Be Super-Efficient

A key characteristic of the superpreneurs is that they are super-efficient people.

What does it mean to be “super-efficient”? Let’s start by a very good essay “Effective Vs. Efficient: Do You Know The Difference?” of Daniel Scocco at http://www.dailyblogtips.com/effective-vs-efficient-difference/

“Effective and efficient are very common business/marketing terms. However, most of us tend to mix their meanings and usage occasionally (including myself), and that is why I decided to write on the topic.

First of all if you look for both terms in most dictionaries you’ll find very similar definitions (which makes the matter even more confusing). Some dictionaries get it right, however. Here is the definition from Dictionary.com, which I like:

Effective (adj.): Adequate to accomplish a purpose; producing the intended or expected result.

Efficient (adj.) Performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort.

If you want an easier way to memorize the difference, remember this sentence: “Being effective is about doing the right things, while being efficient is about doing the things in the right manner.”

Let’s use a practical example to illustrate the concepts. Suppose that two guys, Mark and John, are trying to change a flat tire on their cars (each one has his own car).

Mark starts by taking out the jack and placing it under the car. He quite doesn’t know where to position it, so he goes by trial and error and wastes a lot of time doing it. After 20 minutes he finally manages to fix it, so he proceeds to lift the car and change the tire.

As you can see Mark was doing the right thing, but he was doing it poorly. We can say that he was being effective, but not efficient.

John, on the other hand, starts by grabbing a towel and cleaning the tire. He wants to make the thing shiny before he changes it. And mind you he is very good and fast at cleaning every little detail of the tire.

We can say that John is being efficient, because he is cleaning the tire fast and throughly, but he is not being effective, because cleaning is a step that is not required at all when changing a flat tire.

Now if we had a third person, Peter, who could change the flat tire using the right steps and doing it quickly, we could say that he was both effective and efficient.”

So, in the context of this post, “super-efficient” shall mean “doing the right things in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort”.

Now, why is it so important for a superpreneur to be super-efficient?

Let’s analyse each part of the above definition.

Doing the right things

This may seem obvious but it’s not.  How many entrepreneurs I have seen that are going in all directions simultaneously.  Knowing what your priorities are is vital as a superpreneur, moreover in the current world of disorder which characterizes the Age of Acceleration.  You must be able to say no to anything which is not a priority.  Hence you need to do the right things which are in your core strategy, but also the things that really matter.

In the best possible manner

“You’re either great or you don’t exist”

said Keenen Ivory Wayans once to Hollywood star Jaimie Foxx when this one was starting on stage.  A startup cannot be average.  Superpreneurs are the best in their category. If you can’t be the first in a category, set up a new category you can be first in (this is known as the [amazon_textlink asin=’0887306667′ text=’Law of Category’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’superpreneur3-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’fdd05ae2-2067-11e7-abd7-ffd3895b30f8′])

The least waste of time

As a startup founder, your time is perhaps your most important resource.  There are a ton of things to do in order your startup succeed.  If you don’t want to burn out after several months or several years, you need to manage your time extremely well.  Superpreneurs stay strongly focused and avoid distractions.  Avoiding waste of time is crucial!

The least effort

Resources are limited in a startup.  You have a limited team, you have limited funding and you also have certainly a limited window (time to market) to win your market.  Hence, doing things with the least effort is paramount for superpreneurs.  As often said in the tech world,

“if you want your spacecraft to reach the stars, you need enough fuel”.

Now it’s your turn to pay attention how you do things and apply the super-efficient method described here.  Over time, you will see progresses and ultimately incredible results and successes.

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Enter the Age of Acceleration

This post is largely based on the book [amazon_textlink asin=’0241300975′ text=’‘Thank You for Being Late’’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’superpreneur3-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’4df96f11-2059-11e7-97ea-ab41fc732b6c’] by Thomas L. Friedman.  I strongly encourage superpreneurs and aspiring superpreneurs to read it.

On January 9, 2007, Steve Jobs announced the iPhone at the Macworld convention, receiving substantial media attention. Jobs announced that the first iPhone would be released later that year. On June 29, 2007, the first iPhone was released.  This is the beginning of the Age of Acceleration characterized primarily by exponential technologies following Moore’s Law.  In each period technology doubles in capability or performance. Or perhaps on the flip side, it halves in cost in each period.  The Age of Acceleration is also the age of the market globalization.  Low-cost flights, ubiquitous connectivity and explosion of the information access have removed all barriers.  Anyone can today build easily and cheaply a business.  A vendor can ship products worldwide or provide services for people living far at several thousands of kilometers.  The age of acceleration has super empowered individuals across the planet.  Globalization is also strongly influencing the geopolitical forces between the nations.  Today, our world is dominated by the new empires.  First, the USA block includes Canada, UK, European Union, South America and Japan.  Then, China dominates across South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and has a massive influence in Africa. Russia is rebuilding her empire among all CIS countries as well as some Eastern Europe countries.  Finally, India is exploding and could become one of most powerful economies in the next years. Nations are struggling to survive and keep their independence.

Another element is contributing to this world of disorder, Mother Nature.  The Earth is under pressure.  Climate changes and natural disasters remember us that Mother Nature acts to survive too.  Because of dryness, hurricanes or floods, most of the time combined with local wars, thousands of people are forced to leave their country and migrate somewhere.

