with Fabbit, a leading co-working space, organized the perfect show (see below).

Live presentations – streamed around the globe.

Here a startup in Japan is presenting on stage, the event is live streamed to all attendees around the globe, our Judge located in Switzerland listens and asks questions about the presentation. 500 people in 43 countries watch, learn and share.

Going Global – What can be done

Ambassadors from Japan, Vietnam and the team in Switzerland share how startups from around the world can travel around the world and ramp up a business in a new country possibly even within a few weeks.

Amazing Technology – literally from the kitchens of the future

Russian startup presents a new night vision technology, which is very affordable, light weight and easy to install in the next generation of automobiles. Imagine traveling at night and you can watch the scene almost as if it is a bright day.

A new dimension in high tech conferences

There was never any innovation conference of that diverse and complete audience from the whole ecosystem, on a global scale run all online over multiple days. And to be quite honest – most people found it a bad idea “conferences are networking events, it will never work online”. We kind of agreed but we still needed to try (The risk of regretting not trying is greater than the risk of failing). The dynamic of this first little conference is the spark, helping us to completely rethink global conferences.

Where we are going to take it from here?

  • Strengthening and growing the global community
  • Building the necessary platform technology and blockchain for permanent connections
  • Engagement such as discussing individual challenges, questions, ideas, marketing, acceleration, going global and countless other topics.

Please  JOIN  the community.

Thank you, attendees from 40+ countries, S3-Ambassadors from around the world, speakers, investors, enablers, supporters,  and the Society3 dream-team! Also thank you Swisscom for a rock solid 1 Gigabit glass fiber connection directly onto our desk – wow, flawless.

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Why today’s human minds are incapable to outperform AI

Today we may debate whether or not a robot will ever be superior to a human. Superiority has many angels. And a robot may not catch all of them. But in the basic work life, it is different. And maybe one robot may not be as good as a human – but a whole range of networked Artificial Intelligence-based robots will outperform us in almost any segment of work on all levels and all industries !!!

 

Our single biggest disadvantage

The vast majority of humans, still today, keep knowledge close to their chest. Sharing of knowledge, experience, and mistakes is not our biggest strength. Sitting in a corner, thinking through the permutations of what happens with a machine in certain circumstances – is our biggest strength. But we know that our brain capacity is not unlimited. As long as we continue to share only if really necessary, think for ourselves, hope we earn special attention for our knowledge – we are in danger that all our jobs get eradicated before we adapt to newer better behavior. Our physical limitations are too weak to stand up against a series of highly developed AI networked technology – whatever we call it.

Cultural Advancement

We are what we got introduced to by our cultural frameworks. Our parents teach us to be humble, not to share our experience unless it is necessary, to experiment for ourselves until we are sure that our experiments are successful. We are conditioned to not talk about things that are still uncertain. Our communication prison is huge. Some cultures however advanced already. And the most interesting thing is that it was actually that very advancement that brought the AI / Robotics technology to life – Silicon Valley. Now some may argue it was elsewhere and so and so already had developed that first version of AI years ago. Well – so sorry to say that, an innovation has absolutely no value unless it is brought to a broader market. “The initial value if any innovation is zero”. Without cultural advancement, we will maintain that widening gap between developed and emerging countries. As long as emerging countries do not embrace more openness, a culture where failure is not just OK but actually good and a key part of learning – the country will remain to be an emerging country.

Artificial Intelligence, biggest driver for human advancements

Humans have one extraordinary ability: humans can adapt to new situations within one and the same generation. No other life form can do that. Big Data is giving businesses who leverage big data a huge advantage over others because they simply know better and faster what is going on. If we learn that networked AI systems will be able to tap into those data and create analysis, able to make decisions and derive strategies from the results, They will be ahead of us and we will essentially do what they suggest. We can’t even verify in time so we simply go ahead and do it. Yes it’s still a tool – but we do what the tool is telling us what to do without even being able to debate it. But we will learn one thing: if we connect our brains we get a whole new edge – maybe beyond our own imagination.

Experiment at Society3 World Innovations Forum

Imagine we do what these AI networks do and network our brains, very simply on a daily base by sharing, communication, analyzing our own mistakes and come to new conclusions every day? The collective intellect when really in action has unknown and incomprehensible reserves. The least we can do is to explore them. And it is almost for free. We only have through some of the old cultural remains overboard. At Society3 this is exactly what is going on right now. Society3 is building a digital layer across the globe that exists to connect people and their ideas, challenges, questions and answers together. https://society3.com We are not here to win a competition with AI-based robots but simply bring human entrepreneurs to a level that has never seen before.

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Global Pitching & Fundraising Training

Money is globally available – just understand how to attract investors. Top tech companies started all over the world. In Microsoft Seattle, Spotify in Sweden, SAP in Germany, Samsung in Korea, Sony in Japan, Acer in Taiwan, Atos in France, Euthereum in Switzerland…

All have one thing in common: The somehow learned how to attract investors, had their story down and knew how to talk to investors – where ever they are.

