Reality Check

In: Entrepreneurship / 4 comments

21 Feb 2014

Today I was taken by surprise by a young entrepreneur. For a change, it was a pleasant surprise.

After I trashed his business plan all the way, he continued to be genuinely interested in things that he can do better and what/why I believe he is doing wrong. After going through all the normal steps, we got to chat about investments in general and about investors – what are they thinking about, how they look at life…

When I finished talking and after him getting all the feedback, he asked me if I want his feedback in turn. I was stunned and realized that indeed, I did not ask for entrepreneurs’ feedback for a while. In my arrogance I kept speaking, presenting, teaching… But I did not verify if I am doing the right thing or not. Hugely interested I opened my eyes widely and waited to get trashed as I trashed his business before. He told me:

“Radu – he said – young entrepreneurs are looking up to whatever you are saying but – even though I now understand that you are saying the right things – they consider that you are speaking about a different level in their future life. They believe that you don’t understand their day-to-day business issues, that you are saying a lot of things from up there, from the clouds, things that will probably never apply to their situations. I used to think the same but now, after one hour of discussing, I realize that everything that you said every time we have met makes real sense for me, too. Why don’t you tell this to us, why don’t you convey the message that all these philosophies are for real, they do apply whether you are a student or an experienced business person? Why don’t you tell us that you do understand our challenges and what you are giving us is the actual solution and not the superior observation from your crystal palace?”

Alex, I hope I got the message right. I consider it a huge compliment and – in the same time – I thank you for your criticism. And for getting this to my attention. I always considered that the best friends are the ones that tell you that your ‘fly is open’… And yes I will definitely try to improve my speech.

Original Romanian Version

Reality Check

M-am vazut astazi cu un tanar antreprenor care m-a surprins. Placut.

Dupa ce i-am ucis din toate pozitiile businessul, a continuat sa fie interesat “genuine” despre de ce cred eu ca nu e bine. Si, dupa ce am trecut prin toate etapele, am ajuns sa povestim despre investitii in general, despre investitori – cum gandesc ei, despre deck-uri…

Si la sfarsit, dupa ce si-a luat tot feedback-ul de la mine, ma intreaba daca nu cumva vreau si eu feedback de la el. Am intepenit si am realizat ca, intr-adevar, nu am mai cerut feedback de la antreprenori de foarte multa vreme. In aroganta mea, am tot vorbit, prezentat, intrebat… Dar nu am mai verificat de mult. Cu tot interesul din lume am cascat ochii si am asteptat sa mi-o iau la randul meu. Tanarul mi-a spus asa:

“Radu – zice – antreprenorii tineri din Romania se uita la tot ce spui tu si – desi inteleg ca zici bine – considera mereu ca tu vorbesti pentru o alta etapa. Ca nu intelegi problemele de zi cu zi cu care se confrunta ei, ca spui lucruri de acolo, din nori, dar care lucruri nu o sa li se aplice lor niciodata. Asa am crezut si eu, dar acum inteleg ca tot ce ai spus de cate ori ne-am intalnit are noima pe bune si pentru mine. De ce nu spui ca toate filozofiile astea sunt pe bune, ele se aplica chiar daca esti student, chiar daca esti un experimentat. De ce nu ne arati ca tu chiar intelegi chinurile prin care trecem noi si ca de fapt ce ne spui este solutia si nu doar observatia superioara a unuia din globul lui de cristal?”

Alex, sper ca am inteles corect mesajul. Il consider un mare compliment si in acelasi timp iti multumesc pentru observatia critica. Si pentru ca mi-ai atras atentia. Am considerat mereu ca cei mai buni prieteni sunt cei care iti spun ca ai slitul deschis… Si – da, voi incerca sa imi imbunatatesc discursul.




February 21st, 2014 at 11:10 pm

da. corect. si multumesc.

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February 23rd, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Frumos. M-am tot gandit in ultima vreme la faptul ca cei mai de succes oameni pe care ii cunosc (si aici nu ma refer doar la succesul financiar) sunt niste learning machines 🙂

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February 24th, 2014 at 9:27 am


-Radu, as avea si eu o rugaminte: daca-ti permite timpul, ar fi foarte util sa dezvolti un subiect pe blog despre cele mai bune metode de promovare a unui produs software.(care ti se par tie cele mai bune, bineinteles).
-Cred ca este problema de capatai a oricarui start-up, degeaba ai un produs daca nu-l vinzi.
-Lucrez si eu la doua produse care in 2-3 luni cred ca le scot pe piata, am si ceva idei de promovare, dar… experienta 0 in promovare/vanzare.Sint sigur ca nu sint doar eu interesat de acest subiect…

Merci mult!

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Manuel Heilmann

April 25th, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Brave young man! A very cool anecdote.

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