If you promise to disrupt you get more funding…

Yes, startups that seek to “disrupt” get more funding than those that just seek to “build” a business.

Since its HBR debut in 1995, the concept of disruptive innovation—the process by which a smaller company with limited resources is able to launch a product or service that displaces established competitors—has been extensively incorporated into startup vernacular. Entrepreneurs often use a version of the phrase when launching products, raising funds, unveiling strategies, hiring teams, and engaging partners.

Yet we do not know much about how entrepreneurs are integrating the concept into their identities and what consequences this has for their startups.

Research has previously shown that “entrepreneurial identity,” or how one defines and identifies with his or her entrepreneurial role, affects a startup’s ability to amass key resources. So we aimed to characterize entrepreneurs’ identities according to whether or not they referred to themselves and their startups using the language of disruption, and then we looked at how this affected their ability to attract and retain two types of critical resources: financial and human capital….

Read the full article in the Harvard Business Review.

 

Richard Reed: how to turn your passion into a career

Want to start your own business?  Founder of Innocent Drinks Richard Reed explains how it pays to be prepared when starting out a new venture.

Start working on your plan

“Turning what you love into a career can be a series of small steps, not a massive leap into the unknown. While you’ve still got your regular job, spend some of your evenings, as well as time on the weekends working on your plan. It’s a bit like being a student – you’ve got to revise and prepare.”

Learn how to make the most of your spare time

“A fair amount of time passed from the day me, Adam and John (Innocent co-founders) came up with our idea, to when we actually handed in our notice. We used our spare time to work on our business plan, and make samples to sell at market stalls. We researched the shops we thought would be interested in our product, and tried and tested as much as we could to give us confidence.”

It helps to be cheeky

“Did I always want to come home from a hard day’s work and launch myself into my plan? Of course not. There were three ways I approached it. Sometimes I just had to get on with it. Sometimes I did decide to watch TV – I’m only human. But did I sometimes work on my own stuff during my regular job, when my boss wasn’t looking? You bet.

“You have to keep within the spirit of things, and certainly never be immoral, but it helps to start thinking creatively about how to get things done.”

Keep your home out of the equation

“I would strongly advise to any aspiring entrepreneurs, who are also homeowners: don’t gamble your home. Start squirrelling away as much savings as possible so you’re not at risk of losing your home in the process. And on that note, I would advise against using your home as the guarantee for the debt to start a business, it’s too risky.”

Enjoy the benefits of doing what you love for a living

“Doing what you love provides a better quality of life, helps you take control, and attracts like-minded people.

“I’m not for one second guaranteeing that setting up your own business will go smoothly, or that you should approach a career change without a clear direction. However, with proper planning the upsides of giving it a go are infinite – you gain all that learning and experience.”

 

 

 


First published in Travelers Companies

Your street on your chest?

Fancy a creative and unusual t-shirt? Then take note of this inspirational enterprise!

As the site says (in German):  raubdruckerin is an experimental street printing project that has been printing details of the urban texture of selected cities on streetwear, fabrics and paper. Printing is done by hand: on manhole covers, ventilation grids and other reliefs that the infrastructure of the urban landscape presents. 

The public space is regarded as a printing workshop and stage for unusual motifs that are often overlooked in everyday life. An imprint of the city, which takes away the hustle and bustle of mass production and also attaches a unique souvenir to the body of the people.   

The process of transforming an urban detail into a picture worn on someone’s chest can be considered a reverse street art. One part of the city is pulled out of its origin and brought to life in another context. By wearing the picture, people themselves become part of the project, opening up possibilities to stimulate perception of the relationship to our environment, to discover beauty where it would not be expected.

Enjoy and be inspired!

 

 

 

 

If you want to hitchhike across the universe…

Over 100 linguists are currently beavering away at Babbel HQ to develop the best language-learning app ever. Over one million active subscribers are already convinced. So who are these people and what are they doing so right?

 

If you are interested in languages, this article in Babbel Magazine is worth a read!

Are you sabotaging your own projects?

Seth Godin: Quieting the Lizard Brain from 99% on Vimeo.

You get a really good idea. That’s the first step. But we all get good ideas — how do we turn them into reality? That’s where Shipping comes in. That’s what Seth Godin calls it: getting it out the door. But, he says, our Lizard Brains conspire to keep us from shipping. Watch the whole drama from a 99 Percent conference held by Behance.

Business Fights Poverty

The Second Annual Conference on Business and Poverty, was held on 4-5 July at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, and focused on business, social impact and growth. Among the speakers was Kate Raworth, for who I designed the Economic Doughnut, shown here in the background. Nice to see one’s work alive and kicking in the big world out there. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Canadian city has eradicated homelessness

 

This is an amazing project, now here in the UK too.

Housing First is a homeless assistance approach  that prioritizes providing people experiencing homelessness with permanent housing as quickly as possible – and then providing voluntary supportive services as needed. This approach prioritizes client choice in both housing selection and in service participation.

Housing First programs share critical elements:

  • A focus on helping individuals and families access and sustain permanent rental housing as quickly as possible;
  • A variety of services delivered to promote housing stability and individual well-being on an as-needed and entirely voluntary basis; and
  • A standard lease agreement to housing – as opposed to mandated therapy or services compliance.

While all Housing First programs share these elements, program models vary significantly depending upon the population served. For people who have experienced chronic homelessness, long-term services and support may be needed.

For most people experiencing homelessness, however, such long-term services are not necessary. The vast majority of homeless individuals and families fall into homelessness after a housing or personal crisis. For these households, the Housing First approach provides them with short-term assistance to find permanent housing quickly and without conditions. In turn, such households often require only brief, if any, support or assistance to achieve housing stability and individual well-being.