Julio Maria Muhorro (Tales of Entrepreneurship in Africa)

  • 00:00:36 How Julio’s entrepreneurial journey started?
  • 00:06:29 How do opportunities for entrepreneurs in Africa stack up currently?
  • 00:13:45 How knowledge based and digital content businesses are faring in coastal African countries. How staggered access to digital innovations delays opportunities outside of the US.
  • 00:20:48 How to find early adopters for your startup? Can you find them in a ‘non early adopter market’?
  • 00:24:35 What is the ‘correct idea‘ of a risk-taking entrepreneur?
  • 00:29:01 How will we get to nine billion brains and innovating entrepreneurs in the future?
  • 00:36:34 How will we deal with the enormous amount of ‘cultural download’? How difficult is it to identify opportunities?
  • 00:40:14 How do we identify and allocate future revenue streams (that look more like TV/film royalties)? How do we stabilize resource allocation for micro entrepreneurship?
  • 00:45:01 Why the ‘platform economy’ is a short term ‘trap’ for most entrepreneurs. But is it a good intermediate stage?
  • 00:54:01 How do we set the right framework and incentive to encourage and foster entrepreneurship (as an example in Mozambique).
  • 01:01:01 Is valuation the only USP of an investor? Are secondary variables more important?
  • 01:04:01 Is negative or positive motivation the ‘better motivation’ for creating the desire to ‘improve the world’?
  • 01:09:10 What are the best countries to invest in in Africa? Do the ‘nation states’ even matter much?
  • 01:16:15 Is Crowdfunding a solution to the funding problem of African startups?

You may watch this episode on Youtube – Julio Maria Muhorro (Tales of Entrepreneurship in Africa).

Julio Maria Muhorro is an entrepreneur and business coach based in Mozambique and South Africa.

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Julio, thanks for coming to the Judgment Call podcast. We really appreciate that. Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to have this conversation with you, man. Hi, same here, same here. We spoke a couple of months ago, and we were just chatting about that. There were a couple of things we really wanted to talk about, and you are a very successful entrepreneur. You’re quite young. You do all this for Mozambique, and now you’re in South Africa. Maybe you tell us a little bit about yourself, and what really motivated you to become an entrepreneur so early in your life? Sure. It all started for me when I was just about to graduate for university, and I realized I didn’t have a job afterwards, like many people. One of my friends, he was already an entrepreneur doing some transportation business, and he wanted to go into developing short term courses. He had all the entrepreneurial experience, but he knew nothing about academia, per se, or knowledge based businesses, but there was my jam. I was a lecturer at a university to help pay for my scholarship and my fees, and the university I was studying in, and my parents were teachers. Education and knowledge based stuff was really my jam. We joined forces and we started this company out of scratch, two young people, and I remember we really went over what we thought it was right, because I had no experience developing courses. My experience at the time was just delivering courses. I remember I had to Google how to build a session plan for a workshop and stuff like that, but then in three months, we trained almost 600 people in total. For you to think this is like a startup that no one heard of, and the key of our success early in the stage is that we were quite doing a lot of interactions with the market. We did all the research piece, we asked students what they wanted to learn, we kept their contact details, so when we launched the courses, we sent them SMS and all that stuff, and the energy was just cool and vibe. I mean, I was giving teachings and classes like eight hours a day, and I didn’t want them to be boring, so I really made sure that it was interactive and fun, and people really appreciated. From that place, back in the days in Mozambique, business mentors, advisors, there was not even words we were used to it. It was at a time in the business where I felt I was making good decisions, but I wasn’t making great decisions, and I just didn’t know how I could make that leap. It made sense to me to get a job while my co founder was still running the business, and that’s what I did. I joined them as a mechanical company called Idea Lab. They are major in supporting entrepreneurs in a more of ecosystem level, so they work with different stakeholders to support entrepreneurs, and they work with entrepreneurs directly with trainings, with events, with advisory, and I joined them to work on marketing, and then because of my background, I became a business advisor and mentor to the startups and a trainer. In two years into that business, they invited me to launch the very first business incubation program in Mozambique, so there for me was huge because I was usually the generation that heard that, well, you should start businesses, you should do stuff, but we just don’t know how young people, we just don’t know how to do those things, and I was given the chance to be in a place where I could help other young people to follow their dreams, so they were super cool, and in two years, their business grew, and for me, what was growing was this sense that I should be able to do more, like I wanted to do more, I wanted to explore the world, I just didn’t know how back again, and it really went home when I was in Bahrain in the Middle East, we were doing a speaking engagement there, the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, which is one of the biggest entrepreneurship events in the world, and after speaking, this bunch of one up guys, they come to me and like, Julio, can you just have like a small talk with you after, you know, the big session, we really want to get deep into some stuff, I went there, we talked with them, and I remember the guy told me like, Julio, now I know what I need to do with my life and my business, like, I have, I’m clear, so clear, deep down, I was just feeling empty, like, I was literally just showing up, I was so depleted, because I knew I wanted to do more, and I wasn’t doing it, that it was really starting to, you know, down, way down in my productivity and stuff, so that led me to launch my current business for Knowledge International, where we focus on helping entrepreneurs and executives directly, by offering power coaching, training and speaking engagements, and for the corporates, we offer them knowledge consultancy, so we help them harness the power of knowledge of their people, so they can start growing their business from a place that really feels good to them. There was a very long story, the shortest I could tell you. I mean, this seems that a lot has been going on, and, you know, you have your own venture, you already worked with an incubator, and now you’re doing your second venture, so this is also what I think a lot, including me, and a lot of people are interested in that is, you know, Africa is kind of, as a bigger destination, and then Southern Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, is always hailed as this enormous potential, and we, in terms of investment opportunities, and in terms of what knowledge based business models could do for the large population, and I had Daniel Gross on who runs a completely virtual incubator pioneer, and he’s had a lot of investments that he did in South Southern Africa, but also including Nigeria, so there’s a lot of potential. We sometimes, it’s hard to grasp this, right? It’s a big population, its connectivity is increasing quite nicely. The last time I was in Mozambique, what was interesting for me was I was in Maputo, and most of the internet connections I could get out of hotels, or coffee shops were really slow, but then I just tapped into LTE, and it was like a hundred ambit everywhere, all over the countryside on our holy smokes, so I didn’t see that coming. I was super fast and super cheap, it was like a dollar for a gigabyte. Anyway, so there seems to be a slightly different way that each country obviously goes, and maybe it’s a different kind of connectivity. What I’m trying to get to, when you look at the opportunities that you see for entrepreneurs, how does this stack up, and I know you’ve been awarded one of the most prominent entrepreneurs in Africa a couple of years ago, give us an insight where you feel these opportunities are real, and they may be just made up. For sure. I guess we need to start taking a step back, and just put Africa in a bit more of context for our listeners. So the first thing is that when you look at the world map, you see this huge chunk of land altogether is Africa, and unlike other continents like Europe or America, or North America or South America, even though it’s a continent, it’s all together, we couldn’t be more different, even though we have so many similars. So that’s the first point, and each country has slightly different nuances in terms of cultures, and what people value, and what type of business can flourish. But something that I found that’s quite different from African markets than we have from any other markets, it’s how mobile our money is. I mean, if you look at countries like Zimbabwe, they really don’t have yet money anymore, and they just use mobile money. And mobile money, it’s not like you transfer yourself on PayPal, it’s the money that is associated