Sketchnotes/Reflections Day One at WebSummit 2014

Link to flickr album for Sketchnotes from Web Summit 2014 in Dublin

More to come, as this is just Day One. I was particularly impressed and excited by Sara Robb O’Hagan’s call for turning insights into action and understanding behavioral change. Lo and behold, she even put in a push for mindfulness. Great stuff from the Equinox. Met some great characters today in the startup booths with passion and innovation burning strong. I just wish they would take Sonny Vu’s advice and design for more the market beyond men in tech. There is some pretty ugly gear out there. Ah, well, there is room for improvement, innovation and creativity. So that is exciting.

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Innovation Incubator Impact a la Ilspiration


Always inspiring work with Ilspiration on a Strategic Visualisation session. Put two redheads together and magic happens.t

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One of the beautiful things about being an entrepreneur is the opportunity to learn and make mistakes and learn more. After trying for three years to make 2BalanceU the portal for sharing resource recommendations around the globe, I realised we were going about it all wrong. The last thing we needed to do was to create yet another destination that fills our time, distracts us and requires us to learn how it works before we get anything out of it. The vision was right, empowering through simplified global knowledge sharing. But the approach was wrong.

What will emerge from the next version will amaze you with its simplicity and delight you. It will free you up by requiring less time and effort getting to what’s relevant from the sources you already draw from and others that provide information important to you. You will be more effective through greater accuracy in sending out what we wish to share to your intended audience. We have things pulling us in so many different directions, because we are multidimensional individuals. The knowledge sharing tool will come out this Fall. This new tool will be build as a cooperative effort between 2BalanceU and Off The Red with the input of several Advisory Members to ensure we have a sound business model for sustainability. The new site will have a new name (we are still working on that part) and logo, so keep posted and I will let you know when we have it.

2BalanceU remains as a consultancy that provides the vision, the network and input to the executive team. This enables me to continue my passionate work and study of how technology has enabled the evolution of the women’s sacred circle to the modern professional women’s network. I need to find someone to fund my PhD work, as it cannot be done by the former 2BalanceU as planned. (Ideas welcome…) I will also continue speaking at global conferences on social media and network optimisation as well as empowering women in leadership through knowledge sharing. I find this work inspiring and very fulfilling as a great way to really understand the different needs and tools around the world used for knowledge sharing. I will also continue to consult on Internet strategy, particularly on how to engage consumers in dialog.

So thank you for your notes asking, when will 2BalanceU be “live” again. I am so glad to see there is interest and I appreciate your support. I am sure you will be happy with what is coming soon.

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A new look at Entrepreneurs from old eyes

“Today’s smart entrepreneurs start global” -The Economist

Yes even the conservative Economist is recognising the much lies in the hands of Entrepreneurs, and even goes so far as to mention some social entrepreneurs while they are at it. According to the article Entrepreneurialism has Become Cool, the outlook has changed. “Today entrepreneurship is very much part of economics. Economists have realised that, in a knowledge-based economy, entrepreneurs play a central role in creating new companies, commercialising new ideas and, just as importantly, engaging in sustained experiments in what works and what does not. William Baumol has put entrepreneurs at the centre of his theory of growth. Paul Romer, of Stanford University, argues that “economic growth occurs whenever people take resources and rearrange them in ways that are more valuable…[It] springs from better recipes, not just more cooking.” Edmund Phelps, a Nobel prize-winner, argues that attitudes to entrepreneurship have a big impact on economic growth.”

Sweden’s Dagens Industri, states that creative start ups are on the rise and the economy falls. “What is now perceived as a crisis, perhaps many people in three or four years will think back on that it was the best thing that happened to them,” says Ashkan Pouya, MBA and entrepreneur.

Combining this energy to support the entrepreneurial spirit, the hopes are high on a new global economy rising like a phoenix from the ashes.

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Global Trends for Small Businesses for 2009

This is a great article by Laura Delaney on the top 10 Global Trends for Small Business for 2009. Although it is focused on the US looking outward, most of the rest of 10 apply globally. The .mobi may not be the platform, but I do believe mobile technology will be the connection between the developing and developed markets. I hope that we are not reduced to Twitters, but I have been wrong before.

