This Is Your Life

Is this how things work? Wanted to do something but ended up doing something else. Like watching this video. It wasn’t on my list at all. I was looking for a music video that I downloaded in my computer, when I saw this. It’s been a while, forgot about this – at all. 

You know how signs can come from everywhere. Maybe, this is a sign, a reminder – for the recipient to stay on track.

So if you need a pick-up, have a look on this. (only 2 mins long). It’ll inspire you.

THIS IS YOUR LIFE…

        Live Your Passion

        Live Your Purpose

        Live Your Dreams

Enjoy.

Social Good Startup: Kopernik

kopernik dlight solar lanternKopernik is one of the 8 finalists to Startups Good Challenge that was held about a month ago, sponsored by the good guys at Mashable, 92Y and UN Foundation. I tried to reach out to all of the finalists, however, only 5 responded – with one left the event early, before I had the chance to interview the founder.

The criteria:

“Startups that are building or using technology to make a positive impact on the world will compete for a chance to present at the Social Good Summit and win a $10,000 cash prize for their company.”

So this is the first social good organizations out of four (that I was able to have conversations with) that will be featured here. The lineup: Kopernik, Empower Energy, Simple Energy and the winner of this competition – a 19-yo kid, Sun Saluter.

In this interview, I talked with Toshi Nakamura, the co-founder of Kopernik, a social enterprise who’s also a member of Clinton Global Initiative. Toshi and I shares one thing in common: Indonesia. Oh well, his organization is based in Indonesia, and I was lifted from there. That’s about it.

The problem that they’re trying to solve is in the distribution of life-changing technology to the last mile in the developing country (read: the poorest). Think of this business as the online store for innovative technologies, i.e. technology like what you see from the picture above showing d.light lantern, which is one of the products available from their store.

Continue reading “Social Good Startup: Kopernik”

The Path to Find Your Next Big Ideas

bright ideaI recently had the opportunity to chat with Peter Sims, the author of “Little Bets,” at the Social Good Summit. Peter is also a co-founder of Fuse Corps, a social enterprise that partner up with government, mayors, etc. to help tackle the nation’s most pressing problems. This is part of his little bets.

Little bets are a way to explore and develop new possibilities. The idea is to start small experiment to discover big things. You have to go through the process to discover bigger and better ideas. There is no shortcut for that.

For example, comedian Chris Rock would practice (read: experiment) with his lines at small comedy clubs around where he lives – before he uses those lines (that worked) for the big stage.

The same is true with VCs, how they would invest in a number of different companies. Not all companies would succeed (if it works out 100% success ratio, it would be a dream!), however, from the companies they invest one of two would grow big and give multiple times payback to investors.

So before you dive in to the conversation, here are some the things you can learn from this conversation:

  • where Peter finds his inspiration
  • that it’s okay to fail

Continue reading “The Path to Find Your Next Big Ideas”

Think like a Startup. Visualize Your Business Model.. in 15 Minutes

“Ordinary people believe only in the possible. Extraordinary people visualize not what is possible or probable, but rather what is impossible. And by visualizing the impossible, they begin to see it as possible.”

~ Cherie Carter-Scott

This is the challenge for most entrepreneurs is that we often get caught up so much in daily things that we failed to see the big picture, focus on that and put it to work.

“Ordinary people believe only in the possible. Extraordinary people visualize not what is possible or probable, but rather what is impossible. And by visualizing the impossible, they begin to see it as possible.”

~ Cherie Carter-Scott

This is the challenge for most entrepreneurs is that we often get caught up so much in daily things that we failed to see the big picture, focus on that and put it to work.

The startup business framework created by Tom Hulme, IDEO’s Design Director at their London’s office, is simple enough for anyone to use. Whether you just have this idea that you think is very interesting, to large companies.

Continue reading “Think like a Startup. Visualize Your Business Model.. in 15 Minutes”

A Thrift (Home Improvement) Store with Social Mission

Construction and demolition debris makes up over half of our nation’s solid waste. That’s the problem that Community Forklift trying to solve with their business. They are not a forklift store, rather it is a thrift store that sells surplus, salvaged and new green building materials – with a social mission. Think of it as a combination of Home Depot and Goodwill thrift store wrap in one package.

So the other week I talked to Ruthie Mundell, Outreach and Education Director with Community Forklift, to get an insight from her about their business.

Construction and demolition debris makes up over half of our nation’s solid waste. That’s the problem that Community Forklift trying to solve with their business. They are not a forklift store, rather it is a thrift store that sells surplus, salvaged and new green building materials – with a social mission. Think of it as a combination of Home Depot and Goodwill thrift store wrap in one package.

So the other week I talked to Ruthie Mundell, Outreach and Education Director with Community Forklift, to get an insight from her about their business.

Continue reading “A Thrift (Home Improvement) Store with Social Mission”

5 Ways to Build Flexible Business Plan

You don’t need a big, thick ‘formal’ business plan as you get started. “What’s important is doing and thinking,” says Tony Chan, managing partner of Cue Ball (a VC). Build a flexible business plan instead, because things can change along the way. There’s also an alternative to a formal business plan something that is short, sweet, and to the point – it’s called the one day business plan worksheet, should you really want to get something going.

The 5 ways to build your flexible business plan, via Harvard Business Review:

1. Start with your heart.

You got to believe in your idea.

2. Think big, start small and scale fast.

Know when to let it go. At the same token, know when to scale fast.

3. Have a basic framework.

This is the most critical element of any business plan. The framework should connect people, skills, idea, market and business model. In short PIMM.

P = people and skills, see where they fit.

I = idea.

M = model or business model. If you have no clue what type of business model to shoot for, check this “The 10 new business model for this decade.”

M = market. Who are you targeting?

4. Know the trade-offs.

If PIMM is critical, people always trump idea. A team with bad idea is better than B/C team with good idea.

5. Keep it iterative.

In other words, be flexible to change.

There’s more below.

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/hcNpgqrHSAA%2Em4v%5D

Build a Flexible Business Plan – Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

Kick-off Ecotwist Radio

RESCHEDULE TO NEXT TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 23: So my guest didn’t call in. That prompted me to reschedule the show.

UPDATE: He just called in (tied up in a meeting) and we agree to do it on Tuesday the 23rd. (There’s some learned lessons to improve the show for next time).

President Obama announced that tomorrow, November 19, 2010, is as National’s Entrepreneurs’ Day in conjunction with Global Entrepreneurship Week. Each November, GEW connects people everywhere in the world through activities to help them unleashed their idea by exploring their potential as self-starters and innovators. 

Connects the dots. I’ve been kicking around with the idea of hosting an educational radio show on business and sustainability for a while. So today is the day. The kick-off of my show, Ecotwist.

My first guest is Andy Shallal, an Iraqi American, who is an activist, artist and restauranter. Andy is a successful entrepreneur. His flagship restaurant, Busboys and Poets, has been a success from the opening. He is someone who is recipient of multiple awards on sustainability, activism and business. I met Andy a while back in the summer through a networking group, Net Impact. NI hosted their event at his restaurant. So after the event, I approached Andy to be on my show, then still in the thinking process. 

Busboys and Poets is a local DC restaurant chain. The restaurant chain is an example of good business practice of the triple bottom line – people, planet and profit. It’s a certified B Corporation. They have a number of sustainability initiatives in place, i.e. uses renewable energy via wind energy, recycle their oil for biofuel, uses 100% recycled products, copy paper, carry-out items, serves sustainable seafood. And believes that ‘transparency is an important component of their environmental agenda.’

If you happen to be around, you can listen via your browser at http://blogtalkradio.com/ecotwist. You can also join the conversation at 323-693-3030