Peet van Biljon shares an article on managing risk and uncertainty for the entrepreneur.
Uncertainty in all its forms is a constant companion of the entrepreneur. How well entrepreneurs manage multiple risks and uncertainties determines the success or failure of their new offerings and businesses, and whether their investors will make or lose money. Good entrepreneurs understand the crucial interplay between risk, uncertainty and innovation, and use the best techniques to manage or even harness the inherent uncertainty involved in creating the new and the innovative.
Expertise in dealing with uncertainty is needed not only by innovators in both startups and established firms, but also by anyone whose business may be affected by the release of innovative new products or services elsewhere. Some innovations have impacts well beyond their originating firm, to the industry, and potentially to the whole economy. It is the very nature of transformative innovations that they create cascading risks and uncertainties for other economic actors and organisations. Think about the transformative impact to businesses across all sectors of smartphones, e-commerce, the digital revolution and our current transition to clean energy (the latter of which is only in its initial stage). Or think about the unexpected shock to the financial system created by the rise of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The early 20th-century economist, Joseph Schumpeter, placed the entrepreneur at the heart of his theory of capitalism, recognising innovating entrepreneurs as the driving force behind economic progress. His famous term, ‘creative destruction’, literally means the creation of the new and the destruction of the old. It is a rather cruel, survival-of-the-fittest view of how the entrepreneurial economy works. The owners of businesses who made splendid horse-drawn carriages until about a century ago would no doubt agree with this assessment, if they were still around to ask. Schumpeter was quite callous about the consequences, even acknowledging that creative destruction might lead to economy-wide recessions when whole industries are destroyed.
Sign up to access the article, RISK, UNCERTAINTY AND THE ENTREPRENEUR, on RiskandComplianceMagazine.com.
Indranil Ghosh has launched a new podcast where he unpacks the success stories from his network of champions in impact business.
For over a decade, I have been working companies which have made a material impact on the environment, on human health, and on social equality—while also returning extraordinary financial returns to shareholders along the way.
Each week starting August 10th, I will unpack the success stories of entrepreneurial champions from my network, digging deep to find the winning practices that listeners can use in their own ventures and ESG investment portfolios.
Guests will include Javier Cavada, President and CEO of Highview Power, who will talk about the company’s pioneering CRYOBattery which is pushing the frontiers of energy storage. Highview offers a clean, cost-competitive solution to store energy at grid scale for hours and even days—much longer than Li-ion batteries which are suited for 1-2 hours of storage.
I will also be talking to Glen Martin who will introduce his fourth venture Hyox Space—an exciting new venture with a blueprint to revolutionize aviation and ground transportation with clean hydrogen at a lower cost that today’s carbon-based fuels.
There are many exciting discussions to look forward to. I hope you will tune in every week on Acast, Apple iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast channel.
Recent episodes include:
- Clean Hydrogen for Transportation, featuring Infrastructure Innovator & Aerospace Engineer, Glen Martin
- The Food-Energy-Waste Circular Economy, featuring President and Chairman of Empire State Greenhouses, Louis Ferro
- Building a Climate Impact Investment Platform, with Founder & Managing Partner at Greenbackers Investment Capital, Robert Hokin
For more details, check out the Impact Unicorns website at www.impact-unicorns.com.
Nicky Shah shares a Q&A post on Saint Aymes, a business startup that has successfully merged the worlds of art and chocolate. She interviews the two sisters behind Saint Aymes – Lois and Michela.
How old were you when you decided you would try to launch your own business?
We didn’t really have a “moment”. Our parents had been business owners when we were growing up so it seemed quite natural to want to also run a business at some point. However, the older I got and the more I worked for others, I certainly saw that being one’s own boss had many benefits.
Do you remember what main thoughts and feelings went through your mind when you debated whether or not to push forward with the idea?
I was excited to push forward. Lois and I always had different side businesses going on. I suppose at the time we started Saint Aymes, it was at a point that neither of us had any long term, permanent commitments to any other ventures.
I was excited as I knew that I could not wait around for employers to notice I had what it took to succeed. The only fear was not getting started… for me I could see, for whatever reason, that the corporate world wasn’t going to allow me to progress fairly.
Key points include:
- Creating a new market space in the chocolate category
- Working with family
- The impact of social media
Read the full post, Q&A: Business startup with the founders of Saint Aymes, on freedomwanted.com.
Rahul Bhargava takes a look at thriving startups and shares the key factors that led to their success.
Recently, one of the startups I am working with, asked to ‘decode’ a post by Michael Stewart he had read about success factors for a startup. This post itself was a further assessment based on the TED talk by Bill Gross, founder of Idealab, given in March, 2015 on the topic. The talk and further assessment by Michael assessed 5 factors for startup success – Ideas, Business Model, Team, Funding and Timing – and gave verdict on Timing as the most important success factor amongst these.
To assess the impact of Timing, Bill asked the following questions (not exhaustive) from 100 Ideallab companies and 100 non-Idealab companies: Is the idea too early? Is the world not ready for it? Is too much education of the customer required? Or is it too late, giving the competition too much time to be competitive?
The question asked from me was – How do we decide if the timing is right for our startup? I shared with them a version and then thought of taking it to a wider audience for inputs.
Overall, a large number of factors that influence a startup could be taken care off by the other 4 parameters (Funding, Team, Idea or Business Model). I believe that those factors that are not completely under your control, are the ones to be considered under Timing.
Key points include:
- Product development
- Customer acceptance
- Scale up requirements
Read the full post, Decoding the biggest success factor for Startups, on LinkedIn.
Cheryl Lim Tam provides a post that explains the benefits of Tundra and highlights a few companies that are using the platform to sell their products.
Ever wonder what happened to that innovative company you once saw on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank? There’s a good chance it landed a deal, invested in more inventory to meet rising demand, and then went on to set up its wholesale storefront on Tundra.
Tundra is rapidly becoming the number one wholesale destination for the best brands, and that includes successful Shark Tank alums. After all, these savvy entrepreneurs know a good business opportunity when they see it. According to Regan Kelaher and Shannon Zappala, founders of Goverre (Shark Tank season 8), ‘Tundra is fantastic because it helps us reach retailers that we couldn’t reach through other traditional sales channels. There are no fees, and they make the whole process seamless, from processing orders to receiving payments.’
Retailers browsing on Tundra can bring a whole range of ‘As Seen on Shark Tank’ products to their store — from kid-friendly tableware to innovative gadgets that make everyone’s life easier. Here are seven successful Shark Tank brands you can find on Tundra today.
Read the full post, 7 brands that went from the Shark Tank to Tundra, on Medium.
Diane Mulcahy provides valuable questions to help discern the compatibility of an investor before accepting funds for your next project.
In the race to get the check in hand, most entrepreneurs don’t do in-depth due diligence — or any due diligence — on the venture capital (VC) firms they pitch. Founding teams eager to raise capital to grow their companies enter into long-term partnerships with VC firms they don’t know well. It’s a risky strategy that can leave startup CEOs in mis-aligned partnerships with unrealistic expectations.
The four questions covered in depth are:
- What is the VC’s track record?
- How much money is the VC personally investing?
- How big is the VC fund?
- Do you have a list of portfolio company CEOs?
Read the full article, Don’t Take Money from VCs Until You’ve Asked 4 Questions, on the Harvard Business Review.