As a Global Mobile Worker I tend to hang out in co-working spaces. The advantage besides a more disciplined place to work than my kitchen table, is meeting inspiring creative people. And, the reality is my consulting firm is a startup. We just celebrated our first anniversary and we have climbed many of the same mountains that any startup faces. How to be a lean startup. The best ways reach our customers and tell our story. And, there is the technology to support the team, which I have already talked about endlessly.
So, now that I am in Prague I take part in entrepreneur groups like Prague Entrepreneurs . I found them on Meetup (shout out to Meetup for giving me a social life in Prague and someone to watch the World Cup games with). The quality of folks, all English speakers at some level, has been phenomenal. Because they come from many different countries, most in Central or Eastern Europe we have had great conversations about the Culture of Entrepreneurship.
Then this week there was a dead on presentation by Adam Somlai-Fischer, Principal Artist and Co-Founder of Prezi launched in Budapest, Hungray. Prezi is a global hit and there were a couple of things that really made a difference from Adam’s perspective. First, they worked consciously to build a culture that would attract the best and the brightest and keep them engaged and creative. Second, they bit the bullet and launched an office in Silicon Valley. They guessed right that it would help them gain credibility in the U.S. market. They even ended up as a part of a White House Education initiative. And, just a little bit, Adam admitted, he learned about the culture of innovation in Silicon Valley.
You’ve got to check this out Prezi Campaign
Startup guru, Victor Hwang has travelled the globe working to understand what fosters entrepreneurship.
What have I discovered from this voyage? I’ve realized that, despite outward appearances, the Startup Movement is not just about startups. It is actually a deeper cultural shift that cuts to the heart of the human condition. It reflects a dissatisfaction with the way much of the world has gone for the last several decades. It marks a transformation in how we view our societies, how we convene our communities, how we create value together as human beings. It’s a counterpoint to the governing economic paradigm – what economists call neoliberalism – which has prized efficiency and productivity above everything else, even when it has corroded relationships that bond us together in our communities and social networks.
So is there a culture of entrepreneurship? Yes, absolutely, and I am learning that it has many different flavors and am enjoying the nuances of Czech, Bulgaria, Hungarian, and Kyrgyzstan entrepreneurship. I met an ambitious, intense and dedicated entrepreneur, the CEO of YourPlace.kz who is fiercely committed to fostering entrepreneurship in Central Asia. And I believe he will. There is a lot of hungry, educated talent just waiting to build a new engine of growth on economically challenged continents.