Some thoughts after March 2017's SG

(Salim Virani) #1

Overall impression

When I mentor startups, I always try to assess the situation so I can calibrate any advice I give. Advice that is truly useful takes into account the startup stage, resources, past experience and founders’ motives.My

Sometimes, the founders are doing too much, and they need help focusing and applying some kind of strategy. Sometimes, they are missing something big that I can help them see. Sometimes, they’re fucking around need a kick in the ass.

And sometimes, my face lights up because they’re doing everything just fine, and all I can say is, “so how can I help?”

That’s what this SG felt like to me.

I’ve learned from investors how to assess if a team is investable, and the quality of the team is more important than their business idea or their results.

One of the favourite things I heard at this SG was that there was so much demand for Pipe to do database queries that you had to create a dedicated Slack channel. (And I’ve heard before how much you hate creating Slack channels, so that says a lot.)

You guys are using data to make decisions! Shit yeah.

There were so many other signs that you’re on the right track: the collaboration between PD and finance; the efficiency levers you were finding in social media, sales funnel management, platform support; the level-headedness regarding GTs numbers (a sign you are learning to be capital-D Disruptive, as in true Disruptive Innovation, like Apple, Uber, Grameen, M-Kopa); being on top of network management like a machine!; MoS deployment being rock-steady; the increased speed in measurement of network finance (down to 5 months and dropping) and you’re measuring process time too; IM deploying platforms and APIs like bosses.

I could keep going.

The point I’m trying to make is all of this is hard, and you’re all going, “I got this.”

The point I’m trying to make is that when you set hard goals you get farther than when you set easy goals, but it doesn’t feel like as much of a success since you wanted more.

The point I’m trying to make is that if you were a startup, you’d be an investable team. You don’t need saving or managing, you don’t need anything really. Rather than need, you deserve backing and help to open doors to bigger opportunities.

You deserve to give SG homework rather than the other way around.

So how can I help? :slight_smile:

What’s next for AIESEC International

So, for quite a few of you, you’re feeling like you didn’t get to do that thing you wanted to do this term. I get it. Immersion (Deep Dive) was my baby and we had to park it. We worked haaaaard on that.

But please don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.

We didn’t all get our “hows” but we got a lot of our “whats” and “whys” in some way. AIESEC has far more entrepreneurial thinking ingrained now. It’s a more distributed and empowering network organisation.

Fixers and other p2p facilitation formats

I’m pretty stoked that you liked Fixers. There’s a lot more where that came from. We have a ton of peer to peer formats which can help.

First of all, I’ll share the Delegation Canvas with you if you find it useful, and we have some notes on fixers in our facilitation guide.

We have a lot more formats like that, and I think they’d be useful at future SGs, ICs, XPROs, and also ad-hoc. If anyone’s interested in poking through our faciliator guide (always under construction), I’d love to share and help you make use of that stuff.

Use The Source, Luke

On that note, if anyone wants to come learn our ways, you’re welcome to our internal Source Camps in Bulgaria. They’re roughly every 3 months.

And as I mentioned, we’ve now isolated a business model that grows, and puts us delivering p2p education to network organisations all over the world. We help all kinds of engineers and social enterprises learn the state-of-the-art techniques they need to succeed in fast-changing environments. If you want to be a facilitator with us, you’d be in the middle of a stream of hundreds of cool tech companies doing everything from fintech to clean water. And a more ambitious opportunity is to step up as a Source Partner, where you pick up your own clients within Source (with plenty of our support), so the profits are yours. So if either being a faciitator (on salary, supporting entrepreneurs all over the globe) or partner (earning profits) is interesting to you, let’s talk.

When I mentioned this at the end of SG, I mentioned the money. Yes, the money is pretty good, but I mentioned that just so you’d have a tangible idea of what your options are – and what’s the value of your experience.

Don’t undervalue yourself, and don’t be afraid to go for something you want to do and carve your own path. You are ready and you have a support network to help you succeed on your own terms.

If I can be of any kind of support, add me on Linked In ( and on Telegram (+359 889331544) and we can chat.