with your mobile phone. So you can transact using your mobile phone. That’s a huge difference from the rest of the world when it comes down to Africa. And the original Bitcoin, right? It came from Kenya, right? Yeah, yeah, from Kenya. First, I forgot the name to be, what is it called, in Kenya. I forgot the name. I forgot, but in Mozambique and Tanzania, it’s in PESA right now, and it’s owned by Vodacom, or Vodafone in other countries. I think that’s the one, the original Bitcoin, or the African PayPal. It is, it literally is. And I guess Molotov foreigners, they sort of get stuck with that, like how is it possible? That’s one of the main differences. And the other difference is, in terms of logistics, even though it’s our all continent, and you will think that, well, it will be so cheap and easy to travel and, you know, travel only people, but also, you know, merchandise, or stuff, travel around the continent. That’s not the case. So there is a lot of opportunities and challenges within logistics per se. But to really go to your point, Africa is literally the land of opportunities. What you really need to do to tap into those opportunities is start looking at them from the lenses of the local people, right? So Africa has this whole story of, you know, being colonized by different European countries, and then people finding their independence back again, and then with globalization, we’re trying to sort of like align the rest of the world. It’s very important that as someone that comes from outside Africa, or even just a different country within the continent of Africa, that you allow yourself to have the empathy with the locals and understand what they’re coming from, and what really matters to them. And they will say it’s the main reason why a lot of foreign investors, they fail when they come to Africa, is that they try to replicate, you know, either based on the weather, because the weather in subparts of Mozambique can be compared with California, and they think that the same way people operating in California in the US is going to be the same way they’re operating in Mozambique. So no, there are opportunities, but really look at them from the perspective of the locals. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. It’s interesting that you mentioned the weather. I think that’s when you think about a couple of episodes ago, we talked about impact investing. When you talk about pure agriculture investments, I think those are something, when you think of enabling local farmers, have organic products, those are investment ideas that are very popular. I don’t feel they are, they’re not easy to pull off, let’s put it this way, because of the issues you just described. It’s possible, I know there are stories in Malawi, for instance, but it’s hard to scale them, so you end up with relatively small farms, and it’s a patchwork, and logistics is a huge issue of getting anything out. For instance, I was dreaming to become a nuts farmer in Malawi. I talked to a couple of people in Malawi, and they have those, what is that called, the really high nuts, oh my gosh, I forgot about those. Anyway, so this is another one. It’s grown in Hawaii. Macadamia? Macadamia, yeah, sorry, couldn’t come up with the name. No worries. So there’s a big internal market for macadamia nuts, so there’s a bunch of farms over there, it’s very fertile grounds, but getting those macadamia nuts, and it’s apparently extremely cheap to grow them, compared to anywhere else in the world, but getting those nuts out was incredibly difficult, because even just small quantities like the FedEx or UPS, which are present, it was a logistical nightmare. So sooner or later, you can get them for one fourth of the price that you’re waiting for, if you have even small quantities and their high quality. So if something is missing in between, this missing link is something you just look at certain variables, and then, well, I gave up becoming a nuts farmer in Malawi. Maybe this was a good idea, or maybe not. I still love the idea. But you know, there’s also something both mentioned. So for those who doesn’t know, Malawi is a country that sits almost in the center of Africa, so there’s no straight link from any port or shore to Malawi, unless it’s the Lake Malawi, and it’s a huge lake, but then it’s a lake, it’s not the sea, you don’t have connections to other places in the world. They’re making hard for logistic companies to really work on, that’s one, and also there is the whole political tension, and I guess the Lake Malawi is a great example. So it’s one lake that in Malawi, it’s called Lake Malawi, in Mozambique, where I’m from, it’s Lake Nyasa, which is the province that the lake sits on, and in Tanzania, it’s Lake Tanganyika. So there is a lot of this ownership over different African assets, I’ll say, and sometimes it can be hard for all the countries to agree. One of my clients is working to build a railway, they were supposed to connect Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania. But even then, we don’t have a railway link in the entirety of Mozambique, for instance, in the same country. So yeah, there are challenges in that, but also there are opportunities on how we can be creative in building those bridges and building those links. Yeah. Well, one thing I feel that strikes me as coming with great potential and relatively limited challenges is digital content. So the internet connectivity has gone up quite a bit. The last time I was in Akra in Ghana, I probably hit the fastest internet, I was like 3, 400 mbit in any random location, I’m like holy smokes, what is this? Because they probably have this new undersea cable that just goes through on the location where Akra is, and it’s close to the sea. So that was great to see, and it’s a very English speaking population with very high levels of English proficiency. And I was thinking, well, you can start from call centers, but also producing content, we all think about the YouTube world, right? We think about premium content you can actually sell. I thought, this is easy because, well, all you need really is fast internet access, and from then on, you basically just keep going from there and find premium. Obviously, you can do this for the local market, but with the connectivity, you can also do this for the non local market. And that seems to be where Indian Bangladesh is really taking off. They have been doing this for 20 years and they seem to be successful. I don’t know how billions, how big these businesses have gotten, but they seem enormous to me from what is visible to me on the internet. It’s not something I see so much that has taken off yet that my change or is already changing in coastal communities in Africa. Yeah, 100%. And I see a rising of knowledge based or really just online essence based business that I’m going to call it that way. And I actually have examples. So here in South Africa, there is this comedian called Lassizwe. So he managed to, he has a million and a half followers on Instagram, if I’m not mistaken. So basically, he’s all comedies around the different tribes in South Africa and the main ones being the whites, the collards, and the black. And he always have like, you know, how will a black mom react? How will a white mom react and stuff like that. And it’s very relatable in South Africa and some of other African countries. But he has grown so much in such a short period of time because of the digital, as you mentioned. But then I also got a chance to meet Elsa Majimbo from Kenya. So she now has two million followers and she collaborated with people like Naomi Campbell, Big Brands, Valentino and stuff. And her like comedies more around, you know, people not showing up on time and more of like international stuff. So that even though her and Lassizwe did start quite on the same time, because one is like targeting the world, you know, more general stuff, she was able to grow a bigger audience. So there is this growth happening there and associated with that there is a growth of personal brands and knowledge based companies happening as well. And I guess the most challenge or what entrepreneurs really struggle here in Africa is deciding if they want to stay local, if they want to go national or global. Because unlike many other countries in the world, at least in Europe or in America, we don’t have just one language in African countries, right? We have many languages, usually one or two are the official languages. So there’s a ton of languages too, right? But whatever. I think the general issue oftentimes seems to be, and that’s always the issue obviously in a content based economy, is how do you monetize it, right? How do you develop it from a free product into a premium product or a decent premium product? And that’s always really hard. That takes a lot of money, it takes a lot of resources to get there, right? Because you need to challenge, you need to know what customers want at what point of time, so they are eager and interested to buy into it. And, you know, Netflix is probably the best example. Early on, we’re bidding with a lots of money for those content rights to stream in different countries. And they had it per country, and then they changed it, and then they didn’t want to go international, and then they only wanted to go international. They changed every couple of years, right? And this is a good example where obviously it’s foreign content, and it’s very expensive content, but still, it’s a good example where they also changed the way what they charge. So