Tag Archives: entrepreneurs

Lessons from Startup TV Series

StartUp_Channel_800x1200-683x1024If you have known me for awhile or read anything about me, then you know about my startup hustle and some of the projects that I worked on in the past years.

Obviously there are many lessons I learnt, some of which I wished I learnt them before reality hit me in the face. The other day  I watched this TV Series called Startup – Plot summary

Miami – A desperate banker needs to conceal stolen money. A Haitian-American gang lord wants to go legit. A Cuban-American hacker has an idea that will revolutionize the very future of money itself. Forced to work together, they unwittingly create their version of the American dream – organized crime 2.0.

It starts off slow but it is a good watch. Here are scenes I watched the brought back some of the lessons I too learned the hard way – just  like they did.

  1. When building a startup, there is nothing more important that getting the right team. In the movie, they team was setup under strange situation but it actually turned up to work perfectly for them
  2. To scale or sometimes to get the startup off the ground, you need funding. Funding NEVER comes easy. In the TV series, they had some money that they had started with and then the lost it and had to look for more startup capital which did not come up easily at all.
  3. Times will get HARD but do not lose focus. In the TV Series, after they had secured an addition 1.5M USD, they were hacked and all the money stolen.  They were obviously broken. Izzy lost it, it was Andy who was pushing her and giving her hope until Ronald came in with an idea of an office that got them back on track.
  4. The devil is in the detail. When Izzy finally got a meeting with an investor who agreed to fully fund the startup, she was offered a contract that cut out the other two guys that she started the business with. Her passion to get GenCoin off the ground got her signing the contract without taking it to her lawyers to proof read it. Later on, she was actually kicked out of the company she started in parents garage. A company the almost lost her life for.
  5. Never forget the people that stood by you. Izzy was so desperate to get GenCoin off the ground that when she was presented with a contract that cut out Andy and Ronald she signed it. Fast forward, when she was kicked out of her own company, it is the same two people that she came crying to. Imagine, if they were not forgiving?!

Here is a list of other entrepreneurship movies to look out for;

Silicon Valley

Although you fell in love with Martyn Burke’s Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999), that’s not the one we’re talking about here. Silicon Valley, a TV series released in 2014 that is fast approaching the limelight is a comedy series that showcases the inner workings of life in the Silicon Valley. The show revolves around six young men who co-found a startup company amidst the heavy competition in the Mecca of the Business World. Three seasons of this invigorating series are out while the fourth is set to air in 2017.

Startup

This series, starring Adam Brody and Martin Freeman, is set to be released later this year, and just its cast is enough to excite anyone! It’s unique and interesting concept makes it stands out from its contemporaries. In this show, a banker from Brooklyn, a Haitian gang lord and a Cuban hacker put their heads together to raise a potential multi-billion dollar business on ‘digital currency’, that could revolutionise the future of money itself. Can’t wait? Neither can we!

How I made my Millions

A CNBC original, this show leads you to the greenroom of the business world, where after the curtain fall, the biggest businessmen and women reveal how they took ordinary ideas and turned them into extraordinary businesses. Most of these center around businesses that have crossed the $1 million mark. Aired in 2011, How I made my millions showcases the typical ‘American Dream’ and tries to show that if you have the idea, the resources and the willpower, you can make things happen.

The Profit

This much-watched series shows that being a successful entrepreneur isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. It broadcasts the raw, challenging and often ugly side of starting your own business. The show revolves real-life businessman Marcus Lemonis, one of the biggest sharks of the business world and his decision to invest money into struggling companies and turn them into highly profitable entities in returns for a percentage of both business and profit. It is a great in-depth lesson for all entrepreneurs, as the first part of the show a tutorial of sorts where they show you what NOT to do as an entrepreneur. The motto of the show emphasises the three P’s – People, Process and Product – the triangular mantra of success for any startup founder and members.

This was one of my favorites

This list was originally posted on YourStory

Learning New Rules – Well Some Are Old!

I have always had the entrepreneur bone in me, sadly I am not what you would call an entrepreneur – well not yet anyway! I have started and been part of a number of ventures, learnt a lot of lessons, some REALLY costly and yet I still have more to learn.

This year I am crossing a MAJOR milestone in my life but before I get to the crossing line, i fugured I would as well start now making some of the changes I wanted to make in my life, try to achieve some of the things that I had planned to have achieved by the time I get to the milestone. I do not have a lot of time but I am hopeful that I can achieve a lot.

