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Perfection is the enemy of perfectly good

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What would be the ultimate process to launch a company perfectly? Well this question got swopped out of my head last Thursday during our Startup boot event, because I have learned that ‘Perfection is the enemy of perfectly good’.

I guess that I still haven’t figured out what it means exactly, but when you think about it there’s a certain truth to it. Perfection is when everything is flawless and could not get any better. When something is perfectly good, it is good! Something good can always be better. So, thriving for the perfectly good instead of perfection makes you able to keep growing your company by keep making it better. But for starters: Good enough is good enough.

But, how else can you prevent a failure? In a previous blog, we discussed how failure is the road to success. This is definitely the truth. You can even find your success in your failure. Does this mean that you should not try to prevent as many failures as you can though? Of course not! There are a lot of things to prevent a failure, doing your research and having a plan for starters. ‘Failing to plan is the same as planning a fail’. The second learning to catch me off guard. Off course, you need to be bold, take a risk and jump in the deep sometimes to reach your goals. Still the greater goal behind these jumps can be planned.

And what to do when things do actually go well? What if you are on your way to achieve your goals: your product is launched, it has over 10.000 users and you receive a lot of media attention? Keep in mind that things can always change (for the good and the bad). We have been told how the process of becoming a successful company, can actually cost the founders their success or even their company. In this case, the investor ended up owning 50% of the company, the vision had changed and with that, the motivation of the founders dropped. This resulted into a ‘worst case scenario’ where the founders decided to quit the company. The big lesson here is not only to keep an investor from owning half of your company, but to make sure you are prepared for anything, keep your motivation in place and be able to react quickly as an entrepreneur.

These were three learning goals taught to us by Maarten Boer, Jeroen Malotaux and Rik van Dijk during our Startup boot BBQ event at Eenvoud Media. The subject of the event was about launching a business or product, experiencing failures and turning those into success. There was one important lesson our speakers all agreed on: FOCUS!

To turn launches and failures into a success, you need a lot of things of course. Think about the product itself, a budget, a marketing plan, people and so on, but none of these things matter as long as you and your organization do not have focus. In order to make it all happen, you need to see the bigger picture and be able to focus on the important things to make your goals happen. Make sure to focus on growth and balance, not the golden ticket and you’ll find yourself achieving you finest dreams.

How to get funding

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For a lot of start-ups, creating an innovative idea is not the problem: it is collecting money to execute the idea. Fortunately, there are a lot of creative ways to do so. Sander Waterval has got a lot of experience in the matter, since he executed a lot of his expansive ideas.

Right now, Sander is working on one of his dream projects, the Wikkelboat, on which we have actually organized a barbeque last night after a cruise with Ronald Scholtus on one of the boats of Rotterdamishot. The Wikkelboat project is due in two weeks from now. It’s the first Wikkelboat ever to be made and will be located at the also to be expanded harbour ‘ The Red Apple Marina’ in Rotterdam. This project costs a lot of money as you can imagine and so, you need to be a bit creative funding it:

  • By involving your suppliers and partly paying them after delivery. When the project is done, the Wikkelboat will create turnover because it will be rented out. This money can be used to pay off the suppliers;
  • By involving your clients and let them pay on forehand with an interesting discount;
  • Get some extra cash by leveraging this by the bank;
  • Check for possibilities to get some subsidies.

When going on board with investors, there are some things to keep in mind. The most important lesson of today if you ask me, was to make sure that you are still the chief of your company after the investments. If the investor pays for most of your company, they have a lot of rights to make big decisions as well. Because of this and because quite a few investors do not like to take risks on their own in an early stage startup, it’s a good idea to match investors to fund the company.

After finding the right investor(s) for your company, always make sure you do your research on them and make sure that when they do research on you, which they will, your story will be good! Your story should be the one that makes them go on board with you and the idea of your company should be clear and unique. Doing research about them might seem a bit out of the ordinary, but when you promise someone to spend the rest of your life with them, you want to know them first right? Well guess what… when you choose your investors, you will spend your business life with them! You can ask around for information about the investor in your own network or find someone the investor has worked with or invested in already. Make sure the ideas and goals your investor has, are the same as yours.

Most (angel)investors know each other and are willing to invest in your company together. Know this: they will nog arrange this for you! Be on top of it and make sure to find the right mix of investors for your company.

What will the future bring us?

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The event of today got us thinking: ‘what will the future bring us?’. Over the years, human beings have evolved a lot and we can take for certain that we’ll continue to evolve. Way back in time, we lived only on basic instinct. We were happy when we had food, a good health, shelter, water and love. Having these things made you a rich person, it was a luxury.