it’s about $10, $14 a month in the US, but I know in France and Mexico, it’s only like $5. I don’t actually know what it is in Kenya, but they figured out a way to price it for each individual country. And that’s obviously the, you could start local, you know, if obviously nobody can bid for Hollywood rights, you know, Musk can help us, but there is always content that’s that’s bringing people are ready to pay for if you find that audience, right? So if you find an audience that has enough of a pain point, so to speak, that doesn’t have too high enough opportunity, because so they actually pay for your content. Yeah, and I will say that in the end, really, it becomes comes down to the revenue model you want to have in your business. So, you know, you can go in models where you charge the beneficiary, the end user, but you can also have sponsors or corporate clients, they pay you so that you can give your product and service for people that actually need, but cannot afford it. So you can be quite creative. And I think this point ties back with your investment point. Because something that I found, especially with a foreigner starting to come to invest in Africa, is the sense of is the knowledge and the trust on the knowledge people are presenting to them, you know, and being able to really rely on the partner, because usually you cannot fly in and out every time, or, you know, their language barriers and it is just the local context that as a foreigner, you don’t know, but the locals might know, and they might be able to build the bridges to help you out. So I guess, yeah, it comes down to the revenue model and how you just monetize your trust in general, you know, the social capital you’re bringing and you want to bring in your company. Yeah, not everyone can be like Mark Zuckerberg and launch a couple of balloons, right, to bring the internet to Africa. And, you know, when you look at it now, it looked kind of, it looked good on paper, right, it was a good PR stunt. But when we now look at Facebook, it’s this weird spying machine that he wanted to get to everyone, right, because it’s Facebook traffic that he wants, he doesn’t care about the other services. Yeah, and being honest, when you’re open a conversation, I was actually talking about how Instagram is disrupting markets. Because usually people look at, you know, governments disrupting markets, developing governments, you know, from Europe, coming to Africa to disrupt the market again, and we forget how corporations do it. And I was talking about if you have picture to entrepreneurs, like doing the same business, let’s say they are in photography, and they all have 2000 followers in December 2020, the entrepreneur in the US, let’s say he is in Florida, he get access to reels, he’s able to crazy expand his reach, not just in a local level, but in international level, that will probably mean that he will have more followers and probably more money after six months, while the entrepreneur in Mozambique didn’t have access to real in the first place. And I understand the difference or the tailoring made by location, but we’re talking about a digital product. And what’s worse is then when entrepreneurs have access to reels, you won’t have the magnified exposure anymore. So literally, you see a corporation completely disrupting international markets, even though it’s a digital company. So therefore, location shouldn’t be a problem unless the person doesn’t have access to internet, but still you see it happening. Yeah, that’s a really good topic. When we see these big platforms, obviously, it’s kind of they’re all made like a pyramid scheme, right? So you want to be in early, and then you have the biggest benefit. And then as long as later you come, it’s more like you’re your dad consumer. So you’re not getting the two way traffic that you want. It’s basically you just you’re liking someone else’s post, nobody will like your post, right? So it’s for the for the narcissists, you want to be really early in that game with that eventually pays off. You notice narcissism entrepreneurship, maybe that’s a little too little too harsh. But building your personal brand, you want to be early in those markets and that often this can be a challenge. I think it’s also a cultural challenge, right? So I grew up in Germany, and they are generally they rather be late adopters, so they don’t want to be early adopters in anything. They’re good at being late adopters, and then really excelling at building perfect products. But if you have with this mindset, then it’s it’s not good to be early, because the product hasn’t doesn’t have this maturity yet. So as an entrepreneur, it’s really difficult to sell early adopter products, it’s basically impossible. So say we have the same the same product is the same example you just made. And say it’s a software product and targets early adopter early adopter companies or consumers. It’s really tricky to get an initial critical mass in Europe, it’s almost impossible. And I think the same probably applies to a lot of African markets. But the same product in the same sales pitch will get you a million customers in the US, because there’s so many early adopters here, right? And they will test it, they will like it or they think it’s crap, and then you will never go anywhere. But at least you have that potential and then you roll it out globally. But you don’t have that option. I think a lot of Israeli companies have found that niche, they develop their tech business role, because they know how to develop tech, but they know there’s no there’s very small country. And it’s they’re not exactly super early adopters from a marketing perspective, they are in terms of hardware technology. So what they’ve done, they’ve basically just said, we’re never going to market it here, we just have the back end here, and we just do all the marketing in the US. And if it works, it works in the US, and then we roll it out in Israel. So even if a lot of products developed in Israel are not even available, unless you have a VPN, there’s always a way around it, but they’re not directly marketed to Israeli customers. And I totally relate with that. I mean, my first 100 coaching customers, they are all from US, Canada, and the UK. I mean, for many reasons, the early adoption is one of them, but also the the, you know, the buying power, right, like people in the US and Europe, they’re using dollars and euros. And the amounts that I feel my work is being honored, I mean, it will probably take six months for the regular moves and become to be able to afford a one hour session with me, right. So even as an entrepreneur, I had to work around my mindset and understanding that, you know, if I am finally able to charge what I really deserve from my high paying clients, I can then build initiatives that really support the entrepreneurs that need support, but they cannot afford it. So that’s one that’s super important that you mentioned that. And when it comes down to Africa, I feel most people just assume that people are not early innovations because they don’t want to be early innovation, which is not true. Usually what happens is that there is so much risk associated with that early innovation that I actually prefer to see it validated, you know, and proof bulletproofed before I can afford to take the risk. And it’s actually something that I do my best to entrepreneurs is even when it comes down to investing. If you’re coming from a background where you feel you cannot take that much risk, don’t gamble about, you know, on how much you can make, really choose your affordable loss, right. So I usually say to entrepreneurs like you have an idea, you want to validate it. How much are you willing to lose? Let’s say you try it out and you figure out that the business doesn’t work for you, or doesn’t work at all. How much are you willing to invest and lose? Chances are you’re not going to lose that money, you’re going to learn something from it and sometimes even make the money back. But just having that mindset that it’s not about how much you’re going to win, but how much you’re willing to lose, just give you that piece of mind to start making the steps to break the poverty cycle. Does it make sense for you? Yes, I mean, yes. Obviously, I think that that’s that’s why it’s a good topic. Your your league as into is, you know, what I think entrepreneurship has gotten a lot of this, that the word entrepreneurship people immediately think of the Silicon Valley type entrepreneur, right, that needs billions of venture capital. And this venture capital obviously is a very trend following. So they invest into a trend and they want to get out of this investment as soon as possible, definitely within the next two or three years, if they can, right. So it’s kind of this soft bank idea that you have to have this massive one billion dollar minimum, that’s kind of their minimum now, right. And they can invest up to 10 billion in the start of like, think about rework, nobody knows why they invest that much money, but they must have a plan, right. So someone has a plan at soft bank, I hope, I don’t know. We hope we hope people can do whatever they want with their money. But I’m trying to say this, but I agree much more with NASA talent subscription of entrepreneurship, which is really the individual risk taker. So what we want is an as as high as possible, ideally, 20, 30, 40, 50% population is an enormous way bigger than what we see right now in the description as entrepreneurship. And we don’t want