Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Research is creating new knowledge.
Neil Armstrong 

Yesterday Pedro Rocha Vieira gave you a great help, use his tips and look at your market during this week!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Garden of Forking Paths: Part I

As Emerson always told me:

Do not go where the industry may lead, go instead where there is no industry and leave a path.
Or something like that...

And there I went, and I'm still going and growing... and first it seemed so obvious, just follow the directions to success, and how do you measure success? What is success? Is there a path to it?

Seems easy at first, always seemed so... still nowhere to go.

The easy at first path is just chasing a cool work, including some of this steps... be lucky to be born in a great country, if not just move, go to school, have some hobbies, do sports, live and love, forgive and forget, choose a good university, choose a good course, play along and when you're closer to work you realize that the previous steps maybe weren't the right ones... or that the path by itself leads nowhere where you expected and if the system has thought you right you will accept your fate and just choose the most obvious step... go ahead, continue the path... and still nowhere to go.

The other path, which might follow along the same steps, get lucky, get educated, party along, and when faced with the decision to work for someone or do something else, choose the latter.
Where might you end up...somewhere, but now you're on a different path so maybe you can continue this for a while... and is it closer to success? Depends, so there is somewhere to go.

Somewhere new, somewhere which still doesn't exists... but here is a good indicator, if you're not successful yet, it means that success still doesn't exist for you.. and if you're going to somewhere which still doesn't exist maybe you're on getting closer to this equal non existence ... go ahead.

[continued on the next week]

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ready to the Silicon valley comes to Lisbon?
Take the chance and meet the a great group of international Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

PlayUp: how to startup something social?

Beta-Start here we are!

In this exciting and inspiring world made of new technologies and great business ideas we propose a different kind of project, with the aim of accelerating an innovative social enterprise. Is this possible? 

This project is not about 'social media' but about 'social innovation': PayUp is a process for the co-creation of educational toys for children with less access to quality play opportunities. Yes, real toys, not videogames. Yes, children living in disadvantaged contexts, not the ones running up and down shopping centres in these weeks before Christmas. Surely using new interconnected technology we could start something digital with very low investment and try to rapidly reach a global market, but this is not the case. We need to step into a difficult existing market, talk to the toy industry, build relationships, gain reputation and trust from institutions and communities. We have collected resources, mapped stakeholders, done our research, connected partners, visualised and communicated our early outputs but now is time to play higher. We want to create a brand to position into an international scenario. Is PlayUp ready for it? Can a social innovation project become a sustainable enterprise by applying models and methods of startup acceleration?

We are four young international designers and innovators, we have lots to learn about business and innovation management. We bring in our wild ideas, talent, creative and practical approach to problem solving; at the same time we know we will be learn a lot from our peers, our mentors, the programme facilitators and the overall Beta-Start environment. 

Thank you for the opportunity.

More questions than answers in our first post on the Beta-Start blog, it's only week one and is already time to make big decisions, follow our updates on our facebook page (playupdesign) and soon on our website (www.playupdesign.com). For more information email us at playupdesign@gmail.com

Beta Start - The First Week

It was with great expectations that we all started the first week of the BetaStart Startup Accelarator Program.

The first thing that struck me was the invigorating and infectious enthusiasm of all the staff and participants - a real "can do" attitude seems to be the rule - rarely do we here the word "no" being spoken.

The second thing that struck me was that the BetaStart program is probably one of the most intensive programs I have ever taken part in (except maybe when revising for my mphil exams in oxford!).  You are always challenging yourself - you are always being obliged to question your ideas and assumptions about them - the end effect is that you feel your ideas adapting and becoming "bullet proof".  It is a pressure cooker environment - and i can already imagine a spinoff televesion program that follows the participants during the 6 weeks and in the end sees which projects end up succeeding (note to colleagues - i think all our projects are going to succeed :)).  A kind of masterchef meets big brother meets project runway (note to betastart team - please count on me to pitch this idea to the tv companies and to be part of the team that runs the show!). 

Betastart not only starts up projects - it ends up starting you up (theme song over here - Rolling Stones "Start me Up!").

I would like to end my 1st post blog post by thanking the whole team for putting on such a great show and for the incredible attitude - you guys rock!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

International Law and Shipping in Portugal

Dear Beta Starters Sea Edition VI 2012,

Dear All,

It is with great pleasure that I endorse all initiative aiming at improving shipping in Portugal, such as this edition of Beta Start.

Congratulations on your initiative, Beta-i!

I am not just saying this because I am a shipping professional, but because I am a Sea enthusiast. Also, because I am proud of my Portuguese and Greek family heritage, that is to say that the Sea is really part of my life. 

Another thing I found particularly impressive during my participation in the program is the very advanced IT skills of both startups and coaches.

During the last few weeks I have been asked repeatedly whether, instead of promoting the start up of a real, independent shipping company, I should perhaps consider developing some software that will supposedly cure the problems of modern shipping.

One person even suggested that I develop a computer program recruiting crew automatically, on its own.

Well, let me put it to you this way:

In my view, it is not possible to substitute human judgement with an app or any other software. You can try making your life easier in terms of data storage and information processing, however, it is not possible to allow a computer to think for you.

Imagine what would happen if a computer was to become responsible for the recruitment of Captains and Chief Engineers: any person acting in bad faith would compromise the integrity of the recruitment process.  

Moreover, imagine what would happen if a cargo shipment would be loaded in a container onboard a vessel without the Master of the vessel having the time to inspect the cargo for defects prior to loading and handing over possession and liability of the cargo to the carrier or buyer (depending on the terms of the charter party).

In short, imagine if the law allowed for any cargo to be dispatched automatically, with zero screening and without further communication issued or exchanged between carrier and shipper and/or rights transferred, or the contract of carriage not being capable of being varied, amended, or terminated.

If this was to happen, then, exporters would be free to export poor quality/defective products and would cause the automatic collapse of the importers and/or the carriers, thus sinking the world economy into a black hole.

Unless ofcourse we are talking about utopia-shipping.

Portugal, otherwise a world leader in automatic processing, especially in payment, has been very cautious with some voices calling for the implementation of oversimplified shipping/dispatch systems and has thus refused to date to approve any deviation from the existing legal framework, applicable since the late seventies.

Therefore, any such automated shipping processes would be unrealistic and illegal under Portuguese and International Law.

This is why I choose to focus on our original idea of launching a real shipping company in Portugal (something our country really needs) and whose innovation stems from the type and range of its services, rather than the means used to achieve performance of such.

Many thanks,