It is an exciting time to be involved in the development of social media. I have just returned from Ariadne Capital’s Investor Forum in London. The presentations were very thought provoking and well presented. It was encouraging to see an organization like Ariadne and Julie Meyer pulling together the strengths of such an interesting mix of entrepreneurs, investors, and service providers. After working in the solitary isolation of start up phase living in a culture that loves the idea of entrepreneurial success and ingenuity but frowns deeply on failure (even if it is learned from). I found the forum refreshing in content and atmosphere. So, thank you Julie for pulling that together and inviting me to take part.
As social entrepreneur in “isolation” I found it refreshing to get feedback on the financial side and monitising of the business from straight talk. I realised from the feedback that I had steered away from our original model for 2BalanceU in order to appease our network members. But in the process we had given away some of our most critical features that support the members, who essentially the site is for and remove our critical revenue streams. Frustrated at first, I am delighted to see that the insight has brought us back to the core of what we started out to do and believe in. So thank you, Dr.-Ing. Jörg Sievert (SAP Ventures), Thomas Schulz (Ariadne Capital), and Candace Johnson (Johnson Paradigm Ventures) for your straight talk and insight. Thank you also to Arjo Ghosh (SpannerWorks) and Carl Uminski (trutap) for your inspiring entrepreneurial spirit and great ideas.
The past month has been a true test of my own entrepreneurial spirit and willpower (yes, stubbornness, diplomatically put). We closed down our US operations and moved everything to Sweden. We are reviewing the next steps to get us back on track. Thanks to the forum, I am renewed with new ideas to get back to the old. Always good to go back to the original model for vision and what it will take to get there. There has been a lot of learning along the way, and I am sure there will be more. But each in turn makes us stronger. Out of the ashes rises a phoenix. So that is how we shall commence 2008, rising to flight when we can expand our full wing span and follow where the wind currents take us.