All these changes are reshaping the workplace and the difficult equilibrium within and between the nations.  Everyone need now to become extremely resilient and avoid panicking.  Hopefully, exponential technologies probably offer all what is required to solve the biggest problems that we are facing.  Bold superpreneurs should be able to innovate to provide a better education to everyone.  Innovation solutions can also be made for building healthy communities.  This shall allow to get sustainable trust and collaboration within nations and among nations.  With time, a culture of peace and human prosperity could become the rule rather than the war and the chaos.  Humans will then be able to live in better harmony on Earth, exploit space resources, colonize the Moon and planet Mars.

I don’t know you, but to me, this is a much better future that we can pass down to future generations.

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Space Startups and the New Age of Space Exploration

In March I attended in Berlin the 2017 edition of Disrupt Space (http://disruptspace.io).  It was a great event, with a lot of insights, and with a common conclusion among the attendees: we are entering the new age of space exploration!  There is a new world of possibilities for entrepreneurs having the desire to build a tech startup (i.e. a space startup) (i) exploiting the resources offered by space (ii) developing the technologies required for space exploration and exploitation (iii) using technologies brought by the space industry. During the event, speakers, panelists and experts coming from all around the globe, discussed the reasons why it’s today a great time for entrepreneurs to jump into the space industry as well as for investors to put their money into space-related business.

First, during his opening keynote, Amaresh Kollipara (http://www.earth2orbit.com/crew.html) explained the space disruption.  Amaresh is currently leading a unique VR program at Oculus.  In addition, he is a Founder and Managing Partner of Earth2Orbit, LLC, which is a professional advisory firm with an aerospace industry focus.  Amaresh explained that the space industry can be disrupted by innovation, by creativity or by collective consciousness.  We are facing innovative technology disruptors like SpaceX or OneWeb which are building the infrastructures required for space exploration.  But there are also innovative disruptors in applications like OmniEarth, RS Metrics, Descartes Labs or Orbital Insight.  Space can also be disrupted by creativity.  Amaresh showed a VR training program especially made for astronauts and using Oculus glasses.  This was amazing!  Last, he explained that the collective consciousness can also disrupt the space industry. This means to get the space fever again.

‘’Make space exciting again!’’.

Then, Chad Anderson, CEO of the Space Angels Network (http://spaceangelsnetwork.com), who got the Disruptor Award of the Year, explained that space allows people to get another perspective of the major problems on Earth.

He thinks that ‘’space is the ultimate social venture where you can really make an impact on the World’’.

During different panels and workshops, it was pointed out that space entrepreneurial ecosystems must be built and that aspiring space entrepreneurs must understand the value chain of that industry, and how they can make a real impact on the world, because almost any business on Earth can benefit from space technologies. According to the experts, it is now time ‘’to build the 21st century space ecosystem’’.  How to achieve this?  They are advocating for a shift from a project-based industry to a product-based industry.  François Auque, Chairman of the Board of Airbus Ventures (http://www.airbusventures.vc) suggests demystifying space industry that is still too often seen as a closed world.  He invites entrepreneurs to challenge space and ground applications thanks to artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning, … and instead of reinventing the wheel, to re-use and improve existing systems or subsystems, exactly like Elon Musk did at Space X with the rocket engines.

What about investors?  Is space investment a new global asset class for investors?  Is space business only accessible for big boys wanting to play with big toys?  The answer seems to be ‘’not at all’’.  Satellite navigation can be efficiently used in autonomous cars and drones that venture capitalists and business angels have already embraced.  Just think at timing info required to synchronize data in such mobility applications.  Similarly, VC’s and angels are investing massively in big data.  New applications can be created in geo-intelligence by analyzing satellite images with big data algorithms.  For example, VanderSat (http://www.vandersat.com) is downscaling satellite images to provide soil moisture info.  Investors are also massively putting their money in satellite communication with much cheaper disruptive solutions.  This leads to innovative services like monitoring railway assets, as provided by the Belgian startup Ovinto (http://www.ovinto.com/).

What are the hot places for the space ventures?  While US remains a leading spot, and while China and India have made phenomenal progresses, Europe is an excellent hub for space entrepreneurship.  The European Commission presented their support programs with Copernicus for Earth Observation and Galileo for satellite navigation.  Access to the data is free and there is a ton of applications waiting to be created (by entrepreneurs) for improving our daily life. Earth observation data can be used for land and maritime observation, for tracking climate changes, for the analysis of the atmosphere, for creating innovative services for emergency and security.  Navigation data can be used for urban mobility applications like autonomous cars and drones or for IoT solutions. It was made very clear that the European Union has a vision for the European space industry, and is providing the required infrastructure and measures to support space entrepreneurs.

According to Planet (https://www.planet.com) Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Robbie Schingler, ‘’Europe is the best place in the world for earth observation’’.

The event concluded with a panel titled ‘’Disrupting the Final Frontier’’.  This may sound like the voice off of an episode of Star Trek.  But in fact, it was a very serious discussion.  Kyle Acierno, Global Business Development Manager at ispace (http://ispace-inc.com )(ispace is one of the teams in the running for the Google Lunar XPRIZE of $20 million) explained that in 10 years there will be regular missions to the moon, in 15 years humans will exploit lunar resources, in 20 years there will be a permanent station on the moon, and in 25 years, there will be regular travels to the moon.

‘’Space is sexy again!’’, concluded Kyle.

This sounds like the true conclusion of this article.  Space fever is clearly back and is opening a world of opportunities for space entrepreneurs willing to enter the new age of space exploration.

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