necessarily a company that has hundreds of million dollars of venture capital or any kind of capital infused into it. For me, that’s not a startup. What I want is the entrepreneur who goes out just as you said that earlier, who goes out validates an idea conviction of his or hers, and then runs this against the market and sees what comes out of it. And yes, most of them will still fail, this will not change. But this risk that someone took will solve a big, small part of that equation, but it adds up to a bigger, bigger, bigger equation for the whole population. And the whole population benefits because they then realize, oh, well, this is how this is how good this specific thing can be solved. Right. So when we think about how good digital solutions have gotten, how good the iPhone has gotten, this is possible, but iPhone’s maybe not a good example. But because it’s too centralized. But if we all go out and do our, do contribute to the betterment of the world, right, of society, then it really adds up. So this wave of entrepreneurship multiplies throughout the society. The problem obviously is, how do you convince yourself to take this six month off, this 12 month, right, to say, well, you know, I’m already living in squalor, so to speak. So I really can’t afford to do this. But I think this is really doesn’t really matter how it’s a routine mindset, right? It’s, it doesn’t really matter how poor you are, how you can afford it. It’s, okay, there is something on the other side that A helps me, but also B has a huge upside. And this is why I should start now. And I think this is so difficult to get this motivation pinpointed for entrepreneurs. And I often feel the public initiatives, like government initiatives, they don’t really do much about that, like they want to, but they don’t really, it’s important to have the opportunities. It’s you want to, you want to look more to the outside than, okay, you’re covered for the next six months. That’s my personal point of view. That’s obviously very difficult to instill in people. 100%. And being honest with you, you know, all my work is based on the concept that success is 80% internal game and 20% external game. So the 80% you have your identity, your mindset and your energy. And only then you work on the strategies, you’re going to change the context, which is the 20%. And I like to give this laptop example to people. It’s like, when you want to buy a computer, you get to choose between a Windows based or a Mac based computer, right? That’s the identity of a computer, the hardware and the software. But then if you buy the brand new Mac book on earth, you still need to install some programs to make it run and work for you and do whatever you want, like Adobe Photoshop, Zoom, whatever it is. And that’s your mindset. It’s all the beliefs that you have and all the programs that are running in your mind that allows you to show up in the way that you want to show up. And then going back to the laptop example, if we have the most expensive laptop in the world, with all the premium programs installed, eventually you need to connect it to a power source, otherwise it will die out. And that’s how you see the entrepreneurs trying and going back and giving up and try it again and giving up. But the thing is, if you work on upgrading your identity and updating your mindset, so you can start shifting your energy to create the strategies and implement them becomes way more easier, compared if you didn’t have that prework done before. And I always say, like, everyone knows that if they want to lose fat and be muscled, they need to do three things, sleep right, eat right and exercise right. And if you grab your phone, you’re going to find a professional to help you out. So why is not everyone in their optimum fitness level? I was asking the same thing when I was managing the business incubator, where we actually had pretty good success rates, like 80% of people increasing revenue, and at least 70%. But then my question was, what was wrong with the other ones? They didn’t made it. They had a great idea. They were actually showing up. What was wrong with them? And then only when I found that is all this mindset piece that is missing when it comes down to entrepreneurship, that gets people blocked. If you go and Google entrepreneur images, you’re going to see people on their suits in New York, as you mentioned, in Silicon Valley. And that’s not the true of what really being an entrepreneur really means. And a lot of my work, especially with early stage entrepreneurs, is just break all those false belief systems and really start helping them create their own definition of entrepreneurship and understand how they can play full out. And also associated with the concept of you need to quit your job to start your business. And that’s not true. Especially if you’re starting out, you do want to be accountable and responsible with your time and your money. And like 99% of the times when you start a business, it doesn’t need a full time employee. Even if you put all your hours, do you still need to give the market some time to give you feedback so you get to interact and keep moving forward? Yeah. I like what you just said. I think this is very very motivational. What I hope we’re going to see is really 9 billion people, 9 billion brains, to generate one unique idea and market that with India and each. And hopefully we’re going to see this in the next 50 or 100 years. And in the end, what happens is you do a succession of different projects or events. Alexander Bard would call them events. So the event is less than a company. So the company is, you know, you have HR, you hire people, and it’s all just nonsense. Nobody wants to do anymore. So an event is you create something that can be like an idea, it can be a product, it can be a website, it can be an app, whatever that is, and you get traction either. And generally, it’s some viral kind of route, right? People for whatever reason love what you’re doing. Now, the hit rate is pretty low. You cannot assume just because you’re smart, intelligent, you’re going to have 100% hit rates. Now we’re going to have, right? There’s tons of other people going for the same market. But if everyone just does a succession of these events in his life, in her life, and what’s so cruel about this is it will be a going viral if it makes sense, if it’s productive, right? If it saves the problem, that’s real for very, very low cost. And we would have access to 9 billion super apps, right? That’s someone else, bro. That’s kind of in my mind. Now this won’t be apps, right? There’s going to be AI, it can be any kind of algorithm, can be any kind of backend software. But if you get to this level to never have to repeat the same thing, and the same workflow that we do every day that we are all bored of. And now we have this problem in the US that many, many labor jobs, there’s just no labor anymore, right? So this is very difficult. And I feel like what is a good thing, right? I want people to get out of this and get into something creative. Obviously, we still, we probably have to solve with automation. But we would all be so much better off because we all would make so much more money if we adopt this mindset in my mind. Obviously, you got to get some payoff. That’s obviously the problem, right? So with all these, say you do 100 of these events in your life, right? So one a year. But if your payoff comes on average of the 50, what do you do in the first 50 years? You’re going to be really poor because you literally have no income. So and I understand that you can keep your job. And that’s great. I think this is great. Otherwise, you don’t have to do this full time. But you have to come up with 100 unique ideas that could become a product. And I think this is what we should teach our children. And this is what, the market is global immediately. So that’s, that’s, I think it’s this wonderful incentive you said earlier. If you have enough bandwidth, you have the same market access in, I don’t know, in Mombasa than anyone in Silicon Valley, there’s literally no difference. And that’s such a great incentive. Like you did the millions of dollars right in front of your keyboard, so to speak, right? It’s obviously there’s more to it. It’s not that easy. But that’s the mindset that I would love that our children have and our young adults, and then I think they have this with Bitcoin, right? Bitcoin, but it’s a maniac, it’s a bubble. But that’s really all going to because we say, well, why don’t I buy some calls on Tesla because I just downloaded Robinhood and it’s $500, maybe it’s going to make me a million dollars, maybe not, but that’s okay. 100%. And I guess the main thing for me is as we’re changing mindsets of individuals is like one of the reasons why I’m so obsessed over power is that my understanding is that the world is not a better place yet because there’s so many people struggling with their own relationship with power, right? So you have people in positions of power, but they’re not in tune with their own power. So they’re doing this horrible stuff trying to protect themselves and have a safe life, completely ruin over the life of countries and nations, sometimes even entire continents because of that egoistic and fragile state they are right now, right? That’s one thing. And the other thing that I always state my entrepreneurs is that you need three pillars to build your legacy, whatever that means like for you, right? If you’re talking about long term or generational wealth or