Now, we entered a time where these luxuries became our basic needs. We don’t hunt for food anymore, we don’t settle for shelter and love, we always want more! In the current business model of the world, people are controlled by money, power and rules. When we have a problem, a lot of people solve the issue with two solutions. Either by adding money or adding rules. What if more money and more rules don’t get us any further in our even faster changing world, what if we got more flow and trust? More creativity comes to the table, that’s for sure!

Who would have thought that today we would be able to talk to someone who’s on the other side of the world, that we could print toys and drive cars on electricity. Who would have thought we would be looking at a future where we will be able to buy a flying car and talk to your computer via a chip in your brain.

These thoughts were the subject of our Startup Boot event, where Peter Ros of Permanent Beta took the lead in an open discussion about the impact of technology on human behavior.

Now back to the question. ‘What will the future bring us?’. Together we thought of multiple outcomes as:

‘We will go back to basic. Be happy, not by striving for more but by loving and caring.’

‘We will become one big community. Everyone will take care of each other and we’ll develop the worlds possibilities together.’

‘People will work less, but have more. Technology will make sure of that by providing us with our basic needs.’

Regarding to Peter Ros, the future will probably be a mix of all possible outcomes and hopefully bring us to a next level in wellbeing by caring for each other and our planet. But to be totally honest, we ended the event without a clear answer about the future. We were only certain about one thing: we need to stop thinking in the two basic business models for the world where we either live by basics or strive for more with money and power.

So to answer the question, how about this:

How about we don’t know what the future will bring us. How about we settle for the not knowing and open ourselves up for a new mindset. What if we acknowledge that one person cannot create the future, but we will ease in to it step by step, together. It is human nature to want to know how everything works, this is what makes us develop and even evolve. What if, we stop waiting for the government to guide us to the future but take matters in our ‘own’ hands. We work together, share thoughts and create our future together. We want to know your thoughts!

How about that?

~Permanent Beta is a community about technology and social innovation. Do you have a vision about these subject and do you want to share? You are more than welcome to join!~

Radio interview ondernemerspassie: De netwerkkoning binnen de startupscene. Nick Reineman van Startup Boot.

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Voor iedereen die succesvol wil zijn met zijn startup. Nick kwam de Startup scene binnen en wilde alle startup founders in zijn netwerk hebben. Hij begon Startup Boot en gebruikte dit om ondernemers met elkaar in verbinding te brengen. Startup Boot groeide gigantisch en binnen no time werd Nick de man bij wie je moest zijn om je startup te laten groeien. Ben je als ondernemer op zoek naar inspiratie een co-founder of investeerder? Kom dan iedere donderdag en vrijdag langs bij de Startup Boot.

65: Startup | De netwerkkoning binnen de startupscene. Nick Reineman van Startup Boot.

How to survive as a startup

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All startups have different goals but one they all share is the desire to grow in order to succeed. This may sound like a natural process but only 1 in 10 startup companies actually achieve it. The main reasons for this are: the team, the money or the idea itself is just not good enough. Nicholas Morgan, co-founder of Startup Focus, has experienced these hurdles with many startups. He helps companies to focus and grow by introducing the entrepreneurial accountability framework. With their experience in building companies’ Finance, Innovation Accounting, Governance and Stakeholder Management, they are able to help early-stage start-ups through 4 phases: get started, get ready, get worthy, keep going. The most important lesson he taught us is to make sure that your company is investment worthy. Not all companies are financially attractive, certainly not from the start. But by being able to show the right traction and validation of their proposition in the earlier stages, think of the early Uber or Facebook days, they still find the right funding path.

The next speaker at our Startup Boot event was Marc Jellema of Tom Kabinet. Tom Kabinet is a highly disruptive startup and so Marc has taught us how to survive such a company. Tom Kabinet is a company which enables consumers to buy or sell eBooks second hand. As you can imagine, a lot of writers and publishers did not agree with the idea and the second day after the company went live they received their first subpoena. The subject became very popular and the next day multiple lawyers knocked on their door offering to represent the case. In short, when you have a highly disruptive startup, the following lessons will help you survive:

Make sure you generate positive press. Make sure that when people google your company you have enough positive press to outweigh any negative press you may have received.

Operate with as few staff as possible. You cannot afford to have a lot of people on your payroll especially when your company is battling a legal case.

Be prepared for anything. The future is always uncertain. Make sure you prepare for at least two possible courses the future may take.

A disruptive start up company can survive by adapting and never giving up. A true testament to Marc’s passion and commitment is that despite all the difficulties the company has faced, when asked, Marc said that he would do it all again.

Interview Delta Lloyd: Zo haal je wél business uit netwerken

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Netwerken voelt voor veel ondernemers als een ‘moetje’. Het lichte ongemak van eenzaam bij de bar staan, herkent iedere ondernemer wel. Ook Nick Reineman (33) had het idee dat het anders kon.Hij besloot het anders aan te pakken met zijn Startup Boot-events: netwerken terwijl je relaxt een kop koffie drinkt op een boot.