1. Disruptive innovation will be both the coolest and hottest new growth strategy in 2009 because it will transcend all boundaries and transform businesses.
2. dotMobi will take global root in 2009.
3. Diverse global business partnerships will shine and outperform those businesses that don’t make these critical alliances.
4. Exporting (from the USA) will prevail in the first quarter of ‘09 and might start to strengthen later in the year.
5. Twitter will replace the “call me” statement with “Twitter me” due to technology, convenience and time constraints.
6. Entrepreneurs and small businesses will learn, if they haven’t already, everything there is to know about how to take a business global.
7. Optimism will fuel global small businesses that have the guts to press on, even in the face of insurmountable obstacles.
8. Women entrepreneurs will rule the global marketplace.
Women are already starting businesses at twice the rate of men and their efforts to expand a business internationally will be a force to reckon with in the coming years due to social entrepreneurship, social media and social networking platforms that make it so much easier to do good things collaboratively – which women are naturals at – while growing a business global.

9. Trusted crowds will become profitable clouds.
10. Green and global are a marriage made in heaven because everyone wants to save the world.
Top 10 Global Trends for Small Businesses for 2009 from Laura Delaney of GlobeTrade

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Entrepreneurs will lead Economic Recovery

An inspiring report from the Asian Development Bank “Entrepreneurship and e-Business Development for Women” on the impact of women entrepreneurs on the global economy. Watch out here they come.

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Breath Before Launch

The pace of life, work, family, home and all the little things that correspond them quickens after Summer. Different time zones and different seasons effecting everyone when the world becomes a little smaller. We all seem to make it work somehow. But today I remind myself to breath. With the launch a week away and my assistant on personal leave there is little else to do but take it one moment at a time. I wish her the best to deal with the challenge that lies ahead. We have come so far, and yet this is only the beginning. So, breath,…..

The user site will be up and running on next week. It has been a long time coming. We are back to basics. The groundwork is laid and we will see how “she” fares in this great big world. Introductions have been. She’s been given advice on how to behave in special circumstances. She has some old friends to support her and will be introduced to many new ones. She is ready to learn and to share. The beauty of this beast is that she is a dynamic living thing that learns from her interactions and can share what she learns with those who will benefit most from it. She may feel overwhelmed at times by the attention, and we will do what we can to nurture her and help her grow. But we hope you will love her as much as we do.

It is our turn to “breath” while she shows her face to the world.

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Saudi Women Making Great Strides

The Condé Nast, article about scrap-metal C.E.O. Nadia Al-Dossary reminded me today of the all the wonderful entrepreneurial women that I met in Cairo in November at FCEM. It is encouraging to see such strength in women in business in unexpected (from a Western perspective) places. I raise my hat to you Nadia, and your peers. You have come a long way and we look forward to supporting your continued rise. With the rate of 55% of the kingdom’s graduates being women, I believe we can look forward to hearing a lot more great success stories about women from the region.

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Stay positive

Thank you Julie Meyer, CEO and Founder of Ariadne Capital, for your article “Facebook means there is now no excuse for working with jerks” with the reminder not only to stay positive but to stay away from the negative. I often meet with people at networking events that are full of complaints as to why the system is against them. There are times, especially as an entrepreneur, when it is tempting to blame the system for our lack of momentous and rapid success. We must look at this as an opportunity to re-evaluate what we are doing, why it is not moving as fast as we expected and if it is the right thing in the first place. Having a sense of humility and reality can be one of the most useful tools. Of course, we must have the strength and tenacity to believe in our ideas despite the negatives. Are we communicating our message clearly? Are we on the right track? Are we listening to the feedback? It is a constant challenge, but one worth working on. Remember that working with those with a negative attitude and not willing to listen can turn even a good thing sour. So, be wary, yet open minded. And don’t be afraid to remind those complainers that it will not take them very far. You will be doing them a favour.

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Ariadne Capital’s Investors Forum

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.

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