Posts tagged ‘Twitter’

June 30, 2014

Disrupting Disruption

If you have not read the article by Jill Lepore in the New Yorker titled “The Disruption Machine – What the gospel of innovation gets wrong“, I recommend you do and the rebuttal by the father of disruptive innovation Clayton Christensen. A number of people have gone on Twitter sphere defending the theory of disruptive innovation and others nostalgic to the romantic writing of Jill Lepore seem to take stabs at the whole notion of disruption. Given that I have written a lot about Clayton Christensen’s work and I have read most of his books from the Innovator’s Dilemma to Seeing what’s next, I think it is only a matter of time before I share my 2 cents.

When I read the article by Jill, I felt, she as an author was feeling disrupted and wanted nothing to do with it. She just wanted the whole business of journalism be left alone. The way to go about doing that is to take stabs at the narrative of the father of Innovator’s Dilemma, his methods, his data and his work. Fair enough, it is a free world and anyone can write what they want. However, she falls into the same trap of repeating the same mistakes that she accuses Clay of. What can you say? Journalists and story tellers are no different, actually if anything they are more inclined to build narratives based on anecdotal observations, yours truly included.

I do believe that the theory of Disruption holds water, we have seen traditional businesses disrupted due to advancements in technology, networks and software based services running on the cloud. Clay has been the only scholar to have tried to explain the transformation and also come up with some prescriptions to manage the changes. The most fascinating thing about his theory is that it is still being played out. The thing about theory is that it can be proven wrong. If Jill wants to prove that Clay’s theory is wrong the best way to go about doing that has been documented by my favorite author Nassim Nicholas Taleb through his thinking on the idea of Black Swans. The best way to prove that a theory is wrong is to show examples of cases where the assumptions of the theory are wrong. I don’t plan to go deep into this or talk about the assumptions but my attempt here is to say that the Theory of Innovator’s Dilemma and Disruption is live and kicking and playing out until we can see a Black Swan that shows that this is not the case I think we should continue to look for the symptoms and prepare for the disruptive technologies to displace incumbents.

There are many biases playing out on my taking the above stance, confirmation bias and selection bias, what can I say I am human and I am fallible. I reserve the right to change my mind about theories and things that I believe. IMHO, smart people that I have met usually are open to changing their mind when they see evidence or data or arguments that are compelling. I am not as smart as many of those people, but the best way to become smart is to mimic their models and behaviors.

June 18, 2014

Bitcoins and Iceland

Bitcoin Wallpaper (2560x1600)

Bitcoin Wallpaper (2560×1600) (Photo credit: PerfectHue)

I had a Twitter debate and discussion with Chris Dixon about Bitcoins in Iceland. I have to say I was rather disappointed by the lack of vision on the part of a Venture Capitalist and Investor who is much respected by the community. Here is what boiled my noodles:

Here is a list of tweets that I posted to counter that:

 

Coming back to my argument, I think Bitcoins work in Iceland. We need to accommodate the policy around that. There is Auroracoin which has been mined and distributed to all Icelanders, it could be the basis for conversion. We just need startups that interface with Auroracoin and Bitcoin thereby facilitate a transaction mechanism that could enable a Cryptocurrency and Digital currency in Iceland. I don’t predict the future, but one can see the value and cost associated with Bitcoins. I am pretty sure that Bitcoins will become one of the transaction mechanism on the internet.

Here is an open challenge to Chris Dixon, to counter his statement that no-one will invest in Iceland until a policy change is made about Bitcoins. I will invest in Iceland in any Startup that is focusing on Bitcoins and Iceland. I think he is wrong, Iceland is the best place for things like this. I remember in 2009, when I heard people saying the same things, Iceland will never recover and Iceland will have no investors after this financial collapse well what happened in the last 5 years? Iceland is the only country in the OECD nations to actually start growing again faster than any other country. Who invested in Iceland? Icelanders did and I pretty sure if a compelling case is made for Cryptocurrency I believe Icelanders will invest in it as well.

What do you think?

June 13, 2014

Why the publishing industry is broken – John Biggs – Startup Iceland 2014

John is funny and says it as he sees it. Here is a story of John working on a book with a publisher and then working on another book by himself. The talk highlights whats wrong with the publishing business. I think it outlines the challenges most established businesses have with the advent of the new networked model of connected consumers, businesses and value drivers. I think we are on the verge of a break out in rethinking business models and the ways we do things.

To give more data to support the notion that the publishing business is broken, read this post by Brad Feld on why he launched a brand new publishing company called FG Press

June 12, 2014

Why we don’t need a “Silicon” something in Iceland – Ben Kepes – Startup Iceland 2014

I really enjoyed the talk by Ben Kepes, who travels extensively and participates in various conferences as speaker, evangelist and technology blogger and investor. His advice for Iceland made the headlines in the local newspapers. I think he is right, there is only one Silicon Valley and we should not try to create a community with a name that has “Silicon” in it. I like Startup Iceland :) as a name for the Startup Community in Iceland.

It was interesting to read the Twitter Argument between Mark Suster and Kara Swisher about the story that was written by Nellie Bowles on Silicon Beach to describe the LA Tech Community.

 

Mark hates the name and it was interesting for me to read that and relate it back to what Ben was saying. I think every community should have the Silicon Valley mindset i.e Anything is possible, failure is another way to learn and people willing to take chances on each other to create value. When there is a lot of money involved a number of these things gets skewed. I don’t know enough about Silicon Valley to comment on it but Ben does. Listen to his talk, there are wise words there.

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 10, 2014

Net Neutrality, Startup Communities and Permissionless Innovation

permissionlessinnovationIf you have not noticed what is happening to Net Neutrality and the FCC’s vote on May 15th you really need to. Fred Wilson of USV has written an Open Letter to the FCC Chairman and most of the prominent Venture Firms have signed up. This is an important debate although it is being fought in the US, it impacts all the startup communities around the world. Europe has actually got it right and the way this was done was through legislation, the last mile is the main problem and by legislating that the last mile also be treated like all of the network, the consumer can choose any service provider irrespective of which provider she choose first, think of it like buying a mobile phone with no long term contract and if you don’t like the call dropping just switch the SIM card and get better service. The US has a big problem in this because of consolidation, there are relatively very few players like Comcast, Verizon, Fox Netw, CenturyLink etc and the choices in front of the consumer are quite limited. Here is a video that defines the problem and the challenges. This also opens up opportunities to small startup communities like Iceland to provide a stable ground to do permission-less innovation and disruption. This was the original idea that I wrote about a while back based on Brad Burnham’s blog post, that Iceland has an opportunity to be the “Internet Enterprise Zone”

Here is the open letter written by Fred and signed by most of the VC community:

The Honorable Tom Wheeler, Chairman

Federal Communications Commission

445 12th Street, SW

Washington D.C. 20554

May 8, 2014

Dear Chairman Wheeler:

We write to express our support for a free and open Internet.  

We invest in entrepreneurs, investing our own funds and those of our investors (who are individuals, pension funds, endowments, and financial institutions).  We often invest at the earliest stages, when companies include just a handful of founders with largely unproven ideas. But, without lawyers, large teams or major revenues, these small startups have had the opportunity to experiment, adapt, and grow, thanks to equal access to the global market.  As a result, some of the startups we have invested in have managed to become among the most admired, successful, and influential companies in the world.

We have made our investment decisions based on the certainty of a level playing field and of assurances against discrimination and access fees from Internet access providers. Indeed, our investment decisions in Internet companies are dependent upon the certainty of an equal-opportunity marketplace.

Based on news reports and your own statements, we are worried that your proposed rules will not provide the necessary certainty that we need to make investment decisions and that these rules will stifle innovation in the Internet sector.

If established companies are able to pay for better access speeds or lower latency, the Internet will no longer be a level playing field. Start-ups with applications that are advantaged by speed (such as games, video, or payment systems) will be unlikely to overcome that deficit no matter how innovative their service. Entrepreneurs will need to raise money to buy fast lane services before they have proven that consumers want their product. Investors will extract more equity from entrepreneurs to compensate for the risk. Internet applications will not be able to afford to create a relationship with millions of consumers by making their service freely available and then build a business over time as they better understand the value consumers find in their service (which is what Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Reddit, Dropbox and virtually other consumer Internet service did to achieve scale).

Instead, creators will have to ask permission of an investor or corporate hierarchy before they can launch. Ideas will be vetted by committees and quirky passion projects will not get a chance. An individual in dorm room or a design studio will not be able to experiment out loud on the Internet. The result will be greater conformity, fewer surprises, and less innovation.

Further, investors like us will be wary of investing in anything that access providers might consider part of their future product plans for fear they will use the same technical infrastructure to advantage their own services or use network management as an excuse to disadvantage competitive offerings.  Policing this will be almost impossible (even using a standard of “commercial reasonableness”) and access providers do not need to successfully disadvantage their competition; they just need to create a credible threat so that investors like us will be less inclined to back those companies.

We need simple, strong, enforceable rules against discrimination and access fees, not merely against blocking.

We encourage the Commission to consider all available jurisdictional tools at its disposal in ensuring a free and open Internet that rewards, not disadvantages, investment and entrepreneurship.

Sincerely,

Puneet Agarwal, True Ventures

Sam AltmanY Combinator

Kristian Andersen, Gravity Ventures

Sherman Atkinson, Miramar Digital Ventures

Phineas Barnes, First Round Capital

Phil Black, True Ventures

Brady Bohrmann, Avalon Ventures

Mike Brown, Jr., Bowery Capital

Douglas W. Burke, Angel Investor

Brad Burnham, Union Square Ventures

Jeffrey Bussgang, Flybridge Capital Partners

John Buttrick, Union Square Ventures

Jon Callaghan, True Ventures

Jeff Carter, Hyde Park Angels

Joe Chung, Redstar Ventures

Michael Collett, Promus Ventures

Tony Conrad, True Ventures

Ron Conway, SV Angel

Fred Coulson, Five Elms Capital

Owen Davis, NYC Seed

Tej Dhawan, Nestmint and Plains Angels

Gil Dibner, DFJ Esprit

Roger Dickey, Rocket Street Ventures

Chris Dixon, Andreessen Horowitz

Liam Donohue, .406 Ventures

Bob Dorf, Investor and Entrepreneurial Educator

Bill Draper, Draper Richards

Nicholas Eisenberger, Pure Energy Partners

Roger Ehrenberg, IA Ventures

Brad Feld, Foundry Group

Stephen Findlay, Angel Investor

Ryan Floyd, Storm Ventures

Chris Fralic, First Round Capital

Christopher Forbes, Angel Investor

David Frankel, Founder Collective

Christie George, New Media Ventures

Rob Go, Next View Ventures

Matt Golden, Golden Venture Partners

Matthew Greenfield, Rethink Education

Nick Grossman, Union Square Ventures

Bruce Hallett, Miramar Digital Ventures

Rick Heitzmann, FirstMark Capital

Troy Henikoff, TechStars

Eric Hippeau, Lerer Ventures

Bob Holmen, Miramar Venture Partners

Rob Hutter, Learn Capital

Nabeel A. Hyatt, Spark Capital

Mark Jacobsen, OATV

Deborah Jackson, Angel Investor

Jodi Sherman Jahic, Aligned Partners

Nikhil Kalghatgi, Vast Ventures

Mitch Kapor, Kapor Capital

Jon Karlen, Atlas Venture

Josh Kopelman, First Round Capital

Manu Kumar, K9 Ventures

David Lee, SV Angel

Kenneth Lerer, Lerer Ventures

Robert Levitan, Angel Investor

Adam Lilling, Plus Capital

John Lilly, Greylock Partners

Howard Lindzon, Social Leverage

Trevor Loy, Flywheel Ventures

Om Malik, True Ventures

Kanyi Maqubela, Collaborative Fund

Jason Mendelson, Foundry Group

Josh Mendelsohn, Hattery

Aaron Merriman, Eurovestech PLC

Ann Miura-Ko, Floodgate

Howard Morgan, First Round Capital

Dave Morin, Slow Ventures

Dave Moylan, Yenni Capital

Kevin Murphy, Angel Investor

David J. Namdar, SolidX Partners

Farzad (Zod) Nazem, Angel Investor

Jason Neal, Jumpstart Capital

Jerry Neumann, Neu.vc

Tim O’Reilly, OATV

Alexis Ohanian, Initialized Capital

David Pakman, Venrock

Eric Paley, Founder Collective

Andrew Parker, Spark Capital

Massimiliano Pellegrini, Angel Investor

William Peng, Red Swan Ventures

Matt Penneycard, PCB Capital

Perry Rahbar, Rahbar Angel

Sameer Rashid, Pure Energy Partners

Naval Ravikant, AngelList

Eric Ries, Angel Investor & Author

Neil Rimer, Index Ventures

David Ristow, Eurovestech PLC

Bryce Roberts, OATV

James Robinson, RRE Ventures

John Ruffolo, OMERS Ventures

Chris Sacca, Lowercase Capital

Ahsun Saleem, Clippership International

Ted Sapountzis, Angel Investor

Eric Satz, TNCV Fund

Toni Schneider, True Ventures

Andrew Schoen, New Enterprise Associates

Jason Schoettler, Shea Ventures

Christopher M. Schroeder, Venture Investor

Jonathan Seelig, Globespan Capital Partners

Rishi Shah, Jumpstart Ventures

KJ Singh, Techstars

Jim Stewart, True Ventures

Tim Streit, Huron River Ventures

Mike Stubler, Draper Triangle Ventures

Brad Svrluga, High Peaks Venture Partners

Mark E. Swanson, Lane Five Ventures

Brett Topche, MentorTech Ventures

Brent S. Traidman, Fenox Venture Capital

Hunter Walk, Homebrew

Matt Walters, Ardent Capital

Andrew Weissman, Union Square Ventures

Albert Wenger, Union Square Ventures

Boris Wertz, Version One Ventures

Andy White, Vegas Tech Fund

Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures

Sam Yagan, Corazon Capital LLC

Namek Zu’bi, Silicon Badia

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May 8, 2014

Thubten Comerford – Speaker Profile – Startup Iceland 2014

ThubtenHeadshot-305x460We have over 2.4 billion people online now and about 2 billion are on the way. In this hyper connected world no longer are you selling your product or service in your neighbourhood, you customers are everyone who is connected to the Internet. As exciting as that sounds, it is not always obvious or easy to get in front of all these people and get them to consider your value proposition or buy your product or service. If you are an entrepreneur the most difficult part of building a company is building an audience and converting a large percentage of those who listen to become your customer. Building an audience is hard, believe me I take a lot of meetings with entrepreneurs and they throw words like Search Engine Optimization, Social Media leveraging and also we will find the “Growth Hacker”, yeah! right! There is no easy way to build an audience, getting in front of a million people is bloody hard. I don’t care what Facebook says, they have changed their algorithm to a point where you have to pay to get in front of the audience. Well, that is Facebook’s prerogative. That is why I am so excited to hear about how one of our guests to Startup Iceland Thubten Comerford has built his audience. He has been named the most connected individual on LinkedIn. If you are an entrepreneur or a startup founder or even an established business, you need to attend his talk. He is going to talk about how he built his audience. Here is a brief profile of Thubten. Thank you Helga Waage to connect me to Thubten.

Acknowledged by Business Insider as one of the “Best Connected Entrepreneurs” in the world, Thubten Comerford is a seasoned business builder who actively mentors startup founders in Portland, Oregon, and across North America.

He has interviewed hundreds of startup founders for his blog, Startup Weekly, which he co-founded in 2010.

Thubten’s primary business is his social marketing agency, WePost Media Social Marketing, which provides social marketing for businesses of any size. With more than 1/4 million followers on his personal and business Twitter profiles, he is a demonstrated master of audience building.

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April 20, 2014

Why I love Twitter

Danielle Morielle Tweet Roll

Started writing this post before I left Iceland for Boston to run the Boston Marathon did not get time to publish it… better late than never, there are some gems in this Tweet Roll from Danielle. Check it out. This is one of the reasons I love Twitter!

If you have not been following Danielle Morrill on Twitter you should. She came to Iceland and spoke at a TEDx Reykjavik Event. Last night or until 3 hours ago GMT, she has been tweeting a storm on startup advice. It was awesome summary of all the things that I and many others try to write in long form. The tweets go with the hashtag dmorOH. Just simple stuff that every entrepreneur needs to keep in mind. There is a tribe of people who are going through the same things as you are, so connect with them and share with them and try to learn from them, that is way of the Force.

 

 

 

 

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April 14, 2014

Investor-Startup Ecosystem

goldengatebridge

The blog post is motivated by an article by knowledge@wharton business school with the title “The Next Generation of Investor-Startup Ecosystem“. I have written a lot about the need for Investors to be empathetic to Startup Founders and how value gets destroyed when that does not happen. I have seen it too often that Investors arbitrarily change the dynamics of a discussion with the Entrepreneur especially when it is time to commit on the amount of investment and value of the investment. There was also a blog post on Wall Street Journal based on a Twitter burst by Marc Andreessen about investors coming into Silicon Valley and get ahead of the other local investors by initially suggesting a very high value to the Entrepreneur only to use the Due Diligence phase to negotiate the value down and also to box out the Entrepreneur. A lot of dirty tricks to watch out for especially if you are an Entrepreneur and new to the game. These discussions also show an ominous sign that things are starting to get too frothy in the Startup Universe especially in Silicon Valley. A number of startups are taking in more money than they ever will need for the next 3 to 5 years.

 

Macro trends matter, the time of cheap money will end and then the cost of funding will go up and then this froth will dry up, taking that into account many large startups like Quora, Uber, Fab etc have taken in multiple Tens of millions of dollars. Here is the article that outlines this trend. All this being said, the important thing that remaining is the struggle of the entrepreneur and those investors who stand on the side of the entrepreneur to say be strong as I am on your side. I see so little of that with the investor community. I struggle a lot with the same challenges that I write about. My dream is that we are able to create a vibrant Startup Community in Iceland. I am happy to see that entrepreneurs have more options now with accelerators and the flurry of discussion arounds money flowing into the entrepreneurial companies, however ventures follow a power law where the top 1% take majority of the funds. Despite all these challenges if entrepreneurs have bargaining power to demand that Investors bring more than money into the game, that would be a great win. Here are some excerpts from the article by Wharton which I thought was great:

 

As investors ask for proof of sustainability, startups in turn want backers to help them grow instead of just writing a check. The explosion of incubators and accelerators like Y-Combinator, 500 Startups, RocketSpace, Rock Health, Plug and Play and others is in large part attributable to this need. Even many institutional VC firms, such as Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins, and Sequoia, are selling more than money. “Other things like the operational metrics, recruiting capability, marketing and industry expertise and connections, these things have become hugely important,” says Chaudhuri.

 

Did I mention that I am big believer in Accelerators? I think creating more accelerators that are focused on specific industries is another way to create better Investor-Startup Ecosystem, for example there was a suggestion to create an accelerator in Iceland focused on Tourism and Hospitality. I think that is awesome, creates so many tangents of value that it solves big challenges for Investors and Entrepreneurs. I love the following video that shows the relationship between the some of the Entrepreneurs and Venture Investors. I would build the same relationship with every entrepreneur that I will back. That is a promise.

 

 

 

 

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May 24, 2013

3 reasons why you should attend Startup Iceland

I am the Master of my fate

I am the Master of my fate

I have been debating this internally, I would really like your feedback on this. Do you feel that there is value in a conference like Startup Iceland? I think there should be, here are my reasons:

  1. Inspiration and Knowledge: The purpose of events and conferences is not just to listen to someone talk about their success but to get inspired to act. Take ownership of challenges and act on them. Having people who have walked that path share their experiences gives us motivation and courage. My guess is if you hear some of the speakers share their troubles and tribulations, you may say, hey, that does not sound so bad maybe I can do it. I think we have a fantastic line of speakers, any conference around the world would love to have this roaster…
  2. Networking: One of the most popular blog posts that I wrote was about the 2 Must have skills for Entrepreneurs, you guessed it right it is Networking and Selling. During the conference, you as an entrepreneur get the opportunity to have a booth where you can sell your idea and while doing that get a fantastic chance to network with local participants as well as all the guests who are coming into to Iceland. The guests who are coming are curious about Iceland and want to learn more about it and guess what you are the expert there, you live in Iceland. It is a fantastic opportunity for you to present Iceland and your company or your idea or your dream, whatever to build a relationship with someone across the pond. Having contacts around the world is invaluable to doing business. If your idea takes off and you need to go sell it in the US or Europe or wherever, having someone who you have met, connected in Iceland gives an excellent bridge into whatever you need to do in that persons home market. Don’t believe me ask Gunnar Holmsteinn, how he built CLARA’s presence in Silicon Valley. It is all networking and building relationships.
  3. Participation: Not everyone has the time or the energy to organize events like what we are trying to do with Startup Iceland, but we are doing this to bring value to the Startup and Entrepreneurial Community here in Iceland. We have fantastic press coverage, a lot of people want to come to Iceland and see this miracle of a recovery that is happening in Iceland. Dont you want to participate in this transformation? How can you contribute? well, it is simple, just show up! if you don’t have time to volunteer, then you can take the time to attend the event. There are 3 events, the Hackathon which does not require any fee, you just need to have a computer and know how to write software programs in any language, we provide the food, drinks and all the help you need to build something of value. The last hackathon winner got recruited into GreenQloud and the solution he build was released as a service by Twitter 2 week after he had built it. So, you don’t have software development skills no worries, show up for the Unconference event, where all we need is for you to participate and share your ideas on how to build a sustainable, antifragile startup/entrepreneurial ecosystem in Iceland and in the world over. All of us have ideas, here is a platform for you to contribute. You are shy and don’t want to do that, no worries, the 3rd event is a simple conference where you just participate and listen to those who have walked the path.

…all this being said, I hear people complain about the cost of the conference. I believe very strongly that the ticket price to participate in Startup Iceland is an Investment not an expense. An investment you are making in yourself, your company or your idea or your dream. Why would you not want to invest to build yourself? rather than focusing on the cost, focus on the value, what is the value you derive from participating? If you don’t think there is value in this event, I want to hear about it please share it with me, I have my email in the public domain it is bala at startupiceland dot com. We are here to build something and those who give feedback do it only when they care. So please care!

We had the same discussion last year, and I wrote a blog post on who should attend the event. Lets talk about costs, it costs thousands of ISK to get a flight ticket, hotel room etc to go to a similar event outside of Iceland. It should be obvious that having all these speakers come to Iceland would be beneficial to the local Entrepreneurial community. Still people complain. All I say is try organizing an event like this and provide food, drinks, venue for 250+ participants, flight tickets to 9 guests, hotels, taxi etc I have thrown the challenge out to many people, you have better ideas to organize this event please contact me and tell me how we can do this better. Every member of the group that is organizing Startup Iceland is a volunteer, none of us get paid to do this and if you thought this does not take time and effort, please reach out to me I will buy you coffee and you can tell me how we can do this better. I am not an expert but I am committed and motivated to build a startup ecosystem in Iceland to help the future enterpreneurs… help me to help them. Participate! nothing happens by magic or miracles, it is the age old saying, a lot of blood, sweat and tears have been spilt to build society. This effort is no different.

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