I find interesting the “tsunami” that has occurred with the concept “Digital Transformation” that has devastated any corner of the strategic quadrants of a company and each element of its value chain. The sensation is quite peculiar: it is as if the “philosopher’s stone” of Harry Poter has been discovered that will solve life in the business environment, something unthinkable until now.

And I simply do not think it’s exactly right how the obligation of digitally transforming or dying in the market has been released in a resounding way.

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One of the things that surprises me most in the entrepreneurial environment is the reluctance on the part of certain investors to sign a commitment to confidentiality or NDA (aka non-disclosure agreement). and the first question is why? What scares them for not doing it? What do you fear for not showing some confidence to an entrepreneur, especially novelty, when sharing a concern, an idea with them?

 

The fact is that in an initiative with young entrepreneurs, very novice in the entrepreneurial environment but with a passion overwhelmed by their project, I invited a group of investors I knew not so much so that they had the interest to invest in something, still in stages too early, but to explore possible opportunities. At the time of allowing them access to project information, I asked them to sign a NDA (it is not a confidentiality agreement with all the penal clauses in case of non-compliance but rather a declaration of intentions to listen but demonstrate a certain confidence not to spread or use what they hear) and what was my surprise when several of them (not all, at least) refused to do so for the most peregrine excuses or without them. It seemed to me that ethically we should all give the entrepreneur the confidence that we take his project seriously …


David Clode

 

That made me think and I started looking for arguments for and against (obviously by investors) to understand the problem and curiously I found several articles on that topic, that is to say that it was a situation that more than one has been questioned.

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The term “crowd” is becoming fashionable in our language as a prefix in different areas (all Anglo-Saxons): “crowdsourcing“, “crowdfunding“, “crowdlearning” among the best known, and among those least “crowd manipulation“.
In these environments, “crowd” symbolizes the participation of people in a certain activity, like this:

Daria Shevtsova

  • Crowdsourcing” (https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowdsourcing) the phenomenon, coined by Jeff Howe in June 2006 in an article by Wired magazine “The Rise of Crowdsourcing” (“The rise of crowdsourcing” ), by which people participate in developing a specific element: a product, a concrete problem, a software application (usually done in a disinterested way) either through a request from a company (large or small) as per “motu” own “in order to solve a social and / or technological challenge.
  • Crowdfunding” is the mechanism that allows financing projects / products with the collaboration of people in different formats: as a donation (typically for NGO projects or social projects as they appear on platforms such as Verkami), in exchange for gifts or first versions of the product (like what is usually seen in platforms like IndieGogo or KickStarter) or in exchange for a percentage of ownership of the initiative (crowdequity) which is the model most often followed by private investors.
  • Crowdlearning, as a way to share learning processes in a common space in which participants (experts or not) share their experiences informally free of charge with the aim of improving the cognitive abilities of all involved.
there is more, but with these we already approach the concept of “CrowdIncubation” that surely you will have already deduced.
On the other hand, another phenomenon that is “overflowing” is the “co-working” that was invented by Brouni in 1999, although it was in the year 2005 that it was really spread by Brad Neuberg who started to set up co-operative zones in San Francisco. “Co-working” is a way of working that allows independent professionals, entrepreneurs, and SMEs from different sectors to share the same work space, both physical and virtual, to develop their professional projects independently, while fostering joint projects (source: https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trabajo_cooperativo). Normally the promoters of the co-working areas usually organize activities to encourage cooperation among their “inhabitants” (real engine of this type of spaces) as well as provide them with new business strategies but do not usually go further.
Finally, we find the “Incubators” as environments (physical or virtual) where the entrepreneurs of new business initiatives find a place to start. Models of Incubators there are several: entities that offer a physical space (the most …) where you can install at a reasonable price and with a provision of basic services such as access to meeting rooms, internet free (or not), free access (or no) to events related to tenants and, on occasion, access to a set of advanced services such as integration in contact networks to facilitate the identification of possible collaborations (both national and international), search for public and / or private funding through contact with private investors or the identification of possible support from the Public Administration for entrepreneurs as well as support in the search of professional profiles to incorporate in the present or future company among others.
In these environments, and depending on the entity, entrepreneurs can find support through mentoring processes (top-down), that is with the support of external experts who (either free or at an affordable cost) provide their experience to the Entrepreneurs to generate some expectation of success guiding them in the start-up process and growth, even (this is more developed by the accelerators) has an executive team that acts as a “coach” of your initiative giving you the guidelines to follow to consolidate it in a “action-reaction” approach In the incubators, and always depending on the quality and capacity of the promoters, networking among the incubated companies can be facilitated so that they can find joint initiatives that improve their respective competitiveness in the sector where they act
What happens when we mix all the previous ingredients?
Imagine an incubation environment to which, as an entrepreneur, you approach with the intention of developing your business initiative. This environment is formed by a set of fully operational companies with different degrees of business maturity and formed by experts in various disciplines who have learned along the path of the entrepreneur.
When you arrive, the first thing you do is to introduce yourself to everyone and explain the reason for wanting to join you, the current situation of your business initiative, the main needs that you have identified in order to grow as a company as well as your main qualities. At that time people, workers, from the various companies installed and with different profiles organize work sessions with you in order to help you meet the needs exposed and thus begin to grow with certain guarantees in a model “big brother helps younger brother” Even, at some point, someone approaches you wondering if you can help them solve a problem they have from the qualities they have presented when they arrive.Some time passes and an interesting and powerful interaction is generated among all the people who develop your business initiatives in that incubator … and there comes a time when a new entrepreneur arrives (as you did) and follows the same protocol, this time you are the one who supports the new entrepreneur in a first stage. just like they did the rest when you arrived.
You do not consider it a waste of time, or a distraction, but a way to enrich yourself with the knowledge of other people, with moments of exchange of experiences that will improve your own reflection on your initiative, with sharing efforts and developing new initiatives (hybridization by symbiosis or by synergies)
This is “Crowd-Incubation“: a cooperative and co-creative methodological process in which entrepreneurs help incubate entrepreneurs during their own incubation process.
Something similar happens in events of limited duration to a weekend (such as StartUpWeekend, Resetweekend, etc …) where entrepreneurs help the enterprising winner to launch their idea. However, in this case, the degree of involvement is maximum to get within 48 hours to launch a startup, but in the case of “Crowd-Incubation” the process is more natural and at a more manageable speed by all participants.
What do you think?

Blake Parkinson

One of the difficulties that I have encountered throughout my professional life managing work teams is the coordination of teams located in geographically distant places, what we could call “remote teams“. An example could be found in the management of European projects where a coordinator located in a country has to direct the implementation of a project (which may or may not have co-designed with its partners) with partners dispersed by the European “orography”. This is the most typical case where not only the distance is critical but the cultural differences (although the recommendations that I include can be perfectly applied to local computers, in the case of remote communication equipment is crucial)

In some occasions we may be able to choose our own team but in others we will have to accept people in the team that we do not know or have worked with previously that the relationship is complicated.

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It is not always easy to find the best tools to be productive in the management of your tasks and therefore of your time.

I have been for a long time testing different applications that would allow me to:

  1. Register any task (short or long duration) without having to spend a lot of time writing it, allowing me to show it on a calendar, assign it to a member of the team and prioritize it.
  2. To be able to record the time incurred in the task
  3. To be able to follow up on activities under a GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology or simply to eliminate them once finished because they did not interest me to maintain them.
  4. Integrate with my email to generate tasks from a specific email without having to open them on purpose for it
  5. That the combination of the tools is the cheapest possible.

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