Over the past 4 years we had startups from all over the planet in our accelerator and 50% got funded (the highest funding rate in the startup world).

Now we are starting to run free pitch events – ONLINE. These live events shall allow any entrepreneur, wherever they are on this planet to attend. No more traveling for entrepreneurs training.

Next training June 5 in all time zones! read more

We envision a world where prosperity is possible for all nations by increasing innovation and entrepreneurship locally.

Since we can’t get every entrepreneur in the world to come to Silicon Valley – Silicon Valley needs to come to the world – for free.

Please help spread the word, in particular in those countries where entrepreneurs don’t have easy access to capital. https://s3buzz.com/ntd5xx

 

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Digitization 2.0

In my previous two blog posts I shared a base view and two examples. In this post I will share some ways to get to a state of the art level of digitization in your business.

As stated in the previous blog post, computerization or digitization 1.0 started in the 1960’s. With rare exceptions, most businesses are fully computerized. Computers, smartphones, Internet and the corresponding software are simply the underlying infrastructure for digitization. In my follow on blog post, Digitization is a mindset,  I described the effects based on the two examples: Amazon and Uber.

Find out your degree of digitization

The degree of digitization today, can also be seen as a collection of individual and unique competitive advantages. If you like to further explore full digitization of your business you may want to use the following guidance:

  1. Think in degrees of digitization?
    – Digitization is not a have or not have. It is a sliding scale from basic to medium, to good, to excellent
    – Can you identify the degree of digitization in your business?
    – Do you have a customer advisory board you can work with to increase the level of digitization?
  2. Modern Business Culture?
    – Digitization is a mindset and requires a modern, open minded and transparent company culture.
    – Do you have an executive team or business owners who don’t want more transparency and rather keep everything close to their chest?
    – Do you have an old style sales and marketing culture that prefers to deliver information only on request and see it as a special value rather than an obligation to freely provide it such as pricing etc.
  3. What is your logistics integration look like
    – Do you still need to manually enter orders, requests or anything else?
    – Are your customer and business partners able to access any record of their transactions online?
    – Can your customers see the order or return progress at any time online
    – Can your customers access business history with you online?
    – Are there any rewards systems for customer activities?
  4. How deep is your sales channel all the way to the individual consumer integrated in your digital presence?
    – Are your direct customers, business partners, vendors, supplier all the way to the individual end user of your products or services fully integrated in your digital presence?
    – Can any of your customer access their own data easily in your system, maybe change their names, email addresses etc? Can they see the products they have and the services they can acquire?
    – Do your customers have access to all the manuals, service descriptions, pricing, spare parts etc.?
    – Do you have a customer community where your customers can meet and exchange experiences?
    – Do you know if your final end consumer is interested in finding out more information from you?
    – Do you have any form of relationship escalation between the end consumer, sales channels, yourself and maybe suppliers of yours?
    – Are customer rewarded when they mention you online on public networks?
  5. What services, knowledge and information can you provide completely paperless?
    – What is the degree of paperless information flow from brochures, to orders, invoices, or contracts?
    – Do you still require a hand written signature on any document?
  6. How many technological channels do you support today?
    Is all the information available on classic websites, do you support mobile devices, do you have dedicated mobile apps, is information exchange possible via social media?

Competitive Advantage

Each and every act of digitization 2.0 should be considered a unique and individual competitive advantage. If it is not a competitive advantage it is probably just a regular digitization 1.0 measure to run your operation.

Obviously the above are only some samples of obvious digitization measures to increase your degree of digitization and creating unique competitive advantages. True so called “disruptive moments” in your business model, network effects and other topics are rather individual to your specific business case.

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Social Media Managers Keep Failing

Society3-SM-keep-failingNo question, those who studied the shift in our socioeconomic landscape come all to the same conclusion: Social Media holds a massive change for our society and our businesses. The change will be as profound as the industrial revolution 200 years ago.

Introducing that change to executives who run their business with a huge daily pressure is so overwhelming that it is a very natural behavior to go into denial. You hear “The more things change, the more they stay the same”, “I don’t see an immediate ROI”, “My fellow executives from other companies aren’t using Social Media either”… The reasons to ignore it are most likely equally diverse as the reasons to ignore the development of cities and companies 200 years ago.  My personal prediction is that it may take well another 5 to 10 years for the majority of businesses to recognize the impact of that change and what it means to their business. And the more people warn “If you don’t adopt, you will fall through the cracks”, the less likely business executives will even listen.

Denial is a mechanic of our psyche that sets in when the amount of information or the degree of danger is so large that the brain is not able to comprehend it.  So here is why Social Media Managers keep failing:

1) Thousands of people – like you and me – have gone through a learning curve, comprehending the seismic shift in our business society. But it took us a year or more of learning and thinking to get there. Most who began to recognize the shift are pounding on business leaders to recognize it too and get ready for change.

2) A business executive who is very focused on keeping the company or their division afloat and fighting on all ends for growth and profitability, competing in a taught global economy, has probably less time to even start comprehending the change. And the more people talk about apocalyptic business erosion the more those managers go into denial.

Even though people get hired to ‘manage’ Social Media – to many have zero pull through in their respective organizations and remain to be an alibi function for executives to be able to say “Oh yes, we did invest in social media, we even have a management position and doing it for quite a while. We are totally covered”.

In a recent research we asked 100 companies about their social media engagement and 72% confirmed that they are very active and happy with their results, 21% are exploring social media but will not engage before middle of next year and 17% stated that they don’t see a benefit and therefor have no plans to engage.

Now – checking out the level of engagement of the 72%, is very easy because everything is public and very transparent. We realized that nearly 80% of those 72% have only a very rudimentary presence, very low engagement level with customer and inquires or questions unanswered for weeks. Only a small group has actually recognized the opportunity and developed a highly engaging online presence with apparently very active customers.

The larger part of social media managers apparently work heads down, trying to keep a low profile (and the job) and don’t making any major inroads helping the business to make significant progress in this highly transparent and communicative world. They simply keep failing. We recognized this by seeing an increasing churn in social media positions.

The key reasons for failing are:

  • Lack of a profound social media strategy
  • Lack of comprehensive experience what it means to build a customer engagement
  • Lack of market research skills and reporting
  • Lack of management skills to present a business relevant plan without overwhelming executives with details and technical aspects
  • Lack of skills aligning social media activities with overall business objectives

 

Axel
Http://XeeMe.com/AxelS

 

 

 

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80% of purchase decisions based on recommendations

Society3-networked-worldSocial Media has changed the way consumer and business manager alike make their purchase decisions. The web has become the most influential resource in figuring out what to buy. Depending on the research, target audience, product or service, the percentage of new purchase decisions based on mentions and recommendations range between 72% to 90%. That is true for both B2B and B2C customers.

It is hard too imagine a manager making a  purchase decision purely based on advertising inputs and conversations with vendors. In the Tech industry estimations are that those purchase decisions are even at nearly 100% based on public mentions, reviews, and recommendations.

A business executive cannot stay put and just hope that their solutions are good enough and be recommended. They have to be proactive and stimulate mentions and recommendations. And in today’s wide open online world it is not too difficult to do so.

Smart executives focus on four business units.

1) Marketing
Marketing being the obvious one. Marketing was always the group that was responsible for sparking demand, responding to market changes and stimulating interest. A marketing department that is able to stimulate mentions and recommendations represent a huge competitive advantage over those who do not.

2) Partner Networks
Distribution channels, including resellers, broker, dealer, alliance partners are highly influential channels directly addressing certain market segments or geographies of a given vendor. Like the general marketing those channels need to be aware of the shifts in purchase behavior and able to address those changes with smart ways to stimulate conversations around their brands

3) Sales Organization
Sales people are typically the most social teams in an organization. However they are not automatically web savvy. Most have been trained over years, even decades to follow specific processes and have the hardest time to bring their sales processes in alignment with the new buying pattern.

4) Customer Experience Management
CX or CEM is a relatively new discipline in most businesses.  However, it has just become a very significant investment when it is coming to mentions and recommendations. Businesses providing a good customer experience are obviously much ahead of their competition that has only mediocre or even bad customer experience.

The ultimate Social Media objective

In today’s extremely competitive world being mentioned and recommended is one of the most important aspects of business success. Companies like Zappos, Star Bucks, Jet Blue, Virgine, SalesForce.com, BMW, SAP, coming from all kinds of industries covering both B2B and B2C, have outperformed their competition mainly due to the fact that their customers are happy and say it across the Internet.

It isn’t “Social Media” per se that makes any difference – but the way Social Media is leveraged in a globally competing world. A rock solid social media strategy is paramount to leverage the web to a degree that it positively affects the bottom line.

Axel
https://XeeMe.com/AxelS

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XeeMe’s 2nd Birthday

Happy 2nd Birthday XeeMe

Wow – being under the top 10,000 websites in the US and top 20,000 world wide is a great birthday presence.

A huge    THANK YOU to all XeeMe users for their never ending engagement. What a great community of very special people. It is a great pleasure for all the S3 team to work with you.

History: After a closed beta we acquired the xeeme.com URL and started our public Beta on August 5, 2011. Within 2 years we grew to over 1.5 Million users – that is twice as many as Twitter after 2 years :) Well those were different times.

Great Alexa Ranking and trends go UP :)T

AlexaStats-Aug-2013

 

There are so many contributors end engaged people that I hesitate to mention any the Wall of Fame is only a snapshot in time and a small selection from the 25 most engaged countries.  Thanks to all over 1 Million users driving us to do better, develop further and go where we all together want to go.

T H A N K   Y O U

Axel
https://XeeMe.com/AxelS

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