If knowledge is power then every entrepreneurial startup should succeed because the information needed to do so is almost in plain sight, out there on the Internet. Fair enough, there’s probably a lot of weeding and sifting to be done to find the informational nuggets that really hit home. But when you do find them then the culmination of the search can turn into a genuine Eureka moment, one that will hopefully inspire and help push you over the startup hurdles you’ll probably come up against and then on to the finish line.
The concept of the pivot, often heard in relation to the startup experience, sounds little more than a clever buzzword trotted out by the many gurus who inhabit the rarefied entrepreneurial stratosphere. Imagine standing with one foot firmly anchored on the floor and then stepping out with your other foot in different directions. That’s a physical description of pivoting. The analogy is also a good one in terms of the startup world.
Another way to describe it is flexibility – for example, you can opt to push a product or service at home or take your idea overseas if the target market allows. There are literally thousands of companies from across the world, many of them from the United States, queuing up to start a venture in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Persian Gulf. But why there?
Oil means money, wealth and huge spending power. The UAE is also a gateway to the hundreds of millions of people making up the diverse populations of the Middle East and North Africa region. The country is also middle ground when it comes to the Asian and European markets. The UAE’s infrastructure, its roads and communications, is thoroughly modern as is the country’s banking sector which offers retail customers the humble cash machine, current account and more whilst servicing the specific and demanding needs of the business community.
All are good reasons in their own right to set up a venture in the UAE. But add the entrepreneurial perks available in the many free zones dotted around the country, set up by the UAE government to entice foreign investment, and the reasons are further multiplied. In order of no particular importance, the perks include no personal or corporate taxes levied, 100% foreign ownership and 100% repatriation of capital and profits allowed, no foreign exchange controls, purpose-built infrastructure if required and no restrictions when it come to hiring and firing of both local and foreign personnel. It almost sounds too good to be true!
But whether an entrepreneurial venture begins life at home or abroad, flexibility is key along with an ability to read the runes, figuratively speaking of course. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had both, according to the startup blog Compass. However, he was not the first to build a social network. In fact, surprisingly, there were hundreds of social networks before Facebook.
According to the blog, “Zuckerberg wasn’t more intelligent, more ambitious, better educated or wealthier than other entrepreneurs who built social networks, he just played the game better. If there was one factor where Zuckerberg truly differentiated himself from other entrepreneurs it was probably his ability to learn and adapt.”
Could it really be as simple as that? Judge for yourself by heading over to the highly readable and thoughtful blog here.