“For a kid with a hammer, everything is a nail”
Is entrepreneurship for you ?
Probably this is a question that everyone considering jumping into this adventure has made to himself more than once.
So… if you normally tell your ideas to your friends & family and you get a few pats of your back with a “why don’t you get a real job!…” or people tell you that you are crazy, probably you are on the right direction.
There are many quotes around.. Think big… Wells, Carter-Scott , Lincoln, Einstein… my favorite one is from Sir. Richard Branson: “If people aren’t calling you crazy, you aren’t thinking big enough.” why ? because he can do this.
And this, and this and also this. So if you normally have disruptive ideas that if they existed, they would change the world… you are halfway there…
Mexico and Latin America, are not a places known by its innovations… why ? because we are not smart ? because we were not educated at Harvard, Stanford or MIT ? Nope… Its because they didn’t teach us that daydreaming was possible… they gave us too many “pats in our backs.”
Now… when you come to a place like Silicon Valley, Boston, Tel Aviv… you will hear that “Ideas are like Assholes, everybody has one”. So what’s the secret sauce to be a successful entrepreneur ? well, the first thing you need is an idea… the bigger the idea is, the better. Dare to dream and keep your eyes open. I challenge you to do the following exercise: Tomorrow when you are driving to school, or to drop for kids to their Karate lessons, observe. look for small details that they upset you and that could be fixed; traffic, stoplights, bumps on the road, pollution, noise, Etc. and think a of a way to fix the problem… flying cars ? everybody riding a bicycle ? some strange material that will make the road fix itself once there’s a pothole ? allow your brain to have fun…
Now! you have it! it crazy right ? That’s probably what Elon Musk thought about creating a company that will challenge the oil industry or what Branson thought about sending tourists to outer space.
Probably after all the excitement you will tell to yourself: Hey.. I know nothing about increasing energy density or Gravitational Potential Energy Oh no… there it comes… you are starting to feel that terrible sensation… I can’t do this. WRONG. Chances are that neither Elon or Richard knew anything about it, so what they did the do ? they found people who did! and they found the best!
That’s the second ingredient of a successful entrepreneur, they can attract talent and they can assemble a team. Now you have an idea and the abilities to execute on it. the rest is just passion, patience, a big tolerance to failure and a very big doses of stubbornness
In Mexico & Latin America its even easier… in Gabe’s Post “Camarón que se duerme, se lo lleva la corriente” he eloquently describes the reality of the monopolies and oligopolies our region is subject to, and giants leave a lot of holes where a little and fast mouse can get into. there are lots of inefficiencies and gaps that a fast team with the right idea and talent can quickly fix.
A shared electric car service in México city ? here you go, hungry but yearning for great Ahi Tuna ? here you go, Fundraising but you keep getting the, I don’t have any cash with me story ? here you go
Hey!! That’s not happening in Palo Alto. It’s happening in Mexico City and other cities of Latin America. Many speak about the famous MEMO (Mexican Moment), and I don’t know if indeed we are the sleeping giant, what I do know is that we have very talented peopled with great ideas and the thriving venture ecosystem of Latin America is starting to hype. the question is not if it will happen or not the question is Are you ready?.
Go on. next time you take your kids to the Karate Lessons, Observe, Get your idea, assemble your team and “Get a real job”
Leonardo Shapiro is Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Yattos. A company that is trying to fix the broken worldwide financial system and has been described the the Bay Area VC’s as a “Fair Trade, Organic and Sustainable version of Banking”