Well as far as that task goes, here is a long list of additional rules that I shall try to master in the meantime. I stumbled on this list awhile ago and have tried to follow them whenever I can, and here I am going to share them. I did not come up with these rules, James Altucher did, here!

Here is my summary;

  1. Its not fun – Yap, it hasn’t been fun at all. There have been times I have been sad and cried too and questioned myself why I chose to live this life. I have given more times that I would have ever wanted to, I am hoping to learn to accept this rule and accept that quitting or starting something else is not always the solution.
  2. Try not to hire people – I am not sure I agree with this entirely. I know that one has to know what they are good at and what they suck at, then you work with people that supplement you. But then again I tend to be a micro-manager so I have trouble getting the right people to hire. Ya, I am still confused about this rule.
  3. Get a customer – This I live by! Whatever it is that you start or are doing, it is useless unless there are people willing to pay for it. I still remember my first Item sold on Meka – I am still bummed I killed that project, I am not going to get into it now.
  4. Its ok to fail – I used to fear failing but after starting a number of ventures and most of them failing, I have learnt to embrace failing, my fear is to get to causal about failure – I still need it to scare the shit outta me.
  5. Try to be profitable from the word go! – There is always the urge to make the first sale, even if it happens at your cost but that is wrong.
  6. Love competition – it switches your beastmode on! It is also an indication that what you are working on has potential.
  7. Communicate with everyone. Employees. Customers. Investors. All the time. Every day. Employees want to know what to do, they want to know you are thinking of their overall career. At the moment I still suck at this, but I taking lessons from my girlfriend – she is friends with everyone. She keeps her connections, communicates with everyone easily.. I need that!
  8. Do everything for your customers.  – I am learnt a few pointers from Colin Asiimwe on this. He is one chap that always happy to make connections – Introductions. Ok back to doing everything for your customer… Get them girlfriends or boyfriends. Help them find other companies to meet their needs. Even introduce them to your competitors if you think a competitor can help them or if you think you are about to be fired. Always think first, “What’s going to make my customer happy?”Note: EVEN if that means introduce them to a competitor. If you are the SOURCE, then everybody comes back to the source. — thanks James
  9. Lastly but not least, reward and appreciate your customers, buy them gifts – movie tickets, dinners, you name it.
  10.  Get the whole list here – trick to rock them all is to start off with a few at the time and perfect them.

Well, go ahead and kick butt. While at it, do not forget to connect with me 😉
Follow me on twitter here @cmugume

Stay on your feet!

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These last couple of days, it is the only statement that I have told myself more times than ever. #StayOnYourFeet!

Let no one every lie to you that organizing an event and holding down two other jobs is a simple task. I have had two of my best clients complain about delayed deliveries, missed appointments and the like. This is not because I do not value their work, no! I value their work but balancing work is one of the hardest thing to do in life.

Sadly for me I am not very good with delegation, I always expect too much too soon of people that I delegate to, that I end up judging them harshly when they do not deliver to the standard that I want. This too makes me a bit of a bad manager (I am hoping that the MBA I am taking will help me with that – I think it will)

I have to say, I have been lucky to have clients that are very understanding, with the Summit just a day away, its success and everything that I have been able to do that has seen their work suffer for it, I will owe its success to them. Should it fail however… Lets not go down that road!

As I sit here trying to relax after a day that saw me talking to myself (more times that usual), slam my laptop lid like it was made of metal (luckily it didn’t get damaged in any way!) and scream at the KCB Customer Care lady when she couldn’t explain to me why my card wasn’t working when I clearly knew that there is no way she could have all the answers I needed, I just have only one thing to say… WHAT A DAY!!

The waiting game!

People wait.
They wait for that elusive day when they’ll finally have enough time (guess what?—you never will), enough education (there is always more to know), enough money (no matter how much you make, someone will always have more). They wait until the children are grown (news flash: just because they’re grown, it doesn’t mean you’re rid of them) or until things settle down at work (they never will). People wait until . . . until . . . until . . . They wait, and they wait, and they wait, until that fateful day when they wake up and realize that while they were sitting around, paying dues, earning their keep, waiting for that elusive “perfect time,” their entire life has passed them by