Startup Watch: how to be a CEO, Jay Z, and China’s new Gulf bud

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 how to be a CEO, pots of gold, Jay Z, and a little something to lighten the end of the working week.

How to be a CEO: step one, delegate. There will come a time when you are no longer first among equals in a small band of colleagues, but the leader of women and men who are growing your business. Making that transition can take a mental toll and you must step into that role if your company is to succeed, and we’ve found an outline of how you can go about doing that.

North Africa is winning at everything. A new report shows nine areas where MENA is pushing ahead or going backwards (the Gulf has cornered space tech and drones and North Africa R&D), but one area where the whole region is beating even the West is in women’s employment. Take that Europe.

Marty McFly’s self-tying shoes finally exist... 27 years later. We were discussing last week when doctors would disappear from surgeries, some said 20 years, others 50. The next day this came out: a $720 shoe with self tying laces called the Hyperadapt. It's taken almost 30 years for the shoes from ‘Back to the Future II’ to hit the market, so we now think doctors are pretty safe. 

Dubai is China’s new ‘gulf’ buddy. China’s new Silk Road through Pakistan is expected to be a boon to Gulf trading hubs. However, it looks as if the love affair with the UAE at least has kicked up a gear. The Emirates are the happy recipient of serious tech investment from the Red Dragon state. Already there are links building between the Dubai and Chinese tech scenes, and it’s not rocket science figuring out that the world’s biggest patent applicant might be a good thing for local startups.

Wamda of the week: Yellow cab, gypsy cab, dollar cab, holla back. It was hard picking a favorite this week, but it’s got to be the one with the headline that has us humming Jay Z. The piece is actually about the fight between Jordan’s taxi drivers, Uber, and Careem, an issue that is definitely not just a state of the mind.   

Yeah your VC actually is willing you to fail. VCs are a business. They want you to succeed fast, or get around to failing so they can refocus their energies into companies they can help. This is one reason why some investors may encourage you to spend like a rich kid in a Ferrari show room with mum’s credit card. You’ve got to figure out how to deal with these pressures, and how you do that will depend on your relationship with the investor.

Come on Saudi, it’s time. Saudi’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud renews his plea every year or so for his countrywomen to be allowed to drive, and he makes a fair point: the Saudi economy is being held back by the requirement for all women to have expensive private drivers. At the same time some of his justifications, and trade offs, for the privilege are interesting reading. One is that women are banned from driving outside city limits. Given some of the videos we’ve seen - while researching smart transportation - of the most insane car accidents in Saudi deserts, maybe young men shouldn’t be allowed out either?

And if you hadn’t heard yet, your product is the company stock. Not the actual product, and definitely not you. That’s what First Round Review found with actual numbers last week, and something we all know from watching TV.

Feature image, the Dragon Mall in Dubai, via Dubai Travelator.

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