just living a life you love, you need to focus on your income, in your impact and your integrity, meaning that and most people think that it’s either one or the other, which is not, but you need to have your bills paid as a human being, your basic needs, and you have to have all the money that you need to build the life that you want to have. But the thing is that money most probably going to come if you are really in tune and connected with your impact you want to create in the world, right? As you mentioned, how you want to change people’s life and it will be your local village, it will be your town, your city, your country, internationally, now with the internet, but as long as you’re connected with that impact and you start realizing that the more impact you do, this should really grant you more money so that you can extend your income and your impact. And then you need to do those two things, remaining in integrity with yourself. And people think that integrity is just about, you know, not doing the wrong thing, you know, don’t fall into corruption, don’t cheat on a business alliance or something like that, which is true, but it goes beyond that. So to me, integrity speaks about you playing full out. You have this deep dream and deep desire to impact people, start showing up accordingly. You know, that’s really being integrity with yourself, it’s you know you are lacking, you know you are BS in your way, then stop doing that and start doing it, but you know it’s right, you know, start playing full out and start really harnessing all the amazing stuff that is around you to help you grow and thrive. Yeah, I think the three eyes sound really interesting, we didn’t have the three T’s in marketing, I always forget what I asked, product, you know, I think you absolutely spot on, you know, the integrity is really for me something, you’re in it for the long term, like not the event that you produce might not be long term, but you want to do something that long term helps as many people as possible. And I do think, you know, you might correct me with this, I do feel it’s good to think globally, like to think about global issues and solve them with something very local, like with the specific piece of the puzzle. This is old saying, you know, think global, think globally and act local. Act local, yeah. Yeah, act local. I think it still applies, but it’s obviously to produce something, and I think this leads us to another phenomenon that we see is that if you behave in that way, and I think we’re all drawn to this way of leading our life, I think it’s already happening for a couple of us, not for everyone, but for a lot of us. What happens is to identify something that where you think you do something better than anyone else on the planet, you have to download a lot of knowledge, right? So you will spend a lot of time just in research, constant download of YouTube, whatever you research, just because you have to find that last little bit that you can add on GitHub, for instance, that last little line of code that makes everything so much better, and that you could potentially transform into an event. So what happens to is that you spend 18 hours a day in this virtual world, because otherwise you cannot identify these things, I feel. They don’t just come down to you while you’re going through the garden. I mean, maybe it does, but you know, you have to do the hard work before that. Yeah, there are two things on what you said. So the first is, if there is one thing COVID taught us is that we are more connected than we think we are. So again, if you are thinking about starting a business, if you’re already starting a business, literally, there is no reason why you shouldn’t aim for the whole world. Of course, there is all the steps you need to take to make it happen. But really, the world is your playground. And I guess the second point on, you know, people having their business and stuff, most people that I found, they struggled with this concept of having to commit with a business idea for their entire lives, pretty much with the job thing, right? And honestly, people like you are getting it all backwards. The number one thing you should have like crystal clarity around is your purpose. And I know it sounds like scary and daunting your purpose. But if you identify your why, you realize that, okay, so in my case, my why, it’s all about power and making sure that we remember our power, we step in on it and we help others doing the same, right? Now, that’s my why. But what I can do to really manifest that purpose, it could be a million different things. I could be doing what I’m doing being a power coach, but I could be a nurse in Mexico, making sure that people have the most healthy environment to recover and come back to their power. You know what I mean? I could have been selling street food in Bali, the food that is really real food and is healthy for you and give you the energy for you to show up in power. So your what can always be flexible, you know, depending on where you are in your life and what you’re really passionate about at the moment, but your why will remain the same. And then the how is that collaboration that you were mentioned, you know, that interaction between other people that downloads and all that stuff that allows you to really go into the steps you need to take to make your business successful. But it all starts by you accepting, embracing, and choosing that that’s going to be your purpose and you are committing to that. And the research bit is just incredible. The more you know, the more you will be able to have information. I always think about the what is a collaboration between you and the universe, right? It’s that is what you know. And what the universe has to offer. And you find where those two overlap. This is usually what you should be doing right now. Okay, it’s getting pretty deep there. I get that a lot. We’re gonna be just already arrived at the universe. Hey, before that, I want to talk about the universe. So that’s that’s good. One thing I keep wondering about. So this is my thesis, right? This is this is how I want these nine billion brains to be interconnected in the in the Hive brand, right? Okay, we’re already on that quite quite a bit into this development. But what I’m seeing on the other side is, so for a long time, these things, it’s kind of works like like acting, right? So you go to LA, you you do crazy shit that you’re really not proud of a couple of years later, but you just want to get in, right? You want to get in, you get this role, and they say, no, you don’t have a you don’t have a name. So we don’t pay you anything. You’re like, what do you mean? They said, yeah, you use it as a platform. And you’re like, okay, whatever. But you’re going to get some royalties, right? So if this show gets on syndicated TV, you might make, I don’t know, $5,000 every month for the rest of your life. And it’s a big F, right? If it’s not a hit, then you won’t get anything. But you can tell people, well, I played an important role. Yeah. And but this is how the world will look like, right? So there’s a cash flow problem for this for my development. So we can talk about UVI, a lot of people talk about this. And then the other problem that I see a little bit is, when we talk about it in economy, it should be a resource allocation business, right? So money, productive capacity, labor, think about Karl Marx a little bit. It is actually not run like how Marx realized what what what came out of it. But what the early stage of Marxist analysis was, right? So how do we allocate this? And we do allocate it right now by price. So whoever pays me the most, this is what I’m going to do, right? But if I develop my own idea, and I know I can only monetize it in the future, maybe five years, maybe five months, I don’t know, how does this resource allocation feedback loop actually work, right? Because there’s not someone I can go to and say, oh, how much do you pay me for that per hour or per month? You can’t nobody can give you price for this, right? So how do you how do you how do you balance this one word where you say, well, we feel this is really good for the for the universe, for the human society, but we can’t price it right now. An economist or other people can’t price it because this has a lot of potential. But right now it has zero cash flow. So how do we price these opportunities? And how do we also, once we say, oh, we’re going to give you UBI, once, how do we stabilize this could be global UBI, right? How do we stabilize this that people are actually doing what we want them to do and not just slacking, right? Or maybe slacking is good. That’s another assumption. So let’s start with the whole I have this crazy idea, but the world is not ready for it right now. Or there is no pricing system about it right now. And I found, especially with African entrepreneurs, right? There is a lot of Bitcoin is actually the great example. It’s a great example. So in many countries, Bitcoin is signed to get a more illustration around it. And, you know, after Elon Musk announced that it will be a set in Bitcoin payments and other companies are doing so Bitcoin is it become it became more of a mainstream type of thing. But for instance, in Mozambique, there is no financial law whatsoever around cryptocurrency in general. And I remember I was a personal entrepreneur that he has a lot of experience with Bitcoin. He has a whole background in financing. So he’s like the best person I knew that could help you make the