Richard Lucas

July 2018

Years ago I wrote a column for a Startup magazine called “Proseed” Entrepreneurs wrote to me with their problems and I shared my advice. A kind of “Agony Aunt” for startups.

 

My “agony aunt” Column for Proseed

 

A few weeks ago a trusted friend introduced me to a team of keen programmers and developers from a high school who were working on an App in the area of fashion AI and tech. I’ll often find time to see people in these circumstances even though those who know me will know that fashion is not one of my strengths. This doesn’t matter much – I almost always give the same advice –  which is to get feedback from customers and users think, not me. 

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May 2018
I’m on my way to Infoshare.pl – the largest IT event in Central Eastern Europe.
The reason ? I’m giving a talk about the challenges startup businesses have with management – and what founders and investors can about it. I’m also looking forward to seeing Peter Cowley, and his son Alan.

The organisers – who give the strong impression of knowing what they are doing – facilitate business speed dating.

 

I have received *a lot* of requests for meetings.This blog post is primarily for people who want to meet me.

Normally I refer people to  longer articles I have written saying what I want to know before meeting such as this

Questions From a Potential Investor  

and the somewhat passive aggressive “What do you think of my business idea?”  

For  “Infoshare Speed Dating”, this may be overkill – so this is a simplified process.

If you want to meet me about a business idea, please answer the questions below. For non-business meetings, just let me know in a sentence what it is about (I will probably say yes). Here goes:

1. What problem does your business (idea) solve?
2. Have you got any clients (or commitments to buy) for your product/service? If yes, please name 2-3 people who are either clients or have committed to become clients at the price you intend to charge.  If you think there will be thousands, it should be very easy to find 2-3,
3. What are your unit economics? How much more are you planning to charge clients that your cost of delivering whatever it is you business is providing.
4. How much money do you want, at what valuation?
5. Who is in your team?

If you are not able/willing to provide this level of detail, please describe in not more than three sentences compelling reasons to meet.

Thanks

Richard

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March 2018 I came across this interview from 2011 and thought I’d repost it.

PMR was a member of  SIPA – the Specialised Information Provider Association www.siia.net back then. Full credit to Ronn Levine for the interview 

What was your first job out of college and how did you get into this business? 
I set up a business selling “new students in town, start-up kits” for people who were living away from home for the first time. It didn’t work out, and I later got a job in a consulting company in Cambridge. I knew I wanted my own business.

Has there been a defining moment in your career? Perhaps when you knew you were on the right road. 
No. I think getting out of a full-time job when I stopped running PMR in 2007 was a very good move. It gives me more time for the things I am better at—like getting new things going and handing over to better managers than me.

In brief, describe your business/company? 
I have five businesses. 1) PMR is an 80-person strong B-to-B publications company in retail, life sciences, construction and IT with a focus on Eastern Europe and Russia. We consult and do market research in those sectors across the region. 2) SKK – the largest automatic identification company in Poland; 3) ISL – the leading warehouse automation company in Poland; 4) Unicard – the leading plastic cards company; and 5) Argostranslations.com – one of the largest Central European translation companies. Run by an American.

What are two or three important concepts or rules that have helped you to succeed in business? 
Be good rather than cheap, decentralise decision-making as far as you can provided it’s working, anticipate client needs, create a give-more-get-more culture and fight like a tiger to get the best people.

What is the single-most successful thing that your company is doing now? 
Hiring the best people we can rather than just looking locally.

Do you see a trend or path that you have to lock onto for 2011? 
No, just continue to be prepared to act fast on opportunities that arise from having money and growth in a tough market.

What are the key benefits of SIPA membership for you and your team? 
Being able to find other industry professionals to compare notes with.

Where did you grow up? 
Oxford, U.K. Dad taught philosophy at Merton College.

What college did you attend? Is there a moment from that time that stands out? 
Economics Tripos, University of Cambridge. The buzz of giving successful speeches in the debating society.

Are you married? Do you have children? 
I was married, now divorced; have three great children 14, 12, 10 (girl girl boy) who live with me one week in two. One of the reasons I don’t have a full-time job is so I can look after them properly when they are with me.

What is your favorite hobby and how did it develop in your life? 
I run a number of voluntary projects…TEDx Conferences, and help with Global Entrepreneurship Week teaching kids about enterprise. It’s more rewarding than a hobby and more fun.

Is there a book you recently read or movie you saw that you would recommend? 
The book would be “The New Cold War: Putin’s Russia and the Threat to the West” by my brother, Edward Lucas—who is the international editor of The Economist. It’s about those in charge of Russia. Peter Weir’s film, “The Way Back,”gives a glimpse of what people in Central Europe experienced at the hands of Soviet communism.

Additional comments? 
I’m an angel investor. If anyone reading this wants to start a business with SIPA member PMR, go here; if for something else, go via www.richardlucas.com. I’m also a Couchsurfer, so if you are passing through Krakow, Poland, invite yourself to stay. I’ll accept if circumstances allow it; if not, at least have a drink or meal.

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Richard Lucas June 2018

This is a list of events I have spoken at, hosted and/or organised, and am going to speak at or organise in the future.

If I believe I can genuinely contribute to an event, I welcome invitations. However before contacting me, please read this.

I used to have a section on my Linkedin profile called
Professional sometimes pro-bono Speaker/Panelist/Event host.  Linkedin limits the number of words. Hence this post, which is linked to from my Linkedin.

I made my first stage appearance when  I was about 10 years old in Oxford  –  a long long time ago. I haven’t kept good records.  My specialities are in making events I speak at/host:
interactive, participant focussed, high quality and fun.

I’ve written about this here. I am often asked to speak about entrepreneurship, leadership and business. TED and my experience as a TEDx Curator have helped me understand what a truly high class event and talk feels, looks and sounds like. Plus attending many events that cannot be described as world class.

Forthcoming events

Krakow Enterprise Mondays, AGH University of 29th Nov 2018

Edinburgh Business Show, Scotland 23 Nov 2018

CAMentrepreneurs Event, Scotland 22nd November 2018

Krakow Enterprise Mondays, University of Agriculture and Krakow Politechnik 5th November

Invested Investor Book launch, Cambridge, UK  18th October

Krakow Enterprise Mondays, University of Economics 15th October

Information meeting about TED, TEDx, TEDxKazimierz with several other  TEDx Organisers 8th October

Inaugural address for the new academic year, Politechnika Krakowska   1st October.

Past events

CAMentrepreneurs/Oxbridge Society of Poland Fresher (new student) orientation with the Oxbridge Society of Poland,
the Cambridge University Polish Students Society, and the Oxford University Polish Students Society at Google Campus Warsaw 8th September.

