I recently familiarized myself with undoubtedly one of the great leaders of the written history: Napoleon Bonaparte
What could a 21st century entrepreneur learn from him?
That question in mind I borrowed a few quotes from Napoleon.
1. If you wish to be a success in the world, promise everything, deliver nothing.
This idea seems strongly counterintuitive but depends a lot on what kind of a success you’re after. The hint of truth that I see here is the fact that delivering nothing is actually a bit overrated. A half-assed effort on making things happen often looks worse than completely dismissing the task. But I have to agree that there is great power just in the promise itself. Aiming high is the key.
2. Ability is nothing without opportunity.
Being an entrepreneur, you will work with people with enormous amounts of skills and abilities. I feel the entrepreneur should be the least able person of the team. But the entrepreneur is the person who shows the opportunity and directs the ability to where it’s needed.
3. When small men attempt great enterprises, they always end by reducing them to the level of their mediocrity.
This sounds like saying don’t try anything big cause you’ll fail. But I will argue there’s a bigger truth underneath. The greatness of the entrepreneurial team is dependent on the amount of balls they have on their effort. The factual evidence seems to indicate that most teams eventually “get real” on their vision. Reality is what brings great ideas to mediocrity. But there is an easy way out and that is not accepting the reality. A good reason to do something is that people tell you it can’t be done.
4. There is one kind of robber whom the law does not strike at, and who steals what is most precious to men: time.
This is a fact. Still few people act accordingly. Irrelevant things and chores keep stealing the time of people. People work without knowing why. No money in the world can buy back your wasted time. It should be criminal to make people do work that they wouldn’t do gladly even without pay.
5. To do all that one is able to do, is to be a man; to do all that one would like to do, is to be a god.
So true. God was an entrepreneur.
My war is over and it’s time to check the spoils.
War and entrepreneurship?
People nowadays tend not to have any idea what war means. Same goes for entrepreneurship. At least they have in common that neither is positively just good or evil although they both have heavily biased characteristics on that scale.
Both war and entrepreneurship offer enormous opportunities. Great things are started from death and renewal. Finland has lost almost every war in the country’s history. Still it has managed to become a wealthy nation on the international scale.
Positive mindset on the edge of despair.
During the war last week I was badly wounded. I lost my right arm in a grenade attack and lost consciousness shortly after. I was taken to a medic and later evacuated.
Losing an arm in a war-game isn’t such big a deal. You just miss a few hours of good night sleep. But losing something else while being unconscious is another story.
Who could say it better than Matti Nykänen: “Every chance is an opportunity”.
Our project experienced its biggest misfortune to this date today. Our business plan failed to make the top 10 with in Venture Cup. Feel free to check out the finalists, there is definitely some great stuff in there!
It is noteworthy that there is only one web service that made the finals. It is extremely difficult to determine the value of a web service. It all comes down to the actual users that the service gets. In favor of this finalist called AudioDraft, it must be said that their service is targeted for experts. That makes it perhaps a bit easier to put a price tag on their product.
Where do we go from here?
Now that we no longer need to concentrate on the Venture Cup we can focus our time and energy in developing our idea further. We have a proof of concept and now we need to take the steps to make it publicly available for a group of testers.
I want to personally invite everyone interested in helping to fill out this form to join an alpha tester mailing list.
What else is going on?
We’re getting closer to actually founding a company that will start making great things. We’re starting discussions with TEKES to show how our solution could help the Finnish economy.
We’re also eagerly going to the Aalto ES Boot Camp. This is a great opportunity for any entrepreneurial team to fast-track their ideas into a successful business.