crypto investments. And he was like, there is just no legislation like at all. I don’t even know how can I register my company to begin with to be legal and actually do be able so that I can actually be able to have like bigger clients like other corporations and other organizations. And the exercise I did with him is like, okay, if we shift your watch just a little bit, you’re not necessarily a Bitcoin or cryptocurrency advisor right now. What can you do that still aligns with you what you value? And then you can start monetizing it right now. So we created this entire business model where he will have for courses basic, you know, around cryptocurrency. And actually he made contracts with some universities. So in their financial lecture, they will have him come in and give a lecture around, you know, cryptocurrencies and the new financial system that’s coming up. So if you’re flexible again on your what you can create pilots, prototypes that you can charge for and charge actually this and mine, depending on what you’re doing, they will allow you to not only just be able to pay your rent right now and pay your bills right now, but start building those foundations from when your big dream is possible for the world. Does it make sense, their first part? Yes, I mean, yes, I mean, some businesses definitely have you can change the business model around and you come up with a different revenue stream. I think this is a great idea. But what usually happens is you get sucked into these big platform economies. And I’m always a little skeptical of the YouTube economy, the Instagram economy, whatever, because yes, you build your personal brand. And that’s great to an extent. But I don’t I think it’s a weird shortcut of this. This is what I have in mind. It’s a you’re kind of you’re not honest with your audience when you’re an influencer, because they never know if this is real or you just do it for the money. So this is really weird, you destroy your brand once you once you go too far commercial. And the other problem is YouTube can always say, Oh, you did something bad. And then you got right, you’ve gone from Apple, you’ve gone from the you just gone. I mean, they can always switch you off. Now, they cancel you. It’s literally the console culture when they cancel people all the time, right? If they don’t make money with them, they cancel them. And I mean, so what they should be able to do to cancel them. But as the platform economies, I think all the upside is with the platform you wrong. Yeah, the average upside for you can still work out beautifully that these platforms have a place. But I feel for entrepreneurship, just becoming an Uber driver is not entrepreneurship. I mean, there is entrepreneurial qualities in it, right? But because Uber has so much more data than you can ever gather, even if you’re the smartest driver in the whole network, this light years ahead of you. So it’s, I want to move people a little bit out of these platforms and use them for what they award. But this is a really these platforms gain people’s minds. And that’s the problem. And people, it’s people’s problem because they’re not smart enough to realize this, right? And I understand that way. But this, that you run with YouTube, you run against huge AI is you don’t have chance, unless you have to write mindset. Yeah, that’s for sure. And for me, that sort of speaks more around mindset again, and specific around long term mindset. Something that I found, especially with most African cultures, it’s not something that is ingrained in our mindset, you know, like in Africa, children as are usually seen as wealth. And it’s like, whatever you couldn’t make it for yourself, your children will probably be able to write. And it’s like a long reason, or there’s a long list of reasons why most Africans think like that, because it’s like, you know, if I survived a colonialism, if myself, I survived that all colonialism stuff, then my kids don’t need to survive that, right? But then they need to fight a civil war. And then they’re gonna solve the civil war. But then my grandchildren get to actually live a proper life, you know what I mean? So there is all this concept that the next generation will continue. That’s how African things long term, they don’t usually think long term around my life being long term, and all the stuff that I can do in long term. And with that, it comes that really quick win mindset. And honestly, I don’t mind if you start driving Uber so that you can get to a point where you can do what you really love to do, right? And that’s the point I believe you’re trying to make. It’s not, I mean, if you can use those platforms, it’s great. The problem starts when you allow those platforms to use you. So you become a slave to whatever they want to say, right? I sell a lot of entrepreneurs like you don’t work for Instagram. It’s okay for you to take a day off, you know, it’s okay to not be the algorithm every day. You don’t work for Instagram, you work for yourself. And the way that I at least protected myself against being or feeling trapped with all those platforms in making sure that I have different themes of income that I know if I don’t show up on Instagram, it’s not a big deal. I can still live with that. So that’s one. And two, it’s I’m really clear around my purpose. So, and even like when I get like overwhelm of opportunities, it’s very easy for me to say no to what doesn’t really is aligned and to say yes to what really is aligned, even though it can be quite inconvenient. So if you start living from your purpose, again, going back to that bigger conversation, a lot of those, all of that noise, you are able to distinguish it and see what really fits for you or not. How does that answer your question, Dorsen? Yes, it does. But, you know, it’s difficult. And I think it is, we’re talking about this learning curve. And I know it goes back to this, you know, you become, you become a slave to the machine. That’s the risk that we’re talking about, right? So people think their phones and their iPads, they do things for that. They control them, but no, they control us. And you see this now 10 years, 15 years and they totally control us, because in the end, it’s someone else on the other side of that app, right, that controls you. It’s a psychologist often. So it’s not really fair, these things, because there’s massive amount of knowledge that works against you. But the only chance, and that’s obviously the problem, the only chance to succeed in my model that I want is to be the person who knows the most about that specific problem. But that means you have to download so much knowledge that you spent 20 years just downloading 30 years of downloading knowledge. And then you generate one little line that makes the world a better place. I guess that’s the only way to do it. But the risk is that you’re just, you know, you’re continuously being made addicted to these platforms is pretty high. And I think we are still on that, that, that transformational phase where people are not really aware what’s going on with these platforms has changed a lot the last two years. I think we are in a different ballgame now. The, the, the might is easily, is easily adaptable to this. But that, that is obviously the risk that I feel. And, but, but the huge payoff is obviously that you can come out of a country, a region, a place where you don’t have much to come in with the people around you besides social atmosphere. But this, you have this, this global, this global opportunity just waiting for you. That’s what I’m trying to get at, right? How do we, how do we get people to see this for what it is or not? When I go back to my hometown, nobody sees the internet. They all do. They’re two Facebook pages, right? And they don’t, they don’t care about the internet. I’m like, why on earth are you not seeing the opportunity? Like, what do you mean? The internet is just for watching Netflix. I’m like, Oh my God. Yeah. But this is how people think because their mind is not open and I can’t open it, right? Yeah. Maybe I can help open it a little bit over time or maybe I can see, I can identify a trend that opens people. I think this is also, this is the problem in Africa. It’s a very local tribal culture and the global opportunity is there, but it’s not really evaluated properly. You know, you spoke so much wisdom in that piece, man. So one hand is this notion that entrepreneurs need to be good enough to be able to do something, right? Like I need to accumulate all the knowledge I can to be good enough to do it. And honestly, I’m going to call that BS. A lot of it, we say that it’s because we don’t want to offer a service that’s less than someone deserves. But actually the main reason why we do that is because we feel, we don’t feel confident enough over the knowledge that we have, and we don’t see that as valuable as it is for other people. And we have the crazy stories. I mean, my story was around my accent. And for the longest of time, I was like, people are going to hate my accent. I’m going to speak with those American folks. You’re going to be like, you sound weird. We don’t want to work with you. But what I found is actually people, especially from North America and Europe in general, they actually love my accent. And I was like, how? Because for me, there was such a barrier that people wouldn’t be able to understand me and stuff, but that wasn’t true at all. So a lot of the times we think that we need to get the next course and the next training for us to start doing