Social Entrepreneurship Without a Master Plan


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What happens if you start your business without a master plan? And what can we learn from it?

This talk+roundtable discussion was given to a very exclusive audience of young international entrepreneurs at Copenhagen Business School.

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Social Entrepreneurship Without a Master Plan

  1. 1. Social entrepreneurshipwithout a master plan... <br />Mathias Vestergaard™ <br />E-ship Day 2008<br />
  2. 2. Out of curiosity...<br />How many of you do not speak Danish? <br />
  3. 3. Who the hell is this bald little guy?<br />Photographer<br />Writer<br />Webdeveloper<br />Boy scout<br />Fashion editor<br />Student<br />Quasi-famous <br />Author (well, trying)<br />Teacher<br />Martini-drinker<br />5% New Yorker<br />22 years old<br />
  4. 4. Who are you? <br />Have youalreadystarted a company?<br />
  5. 5. Conclusion<br />Find the energy<br />Where does it come from?<br />How can you capture it?<br />Avoid the boring<br />
  6. 6. What the hell should we talk about?<br />Successful entrepreneurship <br />Stories <br />How it started... <br />GadeMode™<br />Bounded creativity<br />Political activism<br />Random thoughts <br />Stress<br />Networking... <br />Tips<br />Workshop after dinner... <br />
  7. 7. Explainingsuccess<br />Successfulcompany<br />
  8. 8. Alternative theory<br />Social Construction Of Technology (SCOT)<br />Authors: T. Pinch & W. Bijker (articles)<br />Actor-network Theory (ANT)<br />Authors: B. Latour, J. Law, M. Callon, A. Mol<br />Books: ”The Pasteurisation of France” (Latour)<br />
  9. 9. Entrepreneurship<br />Traditionally<br />The brilliant idea<br />Business plan<br />Investors<br />”MyBusiness Inc.”<br />High profit (high risk)<br />Scaleability <br />Growth, growth, growth<br />Cases: Skype, Facebook, YouTube, Fortune 500…<br />Alternative<br />?<br />Not necessarily better…<br />
  10. 10. An instance of chance... <br />My personal story<br />Not necesarily a definite guide... <br />Inspiration to dosomething<br />
  11. 11. Story #1: No master plan<br />6th grade<br />It all began as play: MT Air, Tele MT, osv. <br />Interest in computers<br />-> small computer games and programs<br />Troels<br />Mathias<br />
  12. 12.
  13. 13. The first job...<br />First: local wine import<br />Later: local restaurant<br />VAT-registration was a simple necesity... <br />
  14. 14. No brilliant idea...<br />Pros<br />Basically no risk<br />Get you started<br />No fixed costs<br />Option to change direction<br />No boring investor ”pitches” and endless meetings with lawyers and accountants<br />Cons<br />Becomes personal (so you can’t really sell your company later)<br />You won’t become a billionaire! <br />
  15. 15. Story #2: Do whatyouwant to do<br />!<br />WARNING:<br />Laughter provoking content<br />
  16. 16. Boyscout... indeed...<br />Mathias anno 1999<br />
  17. 17. A new friendship and a new interest...<br />Mathias<br />Helle<br />
  18. 18. Articles for ’Delfinen’<br />
  19. 19. More...<br />
  20. 20.
  21. 21.
  22. 22. 1½ years later...<br />+1400 daily visits<br />Awards from Magasin and Cosmopolitan<br />Press: Politiken, DR1 News... (and TV2 Østjylland, P4... )<br />GadeMode™<br />
  23. 23. And the list goes on...<br />15 voluntary photographers<br />Contract deliveries for Politiken and<br />Part-time assistant editor (best decision ever) <br />Spin-off: <br />Articles on trends for <br />Articles for Dansk Daily during Copenhagen Fashion Week<br />Articles and photos for Euroman<br />
  24. 24. Shut up now....<br />
  25. 25. Lots of practicalwork<br />Shootingphotos (with a cameraborrowed from a friend) <br />Writingtexts<br />Therewerenocommentson the site in the beginning<br />Pressreleases<br />A lot of criticism<br />Angry e-mails and stuff...<br />
  26. 26. Is GadeMode™actually a success? <br />We’veworkedonthis for 1½ years<br />Where is the money(Lebowski)???<br />
  27. 27. Success in social entrepreneurship<br />Sounds so terribly fancy...<br />Whatdoes it mean?<br />
  28. 28. Ways of interacting<br />Havingcoffee<br />Dinner at a restaurant<br />Party/gettingdrunk<br />Group work<br />Meeting<br />Starting a new project<br />
  29. 29. What did we do?<br />Loved the work<br />Followed the ”energy”<br />”Is thisfun?”<br />Attractedvolunteers<br />Changeddirection as needed<br />
  30. 30. Problem: how to have a goodidea?<br />Noboundaries -> finger paint -> ’Kaospilot’<br />Story #3: boundedcreativity<br />
  31. 31. Mathias has a girlfriend<br />Mathias<br />Pernille<br />
  32. 32. Mathias has a girlfriend<br />Mathias<br />Pernille<br />
  33. 33. Boundary 1: travel time<br />Århus<br />Herning<br />Pernille<br />
  34. 34. Chanel<br />New York<br />Paris<br />Restauranter<br />Caféer<br />...<br />Boundary 2: need $$$<br />Pernille<br />
  35. 35. Shoe store <br />Hugeinventory of oldshoes<br />Frustratingworkenvironment<br />Tooexpensive to selldiscountedproducts in the physical store<br />Recurrent problem<br />Wholesale candevaluate the standard prices<br />Boundary 3: shoe shop<br />
  36. 36. 3 hourson the train<br />Need for $$$<br />Shoe shop with a hugeinventory<br />One night... <br />Boundaries:<br />
  37. 37. Large selection<br />Reducedprices<br />PhotographyonSundays<br />Specialtechnology: working offline on the train<br />Quick solution – lessthan 20 hours<br />Online sale<br />
  38. 38. ...mythird story is also a story of failure... <br />Unfortunately...<br />
  39. 39. Story #4: politicalactivism<br />
  40. 40. Thosewere the stories<br />
  41. 41. Thoughts on networking...<br />Or... social NOTworking as someone recently called the endless hours spent on Facebook...<br />
  42. 42. My three key contacts<br />Teacher from primary school<br />My sister’s friend’s father<br />The guy who called me up in 2001 because he wanted to use one of my Flash games on his website (for free)<br />
  43. 43. The point is...<br />You can’t really know who’ll become your most important contacts...<br /> instead of only networking with the ’cool kids’ or ’big bosses’, I try to listen to everyone...<br />
  44. 44. Bloggingauthenticity and collaboration<br />Carat<br />GadeMode™<br />
  45. 45. Paid to blog?<br />Can you do that?<br />Three-way (kinky...)<br />Real?<br />Openness <br />A<br />Us<br />Users<br />
  46. 46. WhataboutSTRESS?<br />3 out of 6 so called ”Future Leaders” do not believethat stress actuallyexists!<br />It is pretty real!<br />Meditation + running etc.<br />
  47. 47. Tips & tricks to do it yourself<br />Begin while you study<br />Do a real project<br />Set a reasonable and good price (difficult)<br />Spend on the stuff you like <br />
  48. 48. My ”organization”<br />
  49. 49. But where is the ”corecompetency”?<br />
  50. 50. Thaughtexperiment: the perfectWednesday<br />
  51. 51. Do it!<br />Maybe no one actually knows how to do a successful project... But one thing is certain: if you don’t try nothing will happen... <br />
  52. 52. What’snext in mylife? <br />Company boards <br />Moving to New York, fall 2009<br />