This is based on a link my buddy Scott Guillory from Louisiana sent me. It was an opinion piece on the Wall Street Journal by Douglas McCollam with the title “The Big Easy’s Business Leap Forward”. For those of you who don’t know I did my Dual Master of Science in Economics and Information Systems & Decision Science from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. The Big Easy i.e Nawlins or New Orleans brings back good old memories of Mardi Gras and night out at Pat O’briens… I digress. Anyways, the article starts with one Mr.Tim Williamson who was asking for help with the Chamber of Commerce in New Orleans to start an Incubator called Ideal Village. The answer from the person in charge in the Chamber was “What if it Fails?”, it made me think… I have had many conversations here in Iceland with financial institutions and banks, lobbying them to join with me to launch the Startup Iceland Initiative and TechStars Accelerator program. I spent a good 4 to 5 months talking to one of the banks, only to find out that they were internally asking the same question “This is risky, What if this thing fails?” and here I am thinking Man, what if Startup Iceland Works and we are able to create fantastic new companies out of Iceland. As they say it all depends on the perspective of how you look at the world. I think everyone has their reasons to doubt, fear and say No, but it is not my place to question or judge them I will continue to do what I believe in. If I fail, so be it. As Steve Jobs said in his memorable speech to the Stanford Graduating Class, here is the transcript of the speech
“It is impossible to connect the dots looking forward, it was very very clear looking backward 10 years later. Again, you cannot connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking back. You have to trust the dots will somehow connect in the future, you have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever… because believing that the dots will connect down the road, will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads off the well worn path and that would make all the difference”
“You’ve got to find what you love, that is as true for work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is Great work and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you havent found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle, as it is with all matters of the heart you’ll know when you find it. And like any great relationship it gets better and better as years roll on, so keep looking. Don’t settle”
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish
If you did not go and read the WSJ Article, the summary is that New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina has turned into a Startup hub. The nonprofit incubator Idea Village has grown into an engine for the New Orleans economy. To date it’s helped raise about $2.7 million in seed capital for more than 1,100 local entrepreneurs, creating more than 1,000 jobs and $83 million in annual revenue—and these days helping the city’s unemployment rate stay about a point to a point-and-a-half below the national average.