I watched the crazy downhill guys on TV yesterday. As these skiers were getting ready to plunge down the icy slopes of a mountain at speeds of up to 140 km per hour, they prepared themselves by closing their eyes and envisioning skiing the course, turn for turn, in an absolutely perfect ski run. With eyes closed, they leaned left, then right, going down, up and through the entire course. I guess that they also saw themselves winning the gold medal and standing on the podium with a shiny trophy raised overhead in victory.
So why do they bother to do this? Does mental practice really affect performance? Is this just silly “positive thinking” jargon or does this really have a measurable impact?
(Oslo, Nov. 12, 2009)
Europe Unlimited has appointed Rick Salmon as President of the Selection Jury for 2009 European Venture Contest Finals which will be held on December 14th and 15th, 2009 in Barcelona. The Jury will consist of 30 distinguished members representing the Venture Capital community in Europe. The mission of this annual venture contest is to find, evaluate and award world-class innovative companies with the potential to dramatically impact their industry and contribute to increasing European competitiveness and growth. This year over 700 startup companies have competed in the contest this year and the top 25 have been chosen to go to the finals in Barcelona.
A few weeks ago I was standing in line at the store behind two boys. They were probably 13, maybe 14 years old and these guys were really cool. They wore low-rider pants that constantly tried to slide down to their knees, big T-shirts advertising their favorite vampire heavy metal bands. One had a skateboard under his arm while the other had a ski hat tugged down over his ears in spite of the warm day. I overheard them talking about a friend of theirs who had recently quit the skateboarding scene and moved on to something else (I think they said he quit skateboards and started chasing girls…). As they talked about him, they both stopped, looked at each other and simultaneously lifted their right hands to their foreheads. Placing their thumbs against their foreheads and extending their index finger straight up, they had both created the big “L” sign. This stands for “Loser”. Having both agreed on this point and signaled what they thought about it, they smiled to each other and went on to talk about something else.
European startup companies actually have a big advantage over US based startups and many don’t even know it. No, I am not talking about fat government subsidies or protected local markets. I am talking about “street smarts”.
How successful are you willing to let yourself be? Are you one of those people who are willing to settle for just an OK life, or are you driven to achieve something greater? If you are someone who is drawn by a greater cause then the only thing that will really limit you is the amount of energy you put into it. It´s that simple.
One of the most important survival factors for any startup technology business is the ability to generate sales revenues as quickly as possible. Cash flow is king. The more that an entrepreneur is able to prove to investors that he is a good businessman (able to generate cash flow) then the more credible and believable his entire venture story will be. The quicker a startup business is able to generate some revenues, the less desperate they will be to get funding from investors. The less desperate they are, the more likely that they will succeed in getting funding.