Day two of CAMP and the delegates are hard at work on their Business Model Canvases. Kenji Sato caught up with Business Models Inc Strategic Advisor Ben Hamley, who's facilitating along with his colleague Suhit Anantula, to ask him how it's going so far.
What do you think about the CAMPers' pitches so far?
I think the pitches are good. I think the interesting thing that I found is how people articulate what their customer segment is and how they go about getting the insight into what jobs they’re actually doing for their customers. So I think at a higher level, there’s some really interesting ideas, but it’s almost as if they need to be deconstructed and pulled back to really get to the core of how value is created.
What kind of character traits do you think a successful entrepreneur has?
I was reading an article about the UBS and PWC billionaires report. It actually went into those character traits and the personality traits of global billionaires. They’re useful case studies. If you’re trying to look for character traits of successful entrepreneurs, look at billionaires. One was focus and being able to really identify the most useful thing to do now and pick one idea and go after that.
I think it’s very easy in the entrepreneurial community to see so many opportunities everywhere you turn, and they all seem like bright sparkly lands for opportunity.
So focus is probably the most important. But then after that, the ability to not be so narrow minded in that focus that you can’t see where there are connections, so when you have a focused goal or outcome in mind you can drive that through, but incorporating collaborations and connections outside the organisation or people when it’s necessary. I think those two are the winning traits.
And that’s what the people here are working on to improve, right?
Absolutely. This is an amazing opportunity to have people collaborate and form those relationships which are going to be so beneficial is in the future.
You talk about relationships. How important are things like networks, connections, that kind of thing?
Hugely important. I think if you look at any network , whether it’s Linkedin or Facebook or Twitter or even just your college yearbook, I think returning to look at the structure of the network and who can connect you is really important. Also being mindful that you never know who you’re talking to at the end of the day - so as an entrepreneur you’ve got to be mindful that in all your interactions, you ask!
You’ve got to put something out there so that in the future that person might go away and they remember what you're asking. They might come across someone who can help - they might not know them now, but they might in the future. And if you haven’t asked, they won’t know to come back to you and tell you what they've found. The importance of relationships can't be overstated, but the importance of asking for something from your relations is very important.
Say I’m a young entrepreneur and I have this great idea. Where do I start to make this a reality?
Is it a great idea? That’s probably the first question I’d ask. Who is it a great idea for? Why does it need to exist? If you can answer those questions and you can really understand why someone out there needs this then you can start to come to an insight on whether it might be a really interesting idea.
It’s not a great idea until it can create value on a big scale. An interesting example is the apple Newton. Great idea, very similar to what the ipad is now but it was too early and at the time people didn’t need that. So it's about understanding what people need to do in their lives. What jobs do they need to do, how can you make their life easier? How can you help them achieve their best version of themselves and create a product for that. That’s where value lies.
Who is it that you want to help? Entrepreneurs are often motivated by a specific customer segment even if they’re a little unconscious of it. If they’re very technology oriented than their customer might be their programming peers or colleagues. If they’re social entrepreneurs it might be communities and unconsciously they are designing for those sorts of customer segments, but they've never defined it so they’re very caught up in the technical specifications of the product and forget who the customers are and what the customers need.
So regardless of how good you are, the idea is to come back to - who are your customers, what do they need, how do you make their lives better?
Thanks Ben and thanks Suhit!