something. And again, that’s not true. If you can start, and I guess it also align with lower entrepreneurs, they wanted to start big. They want to start with the office. They want to start, you know, being on social media and television and all that stuff. But if you’re willing to start small and be, I’m just starting out my business, I’m figuring this out as I go, you start realizing that people are way more willing to support you and give you feedback and input for you to, you know, grow and develop as an entrepreneur. So that’s one of the pieces that I feel you don’t need to download eight hours. Yeah, by the way, I really agree with you. This is, but this is more motivational part. Yes, you need to get out of what you have and not wait to make it perfect. I fully agree with you. But in order to survive the economics in that marketplace that I have in mind, there’s no room for two people who are doing the same thing. There’s one person that’s being chosen. And this is the person that does it for the least amount of money and the most elegant way. It might be the user interface. Like Airbnb, a lot of people say, well, we had VRBO 20 years earlier, what’s special about Airbnb? Well, it’s the user interface in the market, right? And now it’s also obviously the network effects because they are the most popular. Can I challenge you that a lot of it comes from really is a scarcity mindset when we think that opportunities are limited. And if, you know, if I take a place, this is someone that someone needs to lose their place for me to take it, which it is true in some certain, you know, into a certain degree, you know, if I have $20, I can either pay you or the other guy for the same product that costs $20, which in part is true. But to me, the real issue here, the real problem is when we think that I cannot even start because I’m not good enough. I’m saying that you can start with what you have and you still, you still have a development plan for yourself, you know, the way you allow you to keep learning and keep growing. And I know it can be quite crazy, but you want to survive in business. And I guess that’s your point. You want to survive in business forever. If you’re only focused on being doing business as usual, you need to cater for business of tomorrow and doing those downloads and opening up for new experiences, how you get it. But two is if you acknowledge what makes you unique as an entrepreneur and you bring that to your business, you realize that there are people they will buy from you because it’s you. And that’s why you see like a lot of talking social media around focus on your niche, focus on your niche, focus on your niche. Because if you have a clear niche, a niche is not just your customer segment is your customer segment plus your offer plus what you do for them for your customer segment, you realize that, well, I can help entrepreneurs. They are starting out when they reach their five million mark. I’m not the guy to help them out. Then I need to send them to someone else. You know what I mean? So there is opportunity for almost everyone really. It’s a matter of you understanding where do you fit in and that personal development and business development and growth really matters, but don’t allow that to stop you from starting. Start and then learn what you need to learn on because it also usually say that people make. When you are starting out, you assume you might need all those different skills that when you are doing your business, you realize that people are not valuing all those stuff that you thought you know they will value. So there is that balance, that dance that I believe we should master as entrepreneurs. I agree. Obviously, you got to find a jumping off point and then you go to where you become that one singular solution, but what I think is important is all these things are not a zero sum game. So every single solution that helps us think about Google, how much more productive we are and we can do things we could never dream of without the original Google search engine. So every single one of this innovation doesn’t have to be technical innovation necessarily. It can be any kind of innovation. Those are adding to the game and that’s how it is. It’s a completely non zero sum game. What that means is everyone who participates helps everyone make more money. That’s the funny part of this economy. So as more people do this dance, as more people have a chance to make more money, what they are already doing right now, one day it will become outdated and then they have to jump to the next one. Let me just add there, Thorsten. I think as an entrepreneur, you should also ditch the belief that you have to do everything by yourself and I believe you are really bringing that point that be open to collaborate with other people. I have programs that sell for $10,000 and I don’t do 100% of the work. I work with other people that can add value way better than I can and that specific unique combination that I have with them, it’s so unique as you’re mentioning that makes people to buy it. So you don’t feel like you have to be the only one coming in with the innovation and with solutions. You can always find great partners. Yeah, absolutely. Let me take this a little further. So let’s assume I work with an incubator, you work with a DLF, I work with an incubator here in the US, but it doesn’t really matter, it can be location independent. How would you go about knowing what you know in a particular case in Africa and in Mozambique? But how would you go about saying, what we just talked about, how do we bring this into a reality? Obviously in a very, very small portion, but how do we create that mindset fostering kind of set of incentives? How do we go about will we describe something that happens with or without us? We’re not needed, we’re just seeing it happening, we’re just spectators for this digital revolution. But if we want to make money from this conviction, how would you go about it? Maybe that’s part of what IDLF already does. Yeah, it is part of what IDLF does, it’s part of Orange Corner’s incubator I manage does, and it’s part of what my business does right now. So the first thing I say is it actually step zero will be get clarity around the stakeholders involved. You know, especially if you’re talking about entrepreneurship, ecosystem, you have from academia, research, institutions, the government, entrepreneurs, banks, financial institutions, all those folks, you need to understand who they are first in the ecosystem you’re trying to operate. Step number two is to identify the gaps within the ecosystem. And just to give you a context, the incubator we launched in Mozambique, Orange Corner, it already happened in South Africa, they had three business centers here. And part of my work was to get the experience they had tailored it to the Mozambican market and create something that the Mozambican market was needing. But we did it in a way that was so beautiful, I guess, that they invited us to train program managers from Angola, Sudan, to replicate that Orange Corner concept within their countries. And the way we did it wasn’t by just showing them what we’ve done, but by giving them the framework that I’m giving you partially right now. So get clarity around the stakeholders, then the gap within the ecosystem. And then you have to decide why you’re going to be your role. And that’s key. Like your unique selling point, what can you bring to the table in that ecosystem that no one else can? Because you can identify three to four gaps and realize that you’re actually only good at fixing half of one gap. So focus on that. And the third point will be get a local partner. I mean, I never heard of a program that was successful in a foreign country that was implemented by foreigners without having local people. Without having local people, they can even understand the context and can bring that level of empathy that only a local person means. And when I say local, it’s not just, you know, Julio from Mozambique, it’s like, if you’re doing something with women, I’m not going to be your guy 100% because I’m a guy that is a level that they would never fully empathize with me. 50% only. At least, you know, like, and I can even push it to 70. I can put like to 70% to say like, you know what, I’m a guy so I can be your father, I can be your brother, I can be your son. So I can give you three perspectives. So 70%. But there is a point I won’t make it. So have the local point in touch. Well, I’m asking also specifically, we have this huge bubble in early stage investing in many parts of the world, especially in the US. And you have tons of incubators, seed funds. And, you know, they grill you all day about what is your USP? What are you? Well, why should we invest in you? And that’s all good, right? They should do that. That’s perfect. And then you ask, you turn around the question, say, why would I want you guys to invest in my business? And they say, yeah, it’s about the network effect. And I’m like, what are you talking about? Make it more and more concrete for me, right? And they say, well, we’ve been doing this for 10 years. I’m like, that’s nice, right? But I’ve been doing this for 20 years, whatever. So this makes a difference. Maybe that’s even a bad thing. Track record is not, as we say, the past results and predict the future results. What I’m trying to say is the investor USP. And in the end, it’s a valuation to me, right? So you pay me the highest price. So you, oh my God, if you know how to sell a company to Sequoia, that’s even better. A lot of your companies go IPO. That’s also selling point. But in the end, the price is very, very few points for an incubator or a seed fund or any VC fund really has much of a USP to deliver beyond the valuation. Like, they want to make it sound differently. And we had Benjamin here on the podcast, and he was very, very, very outspoken about this. But if I keep thinking about this, in the end, valuation is really the most important part. You give me more money for my future project. That’s great. And you’re my guy, otherwise, you know, probably not. But that’s weird, right? Because if you do this with startups, it’s the opposite. It’s strange. I mean, I have a confession. I run the incubator for two years, and now another colleague is running it because I’m running my business. And for the two years, we didn’t offer any entrepreneur sort of cash or funding or cash flow or, you know, overdraft or anything like that. So I think a huge change of mindset is happening even within the US is realizing that sometimes too much money can actually cripple the business because it will just spend on stuff that doesn’t really matter. And they don’t really understand the concept. And what’s worse is that that takes the chance of the entrepreneur to win the right to be in the market. And for me, that’s when you reach a point where you are way past break even as an entrepreneur, and you understand that as is, you can actually survive off of that business. And you’d only need funding to accelerate your growth over something that has been already been validated, tested, and improved. I mean, that’s the key for me when finance come through. But then investment in cash, it’s not the only type of investment entrepreneurs need. Speaking from experience, you know, love entrepreneurs, especially in Africa, they don’t have support from their families to drill the entrepreneurial journey. You know, being an entrepreneur is not something as desirable as it is in the US, as it is in Mozambique or in other African countries, especially for the older generations. So just having, you know, some sort of certification on accreditation or just association, I remember when I won that award that you mentioned, I had entrepreneurs coming with their families and be like, I told you, I know one of the 100 most influential young Africans, I’m doing something right. And just that changed the entire life, you know, family life situation, because now their parents are actually supporting them as entrepreneurs. So there is a lot of psychological support entrepreneurs need, you know, that validation and reassuring that they’re doing the right thing by trying to change the world. That’s one of them. There is a lot of things around access to markets. And I, I fight every day around, you know, the main issue in Africa is just access to markets and not even funding to begin with. But it’s just really presenting an entrepreneur with a client that they get a chance to try their products, experiment, improve on them. So when they get to the next client, they won’t be making the same mistake they were doing beforehand. And if you think about holistically about supporting entrepreneurs, realize that funding comes in, in a very specific moment to just break a cycle that entrepreneurship is at, but never as a, you know, an initiated of movement is an accelerator of breakthrough. If that makes sense. It’s like technology, you know, makes it well. Yes, I fully fully understand where you’re coming from. But the reality is a little bit, you know, think about different. Yeah. Think about, I have my children go to very good school here in Silicon Valley. And it’s, it’s just so much money spent on these kids. I mean, on average, for instance, New York state spends $30,000 a year on every student that’s includes, you know, primary education, $30,000 per student is a massive amount of money that mostly goes into administration, whatever it actually goes to, nobody really knows. Nobody knows. Absolutely not needed. I mean, even 3000 is actually pretty high nowadays building costs. And I mean, there’s a certain you have to have competitive salaries or understand there is a certain limit to this. What I’m trying to say is if you grow up in that environment where everything is already cared for, you don’t strive, you don’t improve, you don’t, you don’t, you don’t find that edge that’s necessary to an extent to come up with the best solution on the planet, right? We go back to this unique angle. And there is a space, there’s enough space for 9 billion to come up with something that’s unique and best on the planet. So 100 billion. It doesn’t matter how many millions of people and AIs people have for this. But if you, if you, if you can’t go to an elementary school in Ethiopia, right, you go to a little village in Ethiopia or in Mozambique, you know, you’re basically all you have is your phone, but you have desperate conditions. But sometimes I feel maybe that’s better because you have, you get this desperation, you get this hunger, literally often, unfortunately, but also this intellectual hunger. What do you have the same access? You have the same mobile phone, the same YouTube videos. You can watch the same MIT courses. Maybe that’s actually better. That’s what’s going on in my mind. Now, maybe I’m crazy, you know, it’s, it’s maybe just me. But sometimes I feel maybe this should be better because in my own experience, and that’s my own experience growing up in, in, you know, communist Eastern Germany, kind of like X, communist Mozambique, that definitely helped me. I feel it helped me this experience and I didn’t have to go for 40 years. That would be a different story. But for five years of that experience, or a little bit of conscience consciousness, I mean, you know, I was a kid, obviously, but still it helped me a little bit to see, okay, this is an alternative reality and that could be really shit easy, but I get your stuff together. And I don’t know, maybe that’s better than being, okay, I’m already so rich and so great, but I hadn’t done anything for it, right? But as a kid, you don’t, you think everything, everything you do is because of you because you’re so great. Yeah. So can I challenge that? And this was my personal belief for many years that entrepreneurs needed, actually, I believe that successful people needed struggle to drive. And while in part, you do need to go through a moment where you need to redefine who you are and how you want to show up, that doesn’t necessarily need to be what people, what other people will consider struggle, right? Remember, everyone struggles with a different thing in a certain point of their life, regardless if it is financial struggle, mental struggle, emotional struggle, whatever the struggle it is. So that’s the first point. And I found, and it’s actually psychology’s research around it. People show up today, not based on their past experience, but based on what they believe is possible around the future. And the example they give is like, you know, when a woman was going to a date, a date meant to, they can shave, you know, but they only shave because they’re going to the day tomorrow, not because they had a date before. You know what I mean? So human beings, they’re way more wired to show up today as they believe the future will be. So if you have entrepreneurs that are struggling in Mozambique or wherever in Southeast Asia or wherever in the world, if they don’t have a belief that the future can be better, and if they can actually contribute or participate in the happening of their future, they’re not going to change. And the same thing happens with people who are coming from more wealthy backgrounds. If their belief is that they’re going to be always wealthy and they have, they don’t need to do anything about it, they won’t change, you know? And it’s actually, it’s more easy, more easily they will go to bankruptcy that they’re going to keep the money in the family. And the whole study around generational wealth and stuff. But my point is, it’s not about the past, it’s about what you believe is possible in the future and your role in it. That’s what really determines how we show up today. I think that’s, I would say both things are very important. But I mean, I fully, I fully agree with that point that you’re today’s action, a really determined prediction for the near term future. A lot of people say this is the next two years, a difference for most people, but this is something that people feel like they have a handle on, right? And the next 20 years, people like, oh, that’s too much going, too many variables outside. You never know what happens, you know, there’s COVID, nobody really knows. It could have had a great impact or no impact. And it had, I’d say, a medium impact, but depending on what business you run, might have a devastating impact or really positive impact for you, right? It’s just changed things around. When you, well, let’s go, let’s zoom out a little bit and go a little bit to the macro perspective. When you see countries that are being traded as great places for innovations to come out of, it’s in Africa, we usually see immediately South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya. And then the list gets a little thinner. People are like, Tanzania was great. And there’s a lot of stuff that probably more infrastructure investments that didn’t go the way they were hoping. But then the list gets really thin. There isn’t on everyone, everyone’s mind is Ghana, which is certