Startup Watch: glass ceilings, Gods and Men, and death to the MVP

The world of entrepreneurship news is a complex one, with people ever ready to give their two cents on how you should be running your business/VC fund/incubator. Here’s our wrap of what we’re reading on robots, sleep, women, and a little something to lighten the end of the working week.

Jordan’s gender gap in tech. Tech has increasingly been aimed at the ‘bros’ since the early 2000s (read the comments in this piece if you disagree, or speak to a woman). Jordan is a useful microcosm of the Middle Eastern situation: women tend to avoid tech issues entirely by becoming entrepreneurs, or they choose parent-friendly sectors, etcetera. So, following our video on getting girls interested in tech, here’s a look at what these children can expect when they grow up.

Wamda of the Week: why don’t you like us? This is something you’ve likely never thought about before but startups from the Middle East rarely scale to the Maghreb, and vice versa. There are the obvious reasons, but there are some interesting ones too. One is that for Maghreb startups a coveted European market - France - is practically their home base.

If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Angels don’t see themselves as investors, per se, so if you’re going after one for money, don’t ask for advice. Because you’ll get detailed, excellent advice, but no money.

The burnout/success delusion. This is a super interesting podcast on the need for sleep. They make a good point - your company might have a nap pod but are you really going to catch five hours of shut eye in there? They also wonder whether sleeplessness might become anathemas such as smoking or carbohydrates. It’s the first we’ve heard carbs are as bad as smoking though. 

The MVP is dead! Ok not quite. This list of advice is generally insightful, some we don’t agree with, some is self-explanatory. But no.3 is where things get interesting: don’t focus on the minimum viable product (not all the time anyway). The MVP has been a sacred cow of startups for years now, so it’s about time someone gave it the side-eye.

The Gods and the Useless. Realism at its best and most terrifying: robots will take jobs, that’s a fact, but they’re going to do it sooner than we realise. Entrepreneurs will survive, if they’re smart and in the right fields but remember, even you can be replaced.

The five hour workday is not a myth people. This entrepreneur is admittedly a beach bum running a surf store, but it’s a worthy thought experiment: could you run your startup on just five hours a day? Even if you’re not interested, the systems this founder put in place to test the idea are well worth considering if you’re looking for another way without going all in on something like holacracy.

The Lebanese are disrupting gaming. There’s Falafel Games, founded by Lebanese and Syrian entrepreneurs which has just released a strategy game specifically for the Arab market, and then there’s these guys at Mobalytics. Wamda’s tech lead Ayman Farhat said they could really disrupt the online MOBA games coaching industry.

Feature image via Alphacoders.



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