Posts tagged ‘GreenQloud’

August 1, 2014

Öryggisventill – An Icelandic Open Source Project that gives Power to the People

Parliament House, at Austurvöllur in Reykjavík...

Parliament House, at Austurvöllur in Reykjavík, built 1880–1881. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has been a while since I posted, almost 2 weeks I took some time to think and ponder and be on digital sabbatical. I would say it worked about 60% of the time and in my case that is an improvement. Breaking the digital sabbatical with a guest post by one my friends and Software Developer, Hacker and just a great guy, James Robb. I first got connected with James, through one my colleagues in GreenQloudHelgi Hrafn Gunnarsson and through a job application James had sent GreenQloud through our support system :). Helgi moved on to become the first Member of Parliament who could write Code and James started working with me on GreenQloud. I have always enjoyed the conversations, debates and discussions around advocacy, governance, management and leadership with James. When he told me about this open source project that is actually going to create a connection between laws that are passed in the parliament and the common man in a simple, intuitive way I jumped to ask him to write a blog post about it. And so he did… here is the post about an open source project like no other, it actually enables authenticated Yay or Nay for every bill that is being passed in the Parliament. It has a great name in Icelandic, I will let James introduce you to it.  These kinds of projects really excite me if you want to find out why read Fred Wilson‘s Blog post on the Dentist Office Software Story

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Öryggisventill, or Safety Valve, in it’s most basic of explanations, is software that allows a group of relevant individuals to support, oppose, or gauge contention on issues. What does this mean practically? To give the most prominent example so far, Safety Valve is being used to allow the Icelandic public to support or oppose all bills and motions being put through Alþingi (Icelandic Parliament). You can check this out at https://www.ventill.is/. 

I know what you are thinking. This has been done before, right? There are tons of different pieces of petition software online. Well, yes, this is true. There is a lot of different forms of petition software online, what is different though, is that we have advanced on the idea of petition software in many ways. Notably, in our setup with the Alþingi, is that the signatures we collect are essentially authenticated and guaranteed. We have tied in with the Íslykill (Ice Key) service provided by the Icelandic government. Through this we have users authenticate themselves against the national registry when casting their support or opposition on an issue. This adds a whole new dimension to being able to collect a legitimate measurement of contention on an issue. Unlike software in the past that has simply asked for a postal/zip code and an e­mail address, this would make it very difficult for a politician to contest that any considerable amount of non-legitimate signatures are present. The Ice Key paired with Safety Valve has a myriad of possible utilizations here in Iceland. Coupling the software with further authentication modules will open up Safety Valve to the world.

Removing bias and transparency are two very core concepts we entered into the project with. Initially upon building the software, our sights were set no further than using it for Alþingi. So naturally, given the serious tone of federal politics, we wanted to be as upfront as was possible. Given this, we decided we didn’t want to write any petitions/issues ourselves, in an effort to remove any bias. Traditionally, petition software has a piece of text produced by an individual or an organization with the goal of lobbying something in favor of their beliefs or ideology. While this sometimes is very necessary and works very well, we opted to pull all the bills and motions directly from Alþingi and give the power to the people to let their representatives know how they feel about what is happening in parliament without adding in any of the personal or political biases we all possess. When it comes to transparency, often we found that with traditional petition software, it was very difficult (and often impossible) to look back and see what you had signed and when, never mind redact your signature.

Safety Valve gives each user the ability to see when and if they signed any bills or motions in support or opposition. A feature coming very soon too is the ability to look back and see what your elected representative voted on the issues you chose to sign. We are all human, I think it is an unrealistic expectation to remember everything your representative did throughout their term regarding issues of your interest. Being able to look back at this data may strengthen one’s belief in their representative, or be just cause to re­examine whom they will vote for come next election.

I developed Safety Valve with The Pirate Party of Iceland, most notably Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson, Tómas Jónasson, and Svafar Helgason. Among us we had a common vision of creating an open source project to help residents interact with Alþingi. We all shared a very strong connection to the open source world and it’s ideologies, along with values of openness and transparency. I guess we are just kinda hippies like that. As we worked away on the project and we came closer and closer to releasing it to the public for use with Alþingi, I was approached by someone for whom I have great respect, and he asked me why I wasn’t building a business around this software. After pondering on the different possibilities Safety Valve held, I couldn’t help but start to feel it was a better and a better idea. Now I am to build a business for Safety Valve as Canonical is to Linux. I, and the active developers on the project still hold strong values towards open source technology, but we don’t believe that matters in the slightest in terms of the potential of the software, or the value we can bring to the table for others.

We believe there are so many opportunities to be had with Safety Valve. Not only is this something municipal governments all around the country could use to empower their residents and provide transparency to their actions, this power can also be extended to student governments in universities, special interest groups, day cares, house associations (húsfélag/condo boards), and special events; to name only a few.

I believe people’s opinions matter, a lot. At the end of every transaction, deal, exchange, or interaction, we find people. Everything we do from womb to tomb is from another and for another. Lots of startups are doing amazing things to help people interact with each other and stay connected; I want to build on this growing trend of technology that helps us communicate with each other, to be able to help communicate with the decision makers in our lives, to validate peoples thoughts and opinions, and bring power to where it really belongs, in the hands of each one of us.

May 29, 2014

Startup Iceland – Offer to Startup participants and Startup Energy Reykjavik Investor Day

DeluxeBannersStartup Iceland is coming monday June 2nd. We will have over 250 people who will participate in the Conference. I want to make an offer to all the startups who are participating (and if you are not you should we still have some tickets left, contact me), if you have a pull out banner and want to display it in the coffee meetup area, email me your request. We want all startups in Iceland to take the opportunity to showcase what you are doing. It is impromptu offer, just like your elevator pitch, you never know who you are going to meet but having the pitch ready is valuable. You never know where it leads.

I attended Startup Energy Reykjavik Investor Day yesterday, I was about an hour late as in the hurry burry of organizing everything with Startup Iceland I had totally forgotten about the Investor day. Thank you Einar Gunnar for reminding me. Anyways, I participated, I had met most of the teams as I was a volunteer mentor in the program. I am going to do what we have been lacking in Iceland. I am going to work with one of the teams and invest in the team. We have been deliberating and analyzing every team that comes out of these accelerators, I think that is the wrong way to look at this effort. I think we need to start investing in these teams and take bets and make them win. There is no other way. So, I am putting my money where my mouth is.

Einar Gunnar who has been leading the effort in Iceland as it relates to Accelerators and building a startup community, gave a very good talk and showed the video Brad Feld had made about his book Startup Communities – Building Sustainable Startup Communities in your city. I think it was a great way to close the investor day. We are in such an early stage in Iceland that it is difficult to pick winners. I think Iceland as a Startup location works. I have seen it work and I have CLARA, GreenQloud, Meniga, DataMarket, Mobilitus, Plain Vanilla Games, Guide To Iceland, Modio, and many other startups that I meet everyday to validate that great ideas and companies can be created and developed right here in Iceland. What we need to do is Do More Faster, tinker and learn for the process.

What was also very interesting to me was the data on the number of applications that Startup Reykjavik and Startup Energy Reykjavik received. It continues to grow every year.

These are the teams that presented in Startup Energy Reykjavik:

  • he HTPM Gerosion CenterHTPM GEROSION Center will provide consultation, material testing & specialized R&D work for entities in the geothermal/petroleum industries.
  • BMJ EnergyWe offer total solutions for hydro with focus on micro scale. Designed and built from scratch by BMJ both generator sets and controll units.
  • Sodium Chorate Plant
    Small scale Sodium Chlorate production for export and more efficient use of energy.
  • Landsvarmi
    Organization that finances, sets up and operates heat pumps for central heating of houses.
  • BigEddie
    A novel approach to wind resource assessment using a combination of observations, Large Eddie Simulations (LES) and CFD modeling techniques.
  • PEA Aluminum
    Portable Element Analyzer for real-time data in potrooms.
  • GeoDrone
    GeoDrone is providing services for the geothermal industry. We combine modern technology in UAV with advanced remote sensing (e.g. LIDAR).

 

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May 18, 2014

Startup Iceland Mini Events

nordursaltAs a build up to Startup Iceland at the end of this month, WEDO one of our sponsors and partners started organizing Mini Events to get people talking about startup and entrepreneurial stories, we had stories of Nordur Salt a company focused on making our food experience unique by making one of the best Salt in the world, using sustainable methods and sustainable energy. I think the message is fantastic. I love stories like this, an Entrepreneur going on a journey to build something sustainable and contrarian. Check out their website, and this feature of them in Iceland Design Center, it is really cool. Here is a small video describing the story.

140305_-_iglo_and_indi_1The mini events provides a platform for Entrepreneurs to gather, connect, tell stories and learn from each other what is working and what is not working. I think it is a powerful tool. Startup Communities are made of these kinds of activities. I continue to ask the question, why don’t investors and others who should have an interest to get to know these entrepreneurs and startups show up to these events? What is interesting to me is that there are so many small companies like these that are being created in Iceland, the creative force has been unleashed after the financial collapse in 2008. BTW, Iglo and Indi was formed in 2008. So was Meniga and Startup Iceland and CLARA and DataMarket and GreenQloud and Mobilitus and Plain Vanilla Games and Tulipop and many many more companies. I believe a crisis like what happened in 2008 has really created tremendous economic value in Iceland. I continue to get questions whether the economic troubles of Iceland like the currency controls etc really impact investments, sure it does, but Entrepreneurs and Startups are not thinking about those things, they are focusing on building value and creating products and services that are sustainable, unique and beautiful. Makes me very optimistic about the Startup Community development in Iceland. I have committed 10 years to this journey and I will continue to write about and do everything in my powers to create a vibrant sustainable startup community that is entrepreneur friendly and creates a culture that fosters value creation.

AR-140519160The next story was about Iglo and Indi, a children clothing designer and manufacturer from Iceland. The team at Iglo and Indi have done a great job of marketing their message, putting the kids first in terms of the clothing, comfort and family. It shows in the product the level of attention and care that has gone into making this product come alive. In the age of mass production at the lowest cost, sustainability and design is given the least of the attention.

Our second Startup Iceland mini event got coverage in one of the online newspaper in Iceland, here is the link it is in Icelandic but you get the story. We plan to run these mini events throughout the year to help everyone network, connect and share stories of what is it about being an entrepreneur and building a community of people who are creating value and deciding to take ownership of their lives.

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May 16, 2014

Startup Iceland 2014 Hackathon – What the Hack?

makerbot_wiredHackathons are a timeboxed meetup to build and make something valuable. The Startup Iceland Hackathon is scheduled at Reykjavik University on May 31st and June 1st, did I mention there is a $1000 price money for the best hack. We provide the space, refreshments like Pizza and Caffeine drinks (yes, you will be working through the night) So who can participate? anyone! yes, anyone… and it is free to participate. Have you always had an idea that you just did not take the time to build? bring a couple of your friends and/or partner and form your team and create away. We have seen some amazing things being build within 36 hours during the past two hackathons.

Hackathons usually have a theme and this year’s theme for Startup Iceland is 3D Printing, Mobile and Wearable Computing. We will have two 3D Printers and a bunch of people to help you and make something. There is a maker in all of us, it could be software for the mobile platforms. Have you always wondered how these things get build, just show up and see how small teams come together and build things. We are really starting to see a Maker and Builder culture created in Iceland. You can see that when you walk downtown, there is so much street art and going to the Icelandic Academy of Arts I see so many students who are so creative. What if we could harness all that talent, timebox it for 36 hours, make sure the teams that show up have the tools they need, for example the 3D Printers, Cloud Computing Platform like GreenQloud and companies that are already doing this showcase some of the problems that they are facing and release an API (Application Programming Interface) so you can build something using that.

In addition to that the Guests who are coming to share their ideas in the Startup Iceland Conference are going to be mentors/helpers during the hackathon. If you want to get to know them and learn from them then this is the best 36 hours you can use. BTW, did I mention that Bre Pettis the keynote speaker and founder of MakerBot has been on the cover of the Wired Magazine? Do you want to see how the machine that he has build is changing the world? Register and show up for the Startup Iceland 2014 Hackathon.

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May 13, 2014

Tulipop Founders – Signy and Helga – Speaker Profile – Startup Iceland 2014

map Startup Iceland is almost here, if you have not booked your tickets please do it. We have a great line up of speakers. Two of the speakers are Icelandic Entrepreneurs Signy Kolbeinsdottir and Helga Arnadottir, the founders of Tulipop, a kids adventure land with a bunch of unique characters. What is interesting about these characters is that it breaks some of the stereotypes that we see in kids stories and characters. There is Gloomy, the adventure seeking and courageous female character and Bubble a cheery, fun loving and timid male character. The stories and settings are in an imaginary island. The story of Tulipop is unique in the sense that both the founders came together after the financial collapse and decided that they wanted to create things, Signy the illustrator and creator of all these characters and stories got really stuffy working at things that she was not really passionate about. Helga comes from the project management and MBA background to take the concept to market and build a company that both of them are passionate about. Tulipop characters and merchandises are unique, high quality, very well crafted and made and sold all over the world now.Helga_Arnadottir-342x227 It is a great story, but they are just in the beginning stage of building a great company. Learn how they are building this world that is now being loved by kids all over the world.

It was interesting to visit their office in Hverfisgata, where tourists stop by and buy the merchandize and get autographs from Signy on them. Maybe the tourists visiting Iceland see something in Tulipop. I believe companies like this are abound in Iceland, many ideas are being created and are on the verge of breaking out, but the funny thing is change itself happens immediately, but preparing for change takes time.

signy_kolbeinsdottir-342x227
Mission of Startup Iceland is to build a sustainable startup community in Iceland and to share the journey, so we can learn to build these kinds of communities everywhere. It is a great pleasure to see up coming and break out companies presented in Startup Iceland. The previous entrepreneurs who have presented in Startup Iceland are from companies like Clara, Plain Vanilla Games, reKode (skema), Mobilitus, Re-make Electric, GreenQloud etc all of them have gone ahead and are building great companies. I believe Startup Iceland is a platform for Startups in Iceland to be showcased. If you have a startup and want to participate reach out to me. All the speakers who come to Iceland have been generous to allocate Office Hours on June 3rd in Reykjavik University. All the participants have an opportunity to schedule time with the guests, connect, network and build bridges. I wrote a while back about 2 must have skills to be cultivated by Entrepreneurs and Startup Founders, you get to exercise both of those skills during Startup Iceland. Building a company is a hard job, initiatives like Startup Iceland really help local startups to learn and also to be found. In this hyper connected world of Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, it is very easy to get lost in all the hype, but nothing is more practical and impactful and cost effective than participating in events like this and talking about your startup. Even if you are not a speaker, just being in the audience and networking during the breaks and connecting with other entrepreneurs in Iceland and from around the world can be a unique learning experience. I take every opportunity to meet an Entrepreneur as I learn so much, but it does not happen on its own, we all need to make the effort and take that first step and say yes when opportunity comes knocking. I am excited to learn about Tulipop and where they are going with their vision. Believe me it is not small! They want to give Hello Kitty a run for its money! thats bold…

Here is the video of panel discussion where Thor Fridriksson the founder of Plain Vanilla Games and Sessilja and Vala from Startup Kids talk to John Biggs from TechCrunch.

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May 11, 2014

Design thinking and Iceland Academy of the Arts

 

English: Rotary International emblem

Photo credit: Wikipedia

I have been a Rotarian since 2007, and I have found the weekly Rotary meetings as the most serendipitous discovery machine for connections. Our club called the Reykjavik Rotary International the only english speaking Rotary Club in Iceland had a talk by Dr. Kristín Vala Ragnarsdóttir, Professor of Sustainability ScienceInstitutes of Earth Sciences and Sustainable Development Studies at the University of Iceland. The title of the talk was about Sustainability and how we the consumers have accelerated the screwing up of our environment. The talk was based on a presentation that Kristin had made for Designers, Architects and the Creatives. It was interesting and the discussions that followed were even more interesting, my opinion was quite obvious, I believe Entrepreneurs are the answers to solve some of the most difficult challenges we are facing as a global community like Climate Change. It was one of the reasons that I took on the role of CEO of GreenQloud and I wrote about how exponential growth of anything is not sustainable.

Iceland Academy of the ArtsComing back to what I was planning to blog about was the introduction Kristin made for me with Massimo Santanicchia, the Assistant Professor in Architecture and Director of the course Together – Repair. I attended the final pitch event and there were a number of teams presented their 6 week project report and I was extremely impressed with the designers. I was impressed at the number of students who were taking this course and how many of them were thinking differently on solving challenges. The mash up needed was to get this group of designers to interact with the 3 week Business Model Design and Entrepreneurship course that is concurrently happening at Reykjavik University and we have something here. I am pretty sure a bunch of viable businesses will come out of this collaboration. 

I have written a lot about Team development for Startups, I think design thinking is critical in development of a product or service. Design is not just that the product or service is beautiful to look at or experience but design is how beautifully the product or service works. It is hard not to fall in love with a product or service that has been designed beautifully.

I am looking to get all the students that I saw in the class to participate in Startup Iceland and in the Hackathon. I am pretty sure they will make the connections with the Entrepreneurs and some of these ideas will get implemented into a business.

Check out this video by one of the teams, really impressive.

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May 7, 2014

Ragnheidur Elin Arnadottir – Hon. Minister of Industry and Commerce – Speaker Profile – Startup Iceland 2014

I have had the pleasure of meeting the Honorable Minister of Industry and Commerce of Iceland Ms. Ragnheidur Elin Arnadottir a number of times. I have been deeply impressed with her understanding of the Startup and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem development and the role Government and other institutions play in it. She was the first Minister that I know of (not that I know a lot of them :)), who reached out to all the Startups right after she took office and went down and met with them to get feedback on what the Government could do better for the Startup Community. This level of engagement is unheard of in any context. I had the pleasure of giving her office a 10 point action plan when the management team of GreenQloud met with her. She has been true to her word in supporting initiatives and talking for the Startup Community. She has had personal engagement with Startup founders and Entrepreneurs and really has made the effort to participate, debate and bring issues in front of the Parliament to move things forward in Iceland. I am quite positive about the support Startups and Entrepreneurs will get in Iceland with her as the Minister of Industry and Commerce. She has done a great job so far of balancing the needs of large industries as well as the Startup community by supporting initiatives that promote growth, activity and industry in Iceland

We are very pleased to have her as one of the keynote speakers for Startup Iceland this year. Here is a brief profile.
Ragnheidur-Elin-Arnadottir-h

 

Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir became Minister of Industry and Commerce on 23 May 2013. Ms Árnadóttir is an MP of the Independence party and served as chairman of the party caucus 2010-2012.

After graduating from the Women’s College in Reykjavík, she completed a BA degree from the University of Iceland in 1991 and subsequently an MS degree in international relations from Georgetown University in the US.

From 1995-1998 she worked for the Icelandic Export Council.

Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir was the political advisor to the Minister of Finance 1998-2005, to the Minister of Foreign Affairs 2005-2006 and to the Prime Minister 2006-2007.

Parliamentary Career

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February 13, 2014

Leadership – Lesson 1- Vision

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Every leadership initiative starts with a Vision, “I have a Dream!” speech by Dr.Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela‘s Vision for South Africa built on equality and reconciliation or Mahatma Gandhi‘s Vision for Free, Democratic and Self Governed India are the quintessential examples. I believe strongly that everyone… I mean everyone, starting from a child to the President of Great Nations need to live by a vision. When the vision becomes clear leadership emanates from it. I don’t believe everyone starts with knowing the path, however having a vision is paramount. I will bring it to the context of Entrepreneurship and Startups. I meet a lot of entrepreneurs as part of the Startup Program that we launched in GreenQloud and because of the work that I have been doing in Startup Iceland. One of the biggest challenges that I pose to the Entrepreneurs is asking the WHY question. Why do they feel whatever it is that they are building is worth anyone’s time? What is the vision behind the effort? Without taking any names I would like to give an example, a very talented individual, excellent at selling and had a very successful career in Media and now wants to do a Startup. He has a very talented partner who is technical and the team behind them is quite good in Mobile Application Development. They had built a framework that allows media or telecom companies to deliver content to the Mobile Device. Not an easy thing to do. However, every time they request a meeting with me it ends up in a discussion where I am challenging their vision. Here is a classic case of a Solution trying to find a problem. One day it is a solution to the Media companies the other day it helps restaurants owners and what not. I believe this is the wrong way to build a Startup. The team is extremely talented and they are able to make ends meet due to their development experience and there are always more Professional Services need for new technology development like the Mobile Platform or HTML5 or whatever else technology that is going to come up in the future.

Entrepreneurs are leaders whether you like it or not, starting anything takes Vision, Discipline and Strategy. I also wrote about just having the Vision is not enough but you absolutely need to have one, otherwise there is no purpose. One of the popular posts that I wrote was titled “My Vision for Iceland“, it got one of the best viewings.

To summarise, Leadership lesson #1 is to Have a Vision, Create a Vision, focus on a Vision.

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February 6, 2014

Blendin – A Startup Profile

BlendinThis the second startup profile for 2014. Blendin in a Mobile first private social network, mainly to enable your smaller circle of friends to socialize, meetup and share. I can see how this could be valuable for a younger generation which pretty much want to hang out with their group of friends and they don’t want their Moms and Dads watching what they are doing. Facebook was suppose to be that but then it became popular with everyone, a big reason why many of the younger generation users have moved over to Instagram and the like. I believe this trend will continue, so there is a space for Blendin.

