1st week in NYC

Did you know that around 75% of the startups fail? And I think only those are counted here which expressed its intention to start a new business formally and seriously. So during the first week of the NYC Module we received presentations and got into deep talks with knowledgeable people in the field how to rather get into the rest 25% and also have a glimpse on the whole ecosystem of this new innovation world, especially in context with New York City. Of course, even advices of these experts cannot guarantee you anything, but on the one hand they can give you better chances, and on the other hand maybe even more importantly, they help you realize when you should keep on doing the thing you came up with and when you should reconsider the whole thing.

According to the presentations by Acceleration Group, New York City, with the leadership of Major Bloomberg wisely realized that if they want the city to be recovered from the financial crises and keep its dominant position in the world’s economy, they should navigate themselves into the direction of the city of innovation. During the whole week, I really got the feeling that New York really takes this mission seriously and does whatever it takes to achieve it.

In order to get to their target, NYC has been intensively investing in places and communities that can help to spread the message of innovation. As a part of this, NYU Incubators, Varick Incubators and General Assembly was created to take their role in giving place and creating community for innovators to cooperate, compete and learn from each other. I really felt that being the member of one of these places, would not be not just cool, but they really have the additional value in facilitating the atmosphere that helps one to get the most out of his/her idea.

We had the opportunity to meet some of the “outcomes” of the innovation mission New York took. The start-uppers shed the light on how start-upping really works, what issues they had and how did they came over them. During the week, we met Ziv Navoth from Paragraph, Antonia Evans from SocialDraft and Andres Blank from Caliber. Just some of the key takeaways for me:

  • You need to really spend a vast amount of time talking to your prospects and customers. For a reference number, during the lean start-up course, you are required to do 50-60 customer interviews every week.
  • If you decide to do start-upping, you should “Just do it”, you should not give that big focus for formalized must-dos, but rather stick to your common sense.
  • The right team is essential for success. Besides “every start-up need 1 hassler, 1 hacker and 1 designer”, the cooperation and the fact whether the team can persuade the members into a high energy flow are also hugely important.
  • Take the risk, try out new things and with the experience come back to the safe side of business. “If you never fail, you just do not try hard enough.”, “If they do not sue you, you are not tapping into a really huge business.”
  • Use your data. The right analysis of your data can easily tell you if there is an issue.

Additionally, we had the chance to have a brief summary on Big Data by NYU CUSP. My key take away from this was that although Big Data is one of current world’s buzzwords, the potentials have not yet been leveraged fully, so there is a really big space for real world applications. As a consultant, I also decided to look into this field a bit deeper and find out whether there is potential for consultancy project in this field.

Also we had the opportunity, to see business from a legal perspective. I think without any doubts, it can be stated that the prosecution in the USA really persuade white collar violations very seriously. So, for anyone who want to do any business in the USA should be very careful and stay on the safe side of business.

Of course, we also had the fun part of the vibrating city of New York – jazz concerts, huge number of drinks, delicious meals from various cousins -,and in the meantime to be fresh and energetic, we refilled ourselves by running in the Central Park almost every morning.

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