Month: July 2013

To develop in-house or outsource?

Although much is written about the steps needed to set up a business in Europe or North America, we found it challenging to find similar information about the difficult decisions we expected we’d need to make in order to set up a business in Dubai. This is the first in a series of posts in which we’ll be writing about some of the challenges we face whilst building Kanari. I’d like to dedicate this first one to an important decision related to building the first version of our product, namely to hire a team and build Kanari in-house or outsource the development to an external party.

Startup validation lessons from the racetrack

In my previous post I talked a little bit about how one of the first things Subhi and I did was try to carry out early stage validation of the business concept we had in mind for Kanari. I thought I would elaborate on this a little bit in this post as we’re making a conscious decision to continually tap into our customers and users for feedback to tell us how we should build Kanari both as a product and as a business. As a motorsport engineer there were two sayings that I was particularly fond of. Although they’re framed in a racing context I think their meaning is just as relevant in a business environment. “The best racecar is the one that falls apart just after crossing the finish line in first place”

Key to entrepreneurship: just keep trying

I remember attending a speaker event organized by our entrepreneurship club during my MBA at IESE. One of the speakers, a (very) serial entrepreneur, was telling us the story of how he got started. It was a pretty miserable story: each of the past five ventures he embarked on over the years ended in failure. Recently married, he was working on his sixth venture, confident that this was the one. It wasn’t. Another failure. Having spent every last penny, he had no option left but to sell an apartment that was bequeathed to him by his family. He proceeded to build a website and advertise his beautiful Barcelona flat online in the hope that he would get a good deal with a foreigner looking to buy property. The response to his website was so positive that not only did he get a great selling price on the apartment, he had also just stumbled across his big idea. He went on to develop a real estate portal, and it took off. Boom! Finally a success! Seventh time lucky. Here is how I got started…