Hoe belangrijk netwerken is voor een ondernemer? Nick Reineman verslikt zich nog net niet in zijn cappuccino in een koffietentje in Amsterdam. “Netwerken is álles voor een ondernemer,” zegt hij stellig. “Om succesvol te worden moeten mensen je leren kennen en weten wat je doet. Er is één manier om dat te bereiken, en dat is door te netwerken.”

Biertje teveel
Reineman heeft een eigen bedrijf dat subsidies aanvraagt voor start-ups. In die hoedanigheid woont hij regelmatig netwerkborrels bij. De geijkte associaties bij netwerken van ‘geforceerd’ en ‘ongemakkelijk’, herkent hij dan ook meteen. “Ik ben zelf ook door schade en schande wijs geworden. Dus ik herken dat gevoel dat je niet weet met wie je moet praten, je te lang vastzit aan de verkeerde persoon of uit ongemak een biertje teveel drinkt waardoor je net iets te gevat uit de hoek komt bij die belangrijke salesmanager.”

Startup boot
Dat kan anders, dacht Reineman. Dus creëerde hij een setting waar netwerken doeltreffend, maar óók leuk en gezellig is. Met als een speciale locatie: een boot. “Ideaal! Van een boot kun je niet zomaar af, daardoor ga je vanzelf met mensen in gesprek.” Reineman fungeert zelf als host en kapitein. “Ik begin met een plenair voorstelrondje waardoor je weet wie er interessant is om potentieel zaken mee te doen. En mocht er iemand toch wat verloren in een hoekje zitten, dan betrek ik hem in een gesprek. Ik ben de verbindende factor.”

Ondertussen heeft Reineman in een jaar tijd 38 van dit soort boottripjes georganiseerd. Hij is dus met recht een ervaringsdeskundige te noemen en heeft nog wel wat tips voor de netwerkende medemens.

1. Bereid je goed voor. “Als je naar een netwerkborrel gaat: weet wie er komen en bedenk twee mensen die je sowieso wilt spreken. Het kan ook geen kwaad alvast een goede vraag te bedenken. Als een ondernemer blij is met z’n werk, zal hij het altijd leuk vinden om daarover te praten.”

2. Oefen je one-minute-pitch. “Als mensen bij mij op de boot komen, vraag ik ze altijd hun pitch voor mij te doen. Vaak gaan mensen toch een beetje hakkelen. Bedenk dus duidelijk hoe je gaat zeggen wat je precies doet en wat je te bieden hebt.”

3. Wees niet te gretig. “Alleen maar zakelijk praten om maar per se die deal af te sluiten, is geen goed idee. Netwerken is toch voor de semi-gezelligheid, dus houd het een beetje casual.”

De netwerkborrels van Nick Reineman op de boot starten in de lente. Houd de site van Startup Boot Events dus in de gaten voor de laatste updates.

Delta Lloyd

The road to success.

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If I could only.., I want to be better in.., we need more results.., I want to be more successful.. Everyone recognizes at least some of these ambitious thoughts. Failure seems to be our biggest enemy. We always strive to be more successful in our life or career and that’s a good quality when running a company. But what is success and what is failure?

Failure is part of the road to success.

Learning from mistakes is what makes you grow. You do not want to make the same mistake a second time so you make sure to handle the situation different next time. This is what makes a person or business grow and become more successful.

Maurice Hennequin taught us this same lesson over coffee. Friday morning he shared his story with us during a Startup Boot event. Maurice started his career with another definition of success than he has today. He started out as a man of traditional ambition of success through wealth. While traveling the world for his job, he created a check list of things he wanted to achieve. This resulted in a list of 20 boxes to check. And over the years, he found himself checking off all of these boxes;

– Become a million dollar man
– Buy fast cars
– Have several businesses
– Have a family
– And much more

Throughout the years this made Maurice successful and proud of himself. What happened? Following the financial crash in 2008 he faced a period where his business and life were becoming less successful (the failure), a situation he had climb out of (the road to success). This failure gave him insight and an opportunity to live a different life and redefine the meaning of success. He recognised that it wasn’t material success or social status but in developing meaning, purpose, generosity and humility. He realised that success was an inner journey and while this may sound cliché his personal rendition seem to give everyone in the room a little something more to think about.

Another lesson we have learned that was the lesson of Veronica Guguian, a marketing consultant for startups and SME’s. She said not only to have an end goal, know your audience, measure everything you do in order to improve, be present for your audience so you can build a community around your brand, but also to remember that not all companies in the market are your competitors. Some companies can make for great partnerships. One company, especially startups and SMEs, will not be specialized in all aspects which can make your company grow. Instead, different companies can work together to combine their knowledge and become successful together.

