Startup Watch: breaking stuff, pain = gain, and working for the man
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 f-f-f-failure, working for the man, taking your medicine, and a little something to lighten the end of the working week.
Break it, Google tells UAE. The UAE is brave, but it hasn’t yet been crazy brave enough to let people fail. Google, whose motto wasn’t ‘Move fast and break things’ (that was Facebook), nonetheless has told the government it needs to let people break things - who should then be given the chance to break more things. They got a bankruptcy law as of December, now they’ve got to start letting people crash.
Egypt proves the pain is worth the gain. Egypt and Nigeria were both facing currency crises recently. One floated, the other didn’t. Guess who is winning now? Egypt. The Egyptian pound has come down under 16 to the US dollar and falling, agricultural exports are rising and even tourism is coming back. The lesson here is clear. Take your medicine.
Wamda of the week: the dragon and the pearl. China is cosying up to everyone these days. Countries should almost feel snubbed if the dragon kingdom hasn’t offered to build them a continental railway, or an entire port. Now it’s Bahrain’s turn as the island tries to go from sleepy trading outpost to regional startup hub.
Work for the man before you fly off to startupland. Working for a corporation can be frustratingly slow and bureaucratic, but it pays dividends. As a founder you’ll (hopefully) be employing a lot of people - do you know how to manage them effectively? You will need to work with big businesses - do you know how a large enterprise functions? This VC says he rates corporate experience in his founders.
Don’t know how to hire? There’s a handbook for that. In the rush for talent in MENA, ensuring you have a diverse group of the right people working under you is tricky. But by the time you’ve hired a couple dozen employees, it’s too late. And do you really want to be going through the kind of staff harassment scandal Uber has attracted, again?
UAE gives itself a 100 year deadline to open its first Mars city. If there is one country on this planet of ours with blatant giant cojones, it’s the UAE. 2117 is the year they’ve set for the opening on their next Emirate, on Mars. 2021 is the year they’ve set to launch their first satellite. At least Musk has an actual plan already.
Not a Kroc, or is it? If you’ve not discovered film critic Mark Kermode yet, you’re in for a treat. Kermode is our favorite movie reviewer (watch the 'Sex and the City 2' review - it’s excoriating), and this week he discusses 'The Founder', the story of the man, Ray Kroc, who was behind the McDonald’s restaurant franchise. Kermode’s a total geek, but he’s fair.
Feature image via NHT Consulting.