280: What must you avoid to fall in the pit of failure? In the Making w/ William Bao Bean and Sebastien Gaudin (NSH2)
Host Nishtha Mehta explores, uncovers and brings to light ‘In the making’ backstories of Asian Leaders – from startup entrepreneurs to corporate intrapreneurs and visionaries. What they have built is not a done job, it is very much ‘in the making’ – it has exclamation marks, commas, question marks, spaces and celebratory full stops – but it continues – still ‘in the making’. #NishHosts series
[02:40] Let's put this very interesting podcast conversation in the context: William runs an accelerator. Sebastien runs a startup which was part of the accelerator program and now in scale up phase, and me as the podcast host, as well as, accelerator mentor....
[10:07] What's the difference between being a founder and entrepreneur? William Bao Bean , General Partner at SOSV, Managing Director at Chinaccelerator and MOX explains why founders have to be entrepreneurs. There can't be one without the other. Most normal people don't put all their eggs in one basket. They don't quit their jobs, use up all their savings to try and do something that has not been done before. Entrepreneurs take risks to try change the world and make a significant difference. They are trying to change the way things are being done.
[11:33] Nishtha - "People often ask me if being an entrepreneur is in the DNA or can be learnt". William: "We are part of a long term study. HPDI. Shows how you make decisions. How you make trade offs. People are pre disposed to being risk takers. Opposite of that is like a CTO. We don't take too many risk mitigators in our start ups because working for a start up drives you nuts. We invest in people who are kind of crazy and we use the accelerator program to filter out the insane ones"
[13:53] In the Making podcast is a great opportunity to say thank you to many who contributed to your journey and success and how they shaped you. We don't say enough thank you's. This is a great moment to share with the listeners...
[23:05] What are the factors that contribute to a successful acceleration of a start up or acceleration of a new service/product?
1. EXPERIMENTATION. The first factor is being open to coaching and experimentation. Other factors include persistence. There might be a lot of failures but still you have to keep smashing your head against the wall over and over again. We try very hard to not tell our companies what to do. But we make a lot of suggestions on what to try. And people who are willing to jump off the cliff and try a bunch of new things, even if in the heart of their hearts they think it might not work, nonetheless they try are often the ones who succeed.
2. NOT GIVING UP. So it takes a certain type of personality to try lots and lots of different things over and over again that don't work, becuase in the end you are trying to solve a problem that hasn't been solved before or isnt being solved properly so you are trying to come up with a better solution.
3. THE RIGHT TEAM. Team is what we look at. It's not always about the product. The founder has to be passionate enough to make these first two factors work
[27:09] In the making of any new innovation- product or service is about failures too. Any examples?
Sebastien: The fact that i picked up the set of team that i did at start, was a failure. It didn't let us go through this iterations, adaptations and learn and develop fast enough. It took us 2 years to come to the DNA of where we are now. Ofcourse we learnt a lot in this period. But we lost time. Team was too young and not complimentary enough.
William: My first startup was a pretty low point. I took my own money and couple of friends while i was still at Soft Bank. First mistake - doing a startup without being 100% focussed. Second mistake - the team combo. Third mistake - I was a bad CEO.
[33:10]Sebastien Gaudin , CEO & Co-founder at The CareVoice and William share three tips for start ups to totally avoid to fall in the pit of failure. Few -
"Opinions are like noses. Everyone has them. Take opinions under advise-ment. You need to know when to apply and where and use that to drive your experiments. and make decisions based on data as opposed to somebody's opinion"
"No marketing expense until you have your product/service taking off. Product-Market fit. I burnt cash when i started off and you don't need that at all. Start with your brand and your team"....
[34:48] - Show finale. Rapid fire round between the host and the guests.
What other professional other than your current would you like to attempt?
What are you not good at?
How do you manage anger?
How do you manage stress?
What's coming up next - In the Making for The Care Voice and Chinaccelerator
What would you like to ask to the network of listeners and Asia Tech Podcast. Make the ask
Working in a different country. Why should you consider working in a different country other than your home country?
"Commit to the uncomfortable" - #NishHosts Show - IN THE MAKING
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