The road to success. A lesson well taught by Maurice Hennequin, founder of Keen Folk and businesss coach and Veronica Guguian, owner of SPIN Ideas.

Controle WBSO, 3 TIPS

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WBSO subsidie is toegekend en u krijgt na enkele tijd een controle. Hierbij een drietal tips die boetes of eventuele terug betalingen moeten voorkomen:

1. WBSO-medewerkers in dienst?U kunt alleen de medewerkers voor de WBSO gebruiken die in loondienst zijn. Uitzendkrachten, stagiaires of zzp’ers kunt u de uren niet opgeven voor de WBSO.

2. Urenregistratie begin hier meteen mee! De uren moeten per dag dat er aan het project besteed is opgegeven worden en mogen niet langer dan 10 dagen erna worden ingevuld. Als dit op orde is scheelt dit al heel veel bij een controle.

3. Verantwoording van de uren kunnen worden aangevuld met: foto’s, data, rapportages, testresultaten, etc. Zorg dat alles wel aan het project kan worden toegerekend

Stap nu nog over om er zeker van te zijn dat u later geen geld terug hoeft te betalen. Wij hebben meer dan 100 controles met 100% succes afgerond.

Beste Deal: slechts 10% (no cure No pay)
12 jaar ervaring
ICT specialisten voor uw aanvragen
Www.wbso-software.nl alle service en veiligheid!

Interview nrc: Netwerken gaat het best op een boot waar niemand vanaf kan

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Bo&Caro gaan elke dag naar een bedrijf. Ze zijn bij aandeelhoudersvergaderingen, productpresentaties of vrijdagmiddagborrels en willen graag weten: wie is hier belangrijk?

Wat: Een rondje varen over de Amsterdamse grachten met de Startup boot
Wie: Nick Reineman, commercieel directeur van WBSO-Software, advocaat Floris Pierik en vijfentwintig ondernemers met een start up

De start-upper die in contact wil komen met andere start-uppers heeft plenty mogelijkheden. Aan de lopende band worden er bijeenkomsten georganiseerd waar je waar je kunt netwerken tot je scheel ziet. Nick Reineman liep ze allemaal af, opzoek naar potentiële klanten om subsidieaanvragen aan te verkopen, voor zijn bedrijf WSBO. “Start-ups komen vaak in aanmerking voor subsidie maar het is een hell of a job om die aan te vragen. Dat doen wij dus.”

Eerst een visitekaartje
Maar de meeste netwerkevents waar Reineman kwam vond hij nogal suf. “Vaak staat iedereen een beetje te dralen bij de bar, te verlegen om echt op iemand af te stappen. Ook ik stond er soms als een lulletje rozenwater bij, terwijl ik best een vlotte babbel heb.”

Dat kan anders, dacht Reineman. Hij besloot de boot die hij met elf vrienden gekocht heeft te gebruiken om er een netwerkbijeenkomst op te organiseren. “Zet dertig man dicht bij elkaar op een boot waar ze niet van af kunnen en ze gaan vanzelf met elkaar praten.” Bovendien is het een gewiekste manier om nieuwe klanten te werven. “Voor dat ik iemand van boord laat wil ik zijn visitekaartje hebben.”

Investeren
En daar vaart hij dan, over de Amsterdamse grachten met een boot vol start-up CEO’s. Om het geheel wat meer cachet te geven heeft Reineman advocaat Floris Pierik uitgenodigd. Hij geeft ondernemers tijdens het varen tips over hoe je met een investeerder omgaat. Wie een investeerder zoekt moet geduld hebben, zijn zaken goed georganiseerd hebben, en vooral niet zomaar met de eerste de beste in zee gaan, hoe hard of snel je ook geld nodig hebt. “Een investering is een soort van huwelijk. Je komt er niet meer zomaar vanaf. Je wil dus zeker weten of je het oké vindt dat de investeerder over jouw bedrijfsvoering een veto kan uitspreken of dat hij meer de dan helft van je aandelen bezit.”

Interessant allemaal hoor, maar Reineman heeft iets anders aan zijn hoofd. Hij knijpt zijn ogen tot spleetjes. Zijn blik glijdt over de passagiers. “Zie je die twee jongens in die witte overhemden? Potentiële klanten. Ik heb mijn collega al geïnstrueerd met ze te gaan praten.” Hij draait aan het roer van de boot. “Als we hen binnenhalen hoeven we de rest van de maand niet meer te werken.” Reineman glimlacht. Dertig potentiële klanten op een boot waar ze niet van af kunnen. Dát is pas een investering.

nrc.nl