With everything going on in the world’s financial crisis. And with me in the midst of going to Silicon Valley to build my next venture, the only thing that worries my really is the big government “rescue-packages” that many countries are too busy doing.
I am fairly certain that some of these bail-out efforts are necessary, but most are just either making it worse or building up for a major financial crisis in the future (in bigger proportions than we are seeing today), or being a real-world version of Ayn Rands Atlas Shrugged.
Jay at Growthink wrote a good blog-post, about letting America’s Entrepreneurs “breathe again”, this is something that Europe should pick, up, so Entrepreneurs, write your politicians and share your thoughts, I am going to write the one’s I voted for.
Today I received an e-mail from the CEO of my US bank.
Sometimes it seems like I collect banks, and you might need to when you are a parallel entrepreneur with companies in different parts of the world. So to say the least I have some experience with banks and how they work with your personal finances as an entrepreneur and as a entrepreneur or CEO of a early stage company.
I will not quote the complete e-mail (because it was probably not intended for wider distribution), but a short excerpt shows SVB’s focus:
We remain focused on our mission to help entrepreneurial companies succeed and have taken the necessary steps to ensure we are able to continue to do so. ….. We see it both as our responsibility, and our opportunity.
In these challenging economic times, know that we are here for you and will do our best to help you succeed. I believe open and frequent communication is hugely important, particularly in times like these, so please don’t hesitate to let us know how we can help your company and we will keep you updated on our perspective as well. We thank you for your business and continued support.
If any of you early-stage entrepreneurs reading this have dealt with UK or Swedish banks for your company, you know that this is not the message they will send you. Especially in these times.
The bank is Silicon Valley Bank, which is committed to working with entrepreneurial companies, and have built a successful business around this for the past 25 years.
This is just one part of the entrepreneurial eco-system that is Silicon Valley, and I am glad to soon be part of it full-time (move is planned for beginning of March!), with my new bootstrapLabs venture, where I will continue my serial and parallel entrepreneurship to create new companies, and bring new products and innovations to the market.
I firmly believe that in the year 2050 when people look back at this year of 2008, we had yet not seen even 10% of the change that the Internet was about to bring to our world.
It’s a very well known fact that in the .COM-bubble days in 1999, business plan predictions of what e-Commerce would become in 2006 were way off from the outcome. The thing that most people don’t know is that the wild .COM business plan budgets widely underestimated the global e-commerce turn-over by a factor of 5. It’s only those business plans where targeting consumer e-commerce, but the real revolution that happened in the years after the .COM bubble burst, were in the the Business-2-Business segment (how many larger corporations can you name that do not do electronic procurement and e-commerce for their supplies, computers etc).
Why did not the consumer e-commerce happen?
Infrastructure was not ready, payments processing did not work well enough, global logistics were underestimated and number of factors that have come into place for the past couple of years.
So the big shift in online e-commerce for consumers is going on now. In spite of financial crisis; not much of what I am working with (and most people on the globe) is directly related to the financial sector. But almost everything is indirectly, which is way it affects all of us more or less and making the financial sector problems are very contagious; as we (the non-financial people) need the financial companies to help us manage funding, cash-flow, credit etc.
But still; I have mentioned it on this blog before, the opportunities are plentiful and a recession, means that we need to keep our focus on finding the opportunities and there are riches to be made. Historical facts shows, that in a financial crisis like we are seeing now, and lot of new wealth is created. Europeans seem more pessimistic than the Americans though.
But what about all the others that are not in the middle of this whirlwind?
I am an Entrepreneur, and I regularly meet some of the top 500 Swedish entrepreneurs, and this are the things we talk about. But more than 60% of these Swedish entrepreneurs do business do not have Internet businesses, but almost everyone is doing something on the Internet no matter their core business today.
And I think I am preaching to the choir; but they need to be on-board, because there is a shift that is going on, and it’s happening with or with-out a financial crisis and credit melt-down.
Now is the time to focus on performance based sales and effective and measurable marketing (such as online marketing and sales), now is the time to change, and tap into the additional reach and distribution power of the Internet, if not alone for the reason that there are many not taking advantage of the benefits of the situation.
And the theme of SIME this year was the “DNA of change”, which I at first though was a bit late in the game, but given it some more thought I realise as mentioned above, that there are so many that have not changed yet, and many that are afraid to change during these pessimistic times.
But for those of you not in in the middle of the Internet business innovation whirl-wind, the time to change is now, because…
Either you are part of the shift or you will be shifted out!
Links, and videos from SIME
Just saw this video, from the LeWeb this week:
that I found here where Michael Arrington writes:
But Europe’s persistent background pessimism was out in full force, even at an event full of entrepreneurs. Americans dominated the stage and spoke mostly about the tremendous opportunities that arise in down markets. Engineers are much easier to hire. The press have fewer startups and stories to divide their attention. The pond certainly gets smaller, but there are far fewer people fishing, too. For most startups, this is a time to blossom.
He got a point, for the past almost 10 years that I have been going to the US for business trips once, twice or three times a year and visited Silicon Valley frequently, I always felt that Silicon Valley is very meritocratic, and that if I would surround myself with the like minded people that I meet there, I will be able to achieve more.
Now not to say that I don’t enjoy long lunches and good wine, I do, but I rather see it as work-hard and play-hard, I don’t do when my schedule is tight, on the contrary, when I know there is a lot of things I can do to move things forward I focus on getting a lot of things done. But you do need to wind-down and enjoy life once in a while. But my work is my passion, which helps a lot to keep discipline and motivation going.
But people in the Silicon Valley enjoy life and I think the quality of life is better than northern Europe (European are not Europeans, and definitively not French, France is 13% of the European population, and cultures are very different across Europe), if not for other things the weather definitively helps (do you know that today in Stockholm there were 5 hours of daylight, and during that time it’s not much of it either, and it’s cold).
Move is happening February-March 2009, so excited to spend more time in the Bay area, and to get some traction for my new Internet bootstrapping business lab, bootstrapLabs that I just setup in Silicon Valley.
So Loic, and Michael I hope we run into each other next year in the Valley!
My posts have been a bit infrequent the past month or so, I have just had a baby daughter, finishing of projects before christmas, and preparing for the move to San Francisco and get some traction for my new venture, bootstrapLabs over there.
Henrik Ahlen behind AlfaBravo, is a Entrepreneur friend of mine, with an impressive background in Multimedia and online Video. He also arrange the VideoBar events in Stockholm teaching corporate reps and the Stockholm media industry how they can use and combine video and social media online to enhance their communication and dialog with their customers.
This week’s link in my a link per week; goes to Mjukvara.se, which is a website covering things you need to know to find the right software for your computer for certain things such as Internet security, Anti-Virus and Firewalls.
The website is a Swedish project run by Christian Rudolf, which is a quite unknown Search Engine marketing expert in Sweden, but probably one of the best in Sweden today.
This week’s “christmas calendar” link goes to Moyume, Moyume is a microblogging for photos. It makes it very easy to share photos with friends and family, both near and far.
Expecting my first child with-in a month and in the process of moving to San Francisco, I will introduce Moyume to my mother and other family so that they can follow us thousands of miles away.
Also he writes interesting essay’s (longer blog posts?), about topics relevant for entrepreneurs, and the latest one is a recommended reading form most:
Some food for thoughts if you have doubts about pursuing you startup business idea, because of the economy down-turn.