I met Kristjan Ingi the CTO of Blendin when he sent me a unsolicited message on Facebook letting me know about this website that he had created called apis.is, he had taken all the public data that was available in Iceland and had created an Open API on it. He wanted to participate in the GreenQloud Hackathon by sharing his website and contributing his API so the participating teams could build something using the API. I asked him to show up and he did, I was surprised that he was still in high school and was tall and lanky. He was extremely talented and he followed up with participating in the UT Messan Hackathon last year once again hosted by GreenQloud and he won the hackathon. I immediately asked him if he would join Team GreenQloud and he did. He was just brilliant in everything that was going on in us scaling GreenQloud. 3 months into the role, he reached out to me and said that he wanted to go do his own startup! My first reaction was WHAT? you are 20 years old, just out of high school and you are getting trained in GreenQloud about how to build a company and you don’t have the patience to stick around a little longer to really understand what it means to be part of a startup? … then I realised, his heart was with his buddies who were doing a startup called Blendin. I told him that he should go and do what his heart tells him to do. I have to admit it was really hard thing to do because it was particularly a tough time with Team GreenQloud as we were going through some rough issues with stability and all that comes with building a company.

I met David the CEO of Blendin, when he was part of another startup that was one of the teams in Startup Reykjavik. That startup was trying to build a roller coaster in Iceland, I could see that David was not the driving force behind the company. I met Asgeir, their designer through Kristjan Ingi, as we were looking to hire a designer for GreenQloud.

teens-leaving-facebookWhen I first heard about the concept of Blendin, I was not really convinced but I realised the target audience for this app is not me. These guys are all in their late teens and what do I know how to relate to that group? So I decided to put my prejudice away and decided that I will help them in whatever way I can. They asked me to join their advisory board and I did.

The team has decided that they are going to go to Silicon Valley and try to get traction there. I think it is a bold strategy, obviously a lot of wrinkles need to be ironed out. I think this is one of the hardest things that you do as a mentor, even if you believe something looks like a long shot, but take the time to be listener and let the entrepreneur find their own path. It is difficult but you have to do it. No one knows what works, the best way to learn is to tinker and try things. I am helping this team find their way.

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January 26, 2014

Learning from Failures – Better Place

Shai Agassi

Shai Agassi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I believe Iceland is the best place for Electric Vehicles, and it was one of the first ideas that I thought I should work on right after the finance collapse of iceland in 2008. I even went to the then Finance Minister of Iceland and proposed to him a plan to incentivize the Electric Vehicle adoption in Iceland. I started blogging about all the Electric Vehicle ideas that were floating around in 2009, here I was writing about how “Iceland A Better Place“. You can see that I was impressed that Shai Agassi, the founder and CEO of Better Place was able to garner so much support all the way from the President of Israel to CEO of Renault and getting countries like Denmark, Australia and Israel to signup with his company to re-build the electric charging station infrastructure. Well, Better Place filed for bankruptcy on May 26, 2013 and the assets of the company was liquidated for $450,000 after private investors had poured over $850 million yes you heard it right, almost a Billion dollars. That is a spectacular failure.

What can we learn from this failure? I have pinged Shai Agassi to see if he would be interested to come and participate in Startup Iceland to share his thoughts and experience in this failure. I admire Shai for his courage and I think there are valuable lessons to be learnt from this. I still believe Electric Vehicles will replace majority of our transportation in the future, however it is going to take time. Here is Brad talking about “The Future of Transportation“. I don’t know enough to say what went wrong, but I am sure we can make educated guesses. It is always easy to look back and connect the dots either on success or failure, but for those who are walking the path it is a different story.

IMHO, Better Place did not do good customer validation or built a good Business Model Canvas to understand what are the main pain points in-terms of adoption of their mode of transportation. In addition, they took on the most expensive of the routes to change infrastructure. It is difficult to change infrastructure ground up. That is why what we are doing at GreenQloud is different, we are not asking companies to change how they use Cloud Computing but if given a choice where all things equal would someone choose a more sustainable, cleaner and easier to use alternative than what is available in the market for Cloud Solutions? and the overwhelming majority of the answer is a resounding Yes! We are also extremely bootstrapped, a different business model than Better Place. Spending money is easy, but building a sustainable business is more than raising money and spending it, it is about creating value to a point where the Value Proposition is so obvious that you reduce your odds of failure.

Why did I start thinking about Shai Agassi and my blog post from 2009? well, I am reading and listening to the book “Startup Nation“, and it is fascinating what Israel has done as it relates to Entrepreneurial Ecosystem development and the Government Policy framework that has created some outstanding results.

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