TEDxTarnow – introducing a favourite TED talk 24rd June

TEDxKazimierz Main Event organising/hosting 9th June 2018

Krakow Enterprise Mondays (organising/hosting) in University of Economics 4th June

Light 4.0 in Krakow (hosting a panel) May 23th

Infoshare Gdynia  talk/workshop May 22nd

TEDxKazimierzSalon (organising/co-hosting)  19th May

XIV International MBA Congress in Krakow (on a panel) 18th May

TEDxKazimierzLive (organising/co-hosting) 28th April

Entrepreneurs Club @JCC Krakow  26th April 

Krakow Enterprise Mondays in the Agricultural University (organising/hosting)  Krakow 23rd April

CAMentrepreneurs New York global Luncheon (speaking, guest) 14th April

TEDFest NYC Pre-event (organising/hosting) 9-10th April

TEDxKazimierzSalon (co-organising) 28th March

TEDxWarsaw Pre Event workshop  on networking 21st March

Krakow Enterprise Mondays (organising/hosting) 12 March

TEDxKazimierzSalon 28th February 2018 

Entrepreneurs Club @JCC Krakow #2   27th February 2018

Spotkanie ASBiRO Kraków z Richardem Lucasem   14th Feb

Startup Weekend Kids Krakow  Jury  4th Febuary

JCC Krakow’s Entrepreneurship Club launch host 30th Jan

2017

PAMI Conference Polish-American Innovation Bridge 2017  host 17-18th November

Zakonu Pijarów High School talk about TED , TEDx and TEDxKazimierz October 26th
Gimnazjum Ziarnko Maku  talk about Wojtek the Soldier Bear, TEDx and enterprise 25th October
Winchester College “Studium” Pluses and minus of going into business Wed 11 Oct
Embassy International School  talk about TED , TEDx and TEDxKazimierz  19 September
TEDxKazimierz events and meet ups since October 2015
CAMentrepreneurs from 12.2016
Krakow Enterprise Mondays 2016-present
Open Coffee Kraków co-host from 2013-present.
Mentor Kraków Wrocław Living Lab February 2017

The Roast of Richard Lucas Kraków Standup Comedy 22nd Jan 2017

2016
Polish Student Societies Leadership Workshop Edinburgh December 2016
Jury at Krakow Smogathon November 2016
Poland 2:0 Summit London October 2016
Workshop for Redlands MBA students in Krakow in October 2016
Community Building Workshop at the TED Summit  Canada June 2016
Pre-TED Summit Event Calgary, Canada co hosted June 2016
Pre-TEDxWarsaw event March 2016 Co-host and organiser
Smart City Panelist, Change Leaders Foundation event, March 2016
Innovators’ Summit #4: Smart City / Smart Living Kraków November 2015

Workshop for Fordham MBA students May 2015
Krakow Innovation Swarm April 2015
Startup Sprint Silver Tsunami April 2014
Innovators’ Summit November 2014
Women’s Entrepreneurship Day November 2014
TechSaturdays Wrocław: October 2014
Startup Sprint E-commerce June 2014

Wojtek the Solider Bear Statue unveiling speech in Park Jordana 18th May 2014
Startup Sprint March 2014
KrakSpot #16 January 2014
Christmas StartUp Mixer December 2013
TEDxKrakówCinema – entrepreneurship December 2013
Robienie interesu życia November 2013
Startup Stage #6 September 2013
Startup Pirates May 2013
BOSS – Festiwal Biznesu April 2013
Startup Stage #3 March 2013
Startup Weekend Krakow February 2013
Entrepreneur from our School http://znaniabsolwenci.pl/Home/English November 2011  May 2013

Speaker and Judge at entrepreneurship events at “Gielda Przedsiebiorczosci, ” 2009-2012

TEDxWrocławSalon Speaker
TEDxKraków Speaker October 2010

Wojtek the Solider bear

Global Entrepreneurship Week numerous activities, hosting of School Visits to companies I was involved in 2008
1996 Polish Ministry of Education – business perspectives at Soros Foundation Scholar orientation event I sometimes contribute to events as a panellist and speaker. Based on 30 years experience as an entrepreneur and activist.
Doing Business in Poland event 1995 CBI event in Centre Point, London
Main areas I talk or teach about
entrepreneurship, leadership, investing. Smart cities, technology, startups, Social media, community management, All things TEDx related, Poland, Cambridge (UK)

If you want before contacting me, please read this

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Richard Lucas

February 2018

I spoke to Harriet  Noble for the Project Kazimierz podcast. I wanted her on the show because I was interested in the cross over between what she does as a job – finding new solutions to the world’s problems,  and what TEDx License Holders do in terms of finding great ideas to put on the TEDx Stage.

Harriet Noble is a radio journalist working for the BBC in London. She started her career on Radio 4’s flagship Today programme, where over the course of 7 years she graduated from work experience girl to Duty Editor. At the beginning of 2017 she moved to World Hacks on the BBC World Service, where she presents, reports and produces. She is also developing other radio projects for the BBC.

Harriet Noble


World Hacks is a weekly radio programme, podcast and digital video platform, leading the BBC’s solutions-focused journalism coverage. Harriet’s work has received positive reviews from The Observer, the Radio Times and others, and been chosen for BBC Radio 4’s Pick of the Wick. She is particularly interested in stories about mental health, families and women’s rights.

World Hacks on the BBC World Service


My main goal in posting is to draw attention to the podcast and share the lessons learned. I asked about the methodology for  finding topics and she told me they have to tick a number of boxes.  These include

1. Being a solution to a problem
2. being innovative /surprising
3. Something new/not something that has had  extensive coverage in the media already.
4.  There should be reliable evidence that the project works and is effective
5. and they like the back story of the person or people behind the project.
The domain areas she is particularly interested in are cities, women’s issues, and mental health and famly,
They often get ideas for their programme from other people’s conferences.
The traffic data is impressive.  Their videos  get about  30 million views, and the podcast gets around  100,000 downloads on iTunes.  (The BBC is a huge web site with, according to Similarweb, about 689 million visits per month).

BBC web traffic

It’s a great programme, and as an experiment, I’ve set up a Fan Club of the show called the  BBC World Hacks discussion and sharing club . The inspiration is the fan club of another BBC radio show here Digital Planet Listeners .   I interviewed the founders of this show Bill Thompson and Gareth Mitchell here  in another Project Kazimierz podcast.

I set up the  Wojtek – the Soldier Bear – Niedźwiedź Żołnierz  group years ago, which led to my TEDxKrakow talk in 2010

Other links that are relevant if you listen to the show are here

World Hacks BBC World Hacks

emailworldhacks@bbc.co.uk

www.facebook.com/BBCworldhacks

Improvising Your Way Out of Anxiety 

People Fixing the World Podcast

Why The World Needs Positive News by  Christian de Boisredon
of Spark News

Why we need Constructive Elements in Journalism | Cathrine Gyldensted at TEDxDresden
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathrine_Gyldensted
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February 2018

It’s not often I have a world leader on my podcast, but the latest episode of the Project Kazimierz podcast has the founder of the world’s leading on line squash training site.  I’m really proud of having this story on the show. It’s also quite moving, at least to me.

Here is the interview direct from the website –  and on Stitcher  and iTunes

People seem so baffled, doubtful when I tell them I have been learning squash on-line, from the website he founded Squashskills.com  but it is really true.  Salman Khan talked on the TED stage about how is relatives preferred the video to him teaching live for their math lessons – so why not Squash?

One of the nice things  about a successful podcast is you can just approach people doing interesting things and talk to them. So I did.

Squashskills.com home page

About Squashskills states

“We launched SquashSkills in July 2012 and have been amazed by how well the concept has been received. Over the last 3 years our team of coaches has grown significantly and we’re delighted to say that the site is home to 9 former World Number 1’s, all of whom are here to dispense their knowledge to our members in an effort to helping our members become the best players they can be. The new platform offers features and functionality that we could only dream of at the conception of this project. It offers players of all levels and abilities the opportunity to adopt start training more effectively under the guidance of the World’s best players and coaches. We’ve been delighted by the support we’ve had over the last 3 years and feel we have a real part of a community of squash players who all love the game. We look forward to working with our members on improving the platform for many years to come.”

I record the interviews in Skype and then export them to audio as you can see above. I am going to experiment with this on Youtube as well. This is to test how much traffic Youtube could generate.

What I learned from Jethro and Squash Skills.

He started his business with GBP6000 after an inheritance to get him going.

He is very self-aware. both of his mistakes and character.   Gary Vaynerchuk says that’s a vital skill.

He didn’t make a big deal of what must have been a terrible experience, both physically and mentally.  Listen to the podcast to find out more.

You can improve your sport skills on line.

Get clear understandings with your co-founders  (I kind of knew this already) good to be reminded.

He is pretty chilled out – he was organising a music event for more than 2000 people the day after I talked to him.

I really am gunning for him. There is something moving and emotional about his story.  Due to the dramatic event in Egypt – he will never be better than 84th in the world in Squash. but he can run the best squash training site  in the world-  and he is doing it.

He’s a Dan Pink fan –   recognises the importance of Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose Drive by Dan Pink

Good luck Jethro

 

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3rd January 2018
As part of my beginning of year housekeeping I’ve updated my Now page and my About Me.  ‘What’s a “now” page?’ I imagine a number of readers asking. One answer is to go here (that’s passive aggressive Richard speaking).  Another is to visit my Now page on nownownow.com and figure it out. Another is to visit the About on “nownownow.com”.

My Now page on NowNowNow

Another is to visit my “Now” page on richardlucas.com here

My “Now” page on Richardlucas.com

The difference between “Now” and “About” is interesting. For Derek Sivers, whose idea “Now” pages are, and for whose ideas I have a great respect, it’s a time saver. For me, there is a process of “unification”.  It is  easy to give different versions of yourself to different people – not necessarily being dishonest – but just presenting yourself in the best possible light.  I’m not sure what the biggest gaps between my “Now” and my “About” are and will be. They were both written in the last 24 hours. I am going to check up on myself regularly,  look for gaps and try to understand why.

Richard Lucas 13th December 2017

The yearly OMGKRK X-MASSive party is a fixture for the Krakow Startup community.  Our 2017 event is tomorrow 14th December 2017. Details here

This blog post recalls the history of how these huge parties started, and shares some lessons for anyone wanting to organise major events on tiny budgets.

 

X-MASSive parties built on the existing communities of Hive and MSFBCC.  The smaller Hive Xmas party in 2012 is described here  (with photos here ). This was an experiment I tried with Hive and  MSFBCC to see what was possible.

Hive – founded by Piotr Nedzynski and Ela Madej – was a key part of Kraków’s eco-system’s development and had critical mass even back then. This party was fun – about 100 people came  – and gave a sense of what was possible. A key lesson:

Lesson 1 Work with organisations and people that are well organised and credible.

But it was hard to get the word out. The OMGKRK Facebook Group was small back then (now it has over 5000 people)  and not everyone was on board (or was keen) for larger scale events.

After 2012 I thought there might be room to scale up. I had a plan, partly based on a great TED-ster Derek Sivers’ talk How to Start a Movement.  I knew the event needed followers and momentum –  as Derek Sivers says  “The first follower turns the lone nut into a leader” and I didn’t want to be a lone nut.  A new event – where the participants are part of the product –  requires social engineering.

The plan was simple, and worked so well it is worth sharing. On 23rd November I did a Facebook post suggesting a meeting about organising a repeat party on a much bigger scale.   I tapped my personal network of community leaders and asked them each individually –  in the space of 20 minutes –  to post their support, saying which organisation they represented. The list was :
Marek Przystas Duckie Deck
Adam Filipowski Livetramp
Anthony Carapinha Couchsurfing
Chris Kobylecki Innovation Nest,
Pawel Kontek AIESEC
Marta Ryłko Open Coffee Krakow
Weronika T. Adrian Creative Cracow
Filip Dębowski Hub.raum
Joanna Nowak Startupdigest
David McGirr, Jamie Stokes  Krakow Post
Ola Bienas Colab
Jonathan Ornstein. JCC Krakow

The date was fixed, and everyone in the meeting to greater or lesser degree started promoting it.  This created momentum.

Lesson 2: Create Momementum

Anyone looking at the event with no prior knowledge would see that the representatives of about 3000 people were already on board.  As Derek Sivers says later in the same TED talk, “As more people join in, it become less risky”, and finally, they will be  part of the  “in crowd”  if they hurry –  and left out, if they don’t join in.

 

Lesson 3. Line up your support before you start.

The event took off like wildfire. 100s of people started signing up. As each milestone of attendees was achieved more buzz was created.

 

Community members whose first reaction was that “there is no demand for a social event where people are just going to talk to each other” moved to warning me that “events of this size need  a special licence”.  Now it was important to make sure that those who attended enjoyed themselves.

Lesson 4  Ensuring great event experience.

Making sure that those who attend have fun is vital.  I’ve written about making events buzz  extensively elsewhere, and since then done workshops for TED and consulted to other events. and learned a huge amount from my TED and TEDx journey. There are lots of details – but most important was a team of well prepared volunteers to take care of welcoming guests.

 

X-MASSive volunteers

We also had a  MVE – Minimum viable event – approach.

Lesson 4  Be pragmatic. The best is sometimes the enemy of the good

As more and more organisations joined in our event page began to fill up with logos. Graphic designers were freaking out, but we went ahead anyway.  It was important to see the funny side of small startups with bigger logos than world famous organisations like Google for Entrepreneurs.

 

 

The party itself was well documented. There are plenty of photos here and on the event wall.

I am not aware of a post-event appraisal but…. the event has proved sustainable, and is now in it’s 4th year – so I guess that means something. Not everything was perfect. There weren’t enough bar staff and the not everyone agreed about the format.

Giving credit where it was was due was important. I made a slideshare in which I gave the following credits including names  (Ania Filar, Marek Przestaś, Karla Vega) and organisations (with the money they contributed (in złoty) as below

Badges <3 Vocabla

Balloons 400 Presspad

Catering 1000 Growth Republic Untitled Kingdom

Welcome Drinks Colab 700 Google ??

DJ 314 Duckie Deck

Icebreakers <3 Richard Aiesec and Aegee

Photo booth 1500 Innovation Nest

Posters and Graphic design Duckie Deck 584

Prizes ? Google ??

Santa Hats 480 Richard Lucas

Volunteer team. Aiesec and Aegee

web site <3 http://xmas.omgkrk.com Aliaksei Kulbei

so the overall costs was less than 4000 zloty  (about US$1000) at the time so, if you see any of these organisations or people, don’t forget to say thanks. If you want to organise a mega event at low budget,  this article gives useful tips, or feel free to get in touch.

Happy X-MASSive 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Richard Lucas
8th November 2017
This blog post is to go with my podcast interview with Russell Hicks – which goes live  today.  There will be the first airing of my new pre-roll,  a new ‘old’ music voice over, and very different content. I was very, very pleased to have Russell on the show and it was a great pleasure to have a long conversation with a comedian whose work I genuinely admire.
So, who is Russell?   Russell Hicks is a successful American Standup Comedian who lives and works mainly in the UK.
I saw him perform at the Edinburgh Fringe 2017, and so much enjoyed his shows I tracked him down. I  hope to get him to perform in Poland –  with the support of Krakow Standup Comedy  and Ash Deppeler  who spoke at TEDxKazimierz this year and is the founder of the Krakow Fringe Festival . To make it work will not be easy, but if we pull it off, I’ll be very pleased. We will probably set up a tour with Wrocław, Warsaw, Prague and Berlin, but this is all a year ahead of us now.
If you only do one thing,  enjoy his comedy –  see and listen to his talent here  – after 25 comedians have been booed off the stage,  he manages to bring the baying crowd back- and regain control. More than a million people have enjoyed that Youtube video. There are many more of his videos here    (if you are not into English language Stand Up Comedy, just listen to my interview – interviewing Comedians is an idea I got from Stewart Goldsmith, who was the first Professional Comedian to grace the Project Kazimierz digital stage here). Comedians can be really interesting, even if you don’t like comedy, and usually, (surprise surprise), they are entertaining.
You may well be surprised by what you learn from the podcast. We dive into what Russell knows about Krakow, which leads us to Jaws, not the shark, but the metal toothed giant – from the James Bond films  “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Moonraker”.  Jaws had a real (fictional) name Zbigniew Krycsiwiki  – and was from Krakow.  (I’m not sure the author spoke Polish).

Zbigniew Krycsiwiki a.k.a. ‘Jaws    – – from Krakow!!

After his failed basketball career, Krycsiwiki was arrested during the (also fictional) 1972 bread riots – and was so badly beaten by the communist secret police in prison that his jaw was smashed beyond repair. Krycsiwiki then escaped –  and after many  operations – his  jaw was restored using steel components – creating the famous razor-sharp teeth.  As Michael Caine might say – not many people know that.

Russell had no idea that Maus https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maus was a controversial film in Poland. Poles were represented as pigs. Maus re-enforces the myth of Polish complicity in the holocaust, which is especially bitter when coming from a German artist. But Russell had no idea.

It was only when Russell was 26 that he realised that he was meant to be a Standup Comedian.  It is a magical thing to happen to anyone, to realise why they exist.  As he he got really good at getting people to laugh,  he discovered  he wasn’t enjoying it . He changed his approach, understanding that the only way to do comedy properly is to make sure you enjoys and believe in your own jokes. This means taking serious risks. As the room realises you are taking risks,  the pay off gets bigger – if it works.  If you listen to his podcasts,  which I recommend Off The Grid Podcast with Russell Hicks. Also check out his short “Art for f**cks  sake”  podcast series.

He does what’s going to make him happy on stage – his natural style  – even if it gets nowhere, and people aren’t laughing, he’s still  happy. The fact that he has a paying audience validates his approach – It he didn’t get paid bookings, this position would not hold water (in my view).  He doesn’t want to tell other people how to live, his approach works for him.   He believes that making concessions to the “comedy  industry” is a trap – people who do that can end up bitter. If comedians are really into well prepared written jokes  – if that is their thing – that’s fine, but you have to be yourself and follow your own art form.
He’s a huge TED fan, and I invited him to TEDxShoreditch (but he didn’t come ? ) As a foreigner in Britain he loves London and Britain and regards the anti immigrant attitude as the last gasp of dying generation, in his view young people are much more liberal, open, and accepting of diversity.
Finally, Russell says he wants to be interviewed by Stewart Goldsmith for the Comedian’s Comedian podcast.

I promised him I’d send Stewart a note, and I’m going to.  I hope it works.
That’s all I want to share, below a a wide range of links that will be useful if you want to follow up on podcast topics. I hope you enjoy listening to this podcast as much as I enjoyed doing the interview.

Links. which may not make sense, unless you listen to the podcast.

If you want to get an insight into the way he thinks start with The Sad Clown Paradigm” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJTAygodXlM

If you want to book him his agent is  Delphine at Beyond Compere.
Bill Burr
Joe Sinclitico – Karate (Stand Up Comedy) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp72HPBmtNg
Cal Newport So good they can’t ignore you www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwOdU02SE0w
How to start movement Derek Sivers

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by Richard Lucas  1st November 2017

This post is part of a series to go with the Project Kazimierz podcast. This interview is on line here. 

Asaf Navot is the founder of Home Made in London, a fast growing residential property service which is both cheaper and better than existing services.

Prior to founding his startup Asaf did an MBA at Insead, was a consultant with Bain Private Equity Group and Wilson Perumal, and served in the Israeli Armed Services

My goal is to have a post on my blog here  supporting podcast interviews when I have reflections to share – though  these thoughts are mine, not Asaf’s).

                                                                   Skype interview with Asaf

I don’t post video footage of the interviews but when the internet connection is good enough I prefer to video Skype – using Call Recorder software – as communication is better when you can see each other.So what five insights would I particularly especially like to share from this podcast ?

1 The value of military experience in leadership development. I was so wrong about this in the past. It deserves a separate article in the future.
2. The importance of leadership in any business. I discovered this way too late in my life. If you don’t know anything about leadership in startups, click here or ask me to write another blog post.
3. The importance of unit economics. Asaf talked about this at the British Computer Society Cambentrepreneurs Event in London where I met him. It’s so basic and so important. When you acquire a customer, how much money will you be making. The gap between revenue and costs. What I call chapter one of the “Ladybird Book of Business”
4. The value of operational excellence as a competitive advantage. Harvard Business Review were writing about it here   just a few months ago
 It’s important. Forget the Nintendo, beanbags and frisbee. Get things done fast, efficiently, and as well as possible at the lowest cost without compromising on quality and you will win.

 

5. He has great insights into interviewing and recruitment. You have to listen to hear them all, but I love he explains why it is important to hear who a candidate believes he or she has inspired or influenced.  His approach to people management, one -on-ones and personal development is very aligned with Manager Tools (also run by ex Military people) of which I am a great fan.

Apart from these five points. Asaf shared a new thought or rather piece of advice with me. If someone tells him they are thinking of starting a business, he says

“If you are thinking of starting a business – don’t”

It’s counter intuitive but powerful. What he means is “You should only really start a business if you are so driven by the idea, you can’t stop yourself.”

 

 

In B2B marketing – content is king – an interview with Augustin Kennady of ShipMonk by Richard Lucas

This article ends with “how to” and “what to do” for those who are already sold on the idea. If you want to listen to top professionals  Sonal Chokshi from a16z and Camille Ricketts is the Head of Content and Marketing at First Round Capital here not everyone will have the budgets to operate at their level, but the thought they put into their Content strategy and the resources and effort they deploy show how seriously they take it.

A few weeks ago I heard Andrew Warner interviewing The founder of ShipMonk Jan Bednar here in the Mixergy podcast.
If  you want to know more about ShipMonk the company, listen to this podcast. The many other entrepreneur interviews on Mixergy are  an inspiration for this podcast.  Andrew asks his interviewees straight forward business questions about how they started, what problems the product solves, how they got started,, how much money they are making, how they find customers and sell, and gets enough detail to be really useful.

October 2017

I’m doing a workshop at the Winchester College  – the School I attended many years ago  -on the pros and cons of starting a business (compared to a conventional career) and put together a “reading, listening and viewing” list) for the boys.

This list is not complete, but as my father often said “the best is the enemy of the good”. For now it is good enough – a minimum viable list that I would like to share

Mostly free resources for those curious about entrepreneurship

Videos

Ashton Kutcher Speech to Teen Choice Awards   https://youtu.be/FNXwKGZHmDc   He references Steve Jobs, but shares ideas that are more important – namely  – Be really smart, Work hard, Be generous.  If you don’t know about Kutcher’s career outside Hollywood, now is the time to find out.
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by Hugo Dutka

This is not a regular Richard Lucas post – because it wasn’t him who wrote it. My name is Hugo Dutka.   I am a Polish high school student and I like meeting entrepreneurs. Richard suggested I share this story.

To cut a long story short, I was lucky enough to spend my last summer in California. I wanted to meet entrepreneurs in Bay Area, but Polish high school students tend not to know successful business people in  Silicon Valley. Luckily, I knew Richard. So I sent him a short message:

How it all started

Two weeks later I was meeting Will Bunker, a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and the founder of One & Only – one of the first major dating websites in the world. It sold in 1999 for 50 000 000$. Thanks Richard!

One & Only’s home page 25 years ago

Will Bunker today

The plan of the meeting in my mind was as follows:

  1. I will introduce myself.
  2. I will express my interest in meeting millionaires in the area.
  3. I will be introduced to the said millionaires in the area.

The first two points were completed according to the plan, but the third was not. What happened

I met with Will in a coworking space in San Francisco. We talked, I asked for advice, had some great books recommended to me. Then I asked for the introductions.

“So who do you want to meet?” he replied.

“Well, people who could help me start a business” I said.

“What business exactly?”

“I’m not sure yet.”

“I am all for introducing you to someone, but you need to be more specific. What area of business?” Will inquired.

“That I don’t know too.”

So Will recommended me to check out start-up meetups in Bay Area, and sent me links to some of them. That was not exactly what I was hoping for, but you get what you can.

To recap, I met one of the most successful people in the world that day. A person you would read in the news about. A Silicon Valley investor who serious Polish entrepreneurs could brag about knowing. And what did I get out of the meeting?

Book recommendations and a couple of links.

Luckily, there is a lesson in this waste. There are people out there who can help you get to where you want to be. But before they can help you arrive there, you need to know your destination.

If you are approaching a potential mentor, be specific. If you want the guy to figure out your life for you then you are bound to be disappointed. Surprisingly large numbers of people in the start-up world will be happy to make introductions for you, and some of them will do even more than that. However, if you don’t tell them how to help you, they won’t be able to.

To sum up, decide where you want to head before meeting people. This way you won’t waste their time and you will get much more out of your connections. It may sound obvious when you read it, but is not when you make the mistake yourself. Make sure this stays obvious to you from this point on.

Hugo Dutka is a Polish high school student interested in entrepreneurship. He organizes TEDxYouth@Warsaw, is part of the organizing team at TEDxWarsaw, and volunteers at various other TEDx events in Poland. Apart from that, he has been a mobile developer and currently practices machine learning with particular focus on deep learning. If you want to get in touch with him, send him a message at fb.com/hugo.dutka.

If you want to know more about Will Bunker he is expertly interviewed here on Andrew Warner’s Mixergy Podcast and here on Project Kazimierz by Richard and Sam

 

Richard Lucas September 2017

Introduction

I am publicly committing to improving my personal productivity. Why ?

A few months ago I signed up on a course Productivity Step by Step  run by Piotr Nabielec who spoke at a Krakow Enterprise Mondays event I  hosted.

I also interviewed him for the Project Kazimierz podcast here.  I recommend podcasts as a way of both enriching life and enhancing productivity.  If podcasts are not part of your life, and you spend time doing things like driving, cooking, commuting or working out when you can’t look at a screen – listening is a great way to stimulate your thoughts and learn new things. I would add the proviso that sometimes it is better to have time to think, so always having podcasts and background noise is not a good idea.

Produktywność krok po kroku

The productivity course started two days ago. I have a task or two every day. One of my tasks, as part of the course, is to make a public commitment to improving my productivity. This is that public commitment.
I was talking about this course with my American business partner and friend Kimon Fountoukidis  who I interviewed here for my  Project Kazimierz  podcast more than a year ago.  I am making this commitment to him.  Yesterday while talking about the course, he showed me his diary –  and described his own time management processes. Without – as far as I can see – training or courses of any type –  he has such a good personal productivity process that I’ll be inviting him back for another Podcast interview. He is not crazily busy, is excellent at prioritization, delegation, and good at saying “no” to suggestions that don’t fit his plans. He’s also good at business. The company he has run since its founding –  Argos Multilingual  – is the largest and consistently profitable of all the companies I am involved in, with a terrific team and tremendous growth prospects.
Background
I am not a “newbie” to the idea of personal productivity processes being important.
In the mid 1990s –  SKK (now SKK Global)  – was growing into being the market leader in automatic identification based on bar code technologies  in Poland.  The business was doing well but I wasn’t.  I was not coping at all well with the organisational demands of business success.

My approach to life  had seemed to be working just fine – at least in career terms – until then. It had got me from school into Cambridge University in the UK, a good job in a consulting company and I had founded a business that was succeeding  when I was 24.  But this approach was not working any more under the demands of leadership of a successful medium sized enterprise in the mid 1990s in Poland.

I found a book “The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management”

and signed up to the course that the author Hyrum Smith’s company Franklin Quest provided.
Years later they merged or bought the company set up by Steven Covey -whose best selling “7 habits” book is  well known to this day.

When Piotr Nabielec was asked at the Krakow Enterprise Mondays meeting what people could do to improve their productivity, he gave a simple answer which took me straight back to Hyrum Smith’s book from 20 years ago. He said,
“Think about the most three  important things you have to do today”
“Then think about the three most important things you have to do this week”
“Then think about the three the most important things you have to do this month”
“Then think about the three the most important things you have to do this year”
and then do them.
The “10 laws” book is almost exactly the same, only in reverse. Think about your fundamental life goals, write them down. Then make a yearly, monthly, weekly and finally daily plan. When, vitally,  you are thinking about the things you need to do today  – take into account your longer term goals –  resulting in a prioritised daily task list. Do things that are important before those which are urgent. Focus each day on the tasks that really matter.

It’s  simple, and  powerful.

As I read that book – I had that feeling  – not for the first or last time – that if you can get through your education to the world of work –  without anyone teaching you how to be productive –  there is something badly wrong.

I have had supposedly one of the best educations that the UK used to offer., and yet, no teaching at all on motivation, personally effectiveness, team work, management or leadership.   These are vital life skills –  if you want to make the most of your talents.

The idea of planning and knowing what you need to get done is not revolutionary, But  there are many people who don’t do it at all.
This blog post is not going to be a summary of all the techniques and habits I have learned or I am learning. However, here are a few observations and tips that I will share.
As Hyrum Smith argues, your life is measured in terms of years.

1 Get control of your time – and you get control of your life.  When people are stressed they say things like they ‘aren’t managing’ or ’things are out of control’. Getting control reduces stress.  Your priorities can (maybe should) include family, relationships and fun. It’s a book for everyone, not workaholics.

2.Having good “to do” list, calendar/diary and email inbox management is vital.  Getting things out of your brain/into your calendar means you don’t have do use valuable mental energy remembering things.
3 Setting up an environment that means you can focus, with the minimum of distraction, is vital. Switching off notifications on your phone and laptop really helps.
4. Learning how to run meetings effectively is really important. Golden rules include:
1. A clear agenda and goals defined beforehand,
2.  Starting and ending on time
3. Being good at taking not postponing decisions about action items
4. Having a record keeper, and agreeing whose job it is .
5. Communicating who needs to do what by when to all present afterwards.
5. You should set an example.   If you don’t answer e-mail, show up on time, you are a hypocrite if you expect it of others.
6. Having good record keeping systems so you know where to store and later find information is important.
Being personally effective is necessary, but not sufficient. If you want to get more done that you can do yourself – you need to know how to lead and manage other people.  A brilliant podcast and training resource for this is the American Manager-Tools.com  I dearly wish I had known what they teach 30 years ago. The four key activities of all managers are
1.  “One on ones”,
2. Feedback
3. Coaching
4. Delegation
If you are an audio person listen to the podcast here  By pure chance, their most recent podcasts at the time of writing  are about focus and effectiveness.
If you are a video person, check Mark Horstman’s outstanding talk “What you have been taught about management is wrong” at USI.  If you are a reader, check Mark Horstman’s book  here.

 

Putting time management into practice means developing habits –  this takes time, according to Piotr Nabielec, 30 days, in his book, Effective Multitasking, which I also recommend.

My father JR Lucas of Merton College Oxford University always had with him a notebook – he called it his “tiny mind” – into which important things were written.

If your systems work and you are in control of things, there is no need to change. If you feel overwhelmed, following the advice I give here may have a bigger impact on your life than you can imagine.

Tough fun fact
If you want a rough and ready check on how someone is dealing with their tasks and responsibilities, ask to see their diary. While a full  diary does not necessarily mean someone is productive, an empty diary raises questions. I know of a senior manager who was fired because a diary inspection by his boss (and my business partner) revealed that he was lying about what he was doing, making himself inaccessible to those who reported to him, and not using blocked off time to work on key priorities.  Get your diary into shape!

Greetings all

The  Project Kazimierz Podcast handover episode with Sam Cook  is on line here   This was recorded a few days ago when Sam made public what has been the case for a while, that he is handing over to me. Project Kazimierz is now 100% Richard Lucas’s show. Good or bad –  the złoty stops with me.  Sign up iTunes here

 

Project Kazimierz handover episode with Sam Cook

I want to integrate my podcasting, blog and other activities.  This post is an example. Hopefully there will be positive synergy.
Valuable content should be shared widely.

I’m always looking for interesting and entertaining people, projects and ideas for the podcast (also as guest hosts for Open Coffee Krakow, speakers at  Krakow Enterprise Mondays ,   Wintrepreneurs  and  Cambentrepreneurs . If you are funny, and can tell jokes, I can help introduce you to  Krakow Standup Comedy

Ideas for the  TEDxKazimierz stage are very welcome – (but subject to much tougher criteria in terms of selection for obvious reasons.

I’m a great believer in Kaizen, the Japanese concept of continuous improvement. This integration of content delivery is just one step. Readers’ ideas and suggestions  of ways to improve are also very welcome.

 

 

 

 

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Richard Lucas April 2017
I received this e-mail a few weeks ago from the organisers of a business plan pitching competition.

Request for help

“Dear startup pitching competition organiser.
My first reaction is  “NOOOOOOOOO”
“I’m too busy. My TEDxKazimierz event is only three weeks away.     There is a lot of great advice on how to pitch available on this top secret website here 

Having said that it’s good to ask for advice. I shouldn’t be too harsh,  I will share my thoughts in a blog post that is available to everyone, based on the hundreds if not thousands of pitches I’ve seen and read and the thousands of hours I’ve devoted to TED and TEDx – in recent years helping many TEDx speakers prepare “the talk of their lives”.

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Richard Lucas  January 2017
I saw the below post on Facebook, and thought that my answer might be valuable to more than this FB friend’s little brother, so here is the post and my answer..

Richard

Facebook post asking for advice

 

Dear Little Brother… .

You are lucky to have a big sister who cares about you and your choices. but… it’s your life..
You have to decide for yourself and you should be the judge of your own success..

 

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Richard Lucas November 2016

This post is in honour of and in respect to attendees of OMGKRK and All in UJ’s  Startup Academy which launches today.

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-12-28-04

The good news is that the Krakow Silicon Valley is real. You just have to look for it.

If you Google “Krakow Silicon Valley” or Kraków Doliną Krzemową You’ll get plenty of hits.

 

When Pawel Płaszczyk came back to Krakow after years abroad he looked for Krakow Silicon Valley and couldn’t find it.
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November 2016
Introduction 
Alumni are “low hanging fruit” – an under used group who can be mobilized to good purposes. It’s time for a revolution in alumni/student/pupil relations with respect to support of entrepreneurship.  North Americans tend to be good at this – Europeans not yet. Every entrepreneur is an alumni of somewhere.
I’m starting with several  assumptions.
  1. People who have started businesses -entrepreneurs – have experience, know how, insights and characteristics  and (sometimes) money that would be valuable to share with people who are thinking of starting a business, whether alumni, students, or others.
  2. Students would benefit from be able to listen to, ask questions and interact with entrepreneurs, and other students interested in entrepreneurship.
  3. the benefits would include increasing the chances that people who had such experiences and interactions will start new ventures, and if they do, both reduce the risk of failure and increase the scale of success.
  4. Exposing students and alumni to people who are considering the possibility of starting their own ventures can be inspiring and motivating, increasing the chance that those people will make then most of their lives
  5. Having more new initiatives and business ventures will change the world  for the better faster, increasing human prosperity and welfare.
  6. The internet makes the spreading of new ideas and the organisation of new movements easier, cheaper and faster than at any time in human history.
  7. Many “pro-entrepreneurship events” are badly run and do not achieve nearly as much as they could. There is a better way of running events.
  8. Good practice from TEDxAmsterdam

    Good practice from TEDxAmsterdam

    Years of organising TEDx events,  Open Coffee Krakow events, Krakow Enterprise Mondays  and speaking at multiple entrepreneurship related conferences has given me a strong insight into what makes an event special. I was even asked to do a workshop about this at TED – who do the best events I’ve ever attended.

Open Coffee Krakow
8. if more alumni become successful –  and the place they studied has had a part in their successv-  it may positively impact on the school/university in terms of increased donations.

The starting position seems bad
1 Most alumni are not actively engaged in the the life of the place they studied at all.
2 To the extent that some alumni are engaged somewhat, they are not actively engaged. They might show up once or twice a year, and/or send some money. I will be more than glad to cite honourable exceptions. I want to be wrong.
3. A major purpose of engagement from the point of view of the School/University is fund raising. The thought that the alma mater is going to ask for money may act as a disincentive for alumni to engage.
What are the components of a revolution?
The bad news is here are several components and to achieve full impact they all need to work together smoothly.  This is not easy and will take time and effort from those who share the vision.
The purpose needs to be made clear. Entrepreneurship is not just about making money  it is about encouraging people and teams to take the risk to start social and business projects that may lead to making the world a better place and celebrating the fact that there are those people who are ready to take the risk.
The alumni of an organisation who have gone into business need to be identified and contacted in an intelligent way to establish if
a) they are interested in supporting entrepreneurship and networking with other entrepreneurial alumni and current pupils/students 
b) they might be ready to help on or off line by giving talks, mentoring, investing or coaching 
While the alumni contacted need to be asked and prompted to think about what they able and willing to do in networking and helping each other current students, and others, it is probably best to start with early adopters. In any community there are the natural leaders who are most active and committed, and the least with most people being somewhere in the middle.  It’s important to identify these early adopters and leaders and work with them so that those who might be  willing to get involved but are not sure, having inspirational people to follow and work with.

This project may be best done in co-operation with the Development Office, the Careers Office, the Alumni Relations office and/or independent Unofficial Linkedin/Facebook Groups.

Unofficial Alumni Linkedin Group

This is a case by case decision based on the current situation. It is worth  making contact with these organisations to see what they think and whether they want to help. At Cambridge University – the alumni office supported the formation of an officially sanctioned group Cambentrepreneurs.
Cambentrepreneurs
At Winchester College (the school I attended from 1979-84) I founded  Wintrepreneurs
Wintrepreneurs

modelled on Etonpreneurs  aimed to operate independently –  in co-operation with the School.

In October 2017 I was asked *not* to organise a meeting to launch in Winchester because the School was worried about “Safeguarding” legislation. (I had been invited to give a talk in the school, was flying 2000 miles to be there, and thought I would start things off while I was there).

 

Apart from the referring to of my voluntary initiative to encourage entrepreneurship as a “scheme” (which – excluding the costs of my time – I had put a thousand or more pounds into making happen) – a message like this underlines the challenges for those who want to change things. Informal self-organising communities of alumni and pupils are not what is wanted. It’s the attidote to the optimism of TEDster Clay Shirky’s talk about the Grobanites.

My “sanctioned” talk to the pupils went well, and for those interested, I recommended these entrepreneurship related resources.

In Kraków, Poland where I live – an Alumni Association of a famous University is so unsupportive that it not only does not have time to to meet to discuss the idea, it is too busy to answer questions about their activities by e-mail.

An important and hard to map challenge is to find out who in a School/University are responsible for inviting guests, be they teachers, parents or pupils.
What sort of people are invited at present, what sort of events take place at which entrepreneurial alumni would be welcome and helpful. It is sometimes easier to build on top of existing institutions and practices (like guest lecture series) than do something entirely new. On the other hand if there is the ambition and local leadership aiming to “do things better” than normal, a dedicated event offers more control.
Additional questions include

What awareness is there of the potential of alumni to contribute to the purpose of the School/University ?
and what would they like  alumni to contribute? At some schools I have spoken I have spoken at I have been the first entrepreneur school pupils have ever met.  It would be a mistake to assume to that  everyone knows what the potential of this asset is. Sometimes guest workshops can fit very well some parts of the curriculum.
This means it is important to ask and find out what platforms are there for spreading information about the benefits of this practice.  Is there a school web site, newsletter,  school magazine, Facebook page, or Linkedin group where an article about the idea can be published?   Who can write an article about the topic ? If there is a local leader they need to think about what they would like the local situation to look like?  If there are to be regular meet ups, basic “who? what? whens, where ?  Who is in charge?  owns the process:  how frequent the meetings should be?  with what format?  questions need to be asked.  If you are at this stage I can provide some input and support, if you share my values.  Icebreakers, Short talks, Q&A, Office Hours, Community Announcements, Education, Pitches are the basic ingredients, together with a laser like focus on welcoming and participant experience.  Doing good events, not just events is vital,.
Existing assets and relationships need to researched be understood. There may be particularly active staff, alumni, teachers, pupils or organisations that can be ideal for spreading the idea. Getting these people on board can be a game changer. They need to feel you are co-operating not competing.
It is important to look at the values and attitudes of the existing community and defining what is going to be important to the early adopters. I’ve made clear for the movements I lead that despite (maybe because of) their elite position they are “Open” in the sense that they are not Cambridge or Winchester  “only” they are  Cambridge or Winchester “and”.  It is not for me to define the values that matter to those reading this, but it is important to make sure the founders of your initiative know what they stand for.
Processes and habits take time to build.
Assessing local competences and skills is important.  In some cases there may be a need to “train the trainers”/ Teaching the entrepreneurs to teach. This is very much a question of local conditions. Many entrepreneurs are natural trainers, because they have had to do develop on boarding and training processes for all their staff. In other cases, one person entrepreneurs/freelancers (or people in the school/University) may have no idea how important training and development is to successful enterprises, because they never thought about it.  A really bad workshop may be worse than nothing, although as my father told me “the best is sometimes the enemy of the good.” If you care and want to do a good event, it is better to do something than nothing. There has never been so much know how available for free as now.
As always it is important to have clear objectives for each activity/event. Krakow Enterprise Mondays defines its goals as follows:
1. To facilitate and encourage transfer of know how and capital to from successful businesspeople among the alumni of Polish Universities to current entrepreneurial students

2. To give current students access to role models among entrepreneurial alumni who can help transmit the message that business success is possible.

3. to celebrate the business success of alumni. and the sense that the current generation of students  appreciate and value entrepreneurial success.

4, To encourage existing alumni associations to include entrepreneurship support in their activities

5 to provide a business friendly environment where students from different universities in Krakow can meet and get to know each other, and develop their networks.

6. To encourage Student Societies to support business and social entrepreneurship among their members.

You need to know your objectives.
objectives for alumni/entrepreneurs might include: feeling good, valued, and useful, making new contacts, finding new staff, co-founders, clients, suppliers, partners, investors , and well as having fun.

objectives for students  may include learning new skills, being inspired, making new contacts, finding jobs, investors, co founders, and having fun.

If you want to mobilise the

– trend towards self organising networks,
– desire for people to have better experiences in their lives, rather than just accumulating assets,
= willingness for people to be useful
and believe the world needs more entrepreneurship, join me in making this revolution happen. I’ll do my best to help.

November 2016

It’s an honour to be regarded as an authority by Techcrunch’s John Biggs   so rather than just answer in the thread, I am making a blog post. John posted the below in a thread here  by Maciej Serafin who is looking for a native speaker freelancer.

I am an authority on Brits in Krakow...

I am an authority on Brits in Krakow…

Who are the Brits in Kraków?
English teachers….  Kind of obvious.  the local rate $13-17/hour goes quite far here.

People with Polish partners, who prefer it here to where ever they are from

People working for international businesses
Aspire Employment stats
According to Andrew Hallam of Aspire.org.pl – which generated the above slide – about 15% of the staff in the Business Process Outsourcing/Shared Services sector are foreigners which means about 2000, but companies like Cisco have put major research centres here, like their Cyber Warfare/Security/whathaveyou monitoring centre, thanks to the admirable work of the likes of Ramon Tancinco   They are more than 75% foreigner. and have 2000 employees so it adds up.

Academics 
Trustafarians  – like Rastafians but living on trust funds from mummy or whoever..

Adult  Polonia –  people who made their money elsewhere, tried to retire here, but ended up working.

Entrepreneurs  – it’s cheaper to start your business here as an entrepreneur than in major western European countries, Your money goes further.

Freelancer translators –  Your clients can be anywhere

Other freelancers like Jason Sanderson who sound edits  Jason Harbinger’s hit podcast The Art of Charm live in Krakow
Paul Pearson – who does Krakow Startup TV and TEDxKazimierz is a film producer who works locally and internationally.
Many others

Stag Nighters  no comment.  Almost as ashamed of them as of Brexit.

Dodgy Brits with criminal records

In principle you might think you ought to be able to outsource your English language content creation/news gathering to a English language low cost country. I tried  years ago when I was running PMR but wasn’t happy with the results

failed outsourcing attempt

People who get stuck here
They arrive, think it is great, settle in, have a kid or two, get divorced, and then realise they can’t afford to leave

According to Sam Cook of ProjectKazimierz podcast, the “East is the New West”, the land of opportunity. (btw can we interview you for Project Kazimierz John? )

If you mix local and international income., live smart,   – and for sure – content creators can do that  – why not?  you can live better in Kraków than in many places on the same income.

At the same time if you don’t think about what you do, who you work for and how to keep your income higher than your outgoings, you are going to be fucked, possible faster and more nastily here, than in a  high cost country.  You can always vote for some crazy politician who blames immigrants, foreigners and the EU,  promises to make your problems go away…

Brits can come here live and work without a visa – for now. Thanks to Brexit this right is being given up, so if you are reading this in 10-20 years time,  things will be different. There may be British economic refugees here, if we aren’t all fleeing from an even more dangerous neighbour.  A lot of tech businesses will be forced out of the UK by Visa issues, or racism. For sure some of them will end up here in Kraków where they will be welcome no matter what nationality they are.

Brexit Lament

This article reflects my views on Brexit

In the meantime, I would underline that through our thriving Startup Community, and local as well as international investment, (and not just in Kraków), that Poland is very much open for business. Getting working visas is a lot easier than in the UK or USA. The government seems pretty committed to that.  We may have a political problems but they are nothing on the scale that face the UK or maybe the USA, provided we are not invaded in which case all bets are off

Please come to one our Open Coffee Krakow – or Krakow Enterprise Monday events or indeed my the newly launched Cambentrepreneurs first meeting in Edinburgh in two weeks

It doesn’t really matter what nationality you have in my eyes, it’s just about the contribution you make, (and I don;t know how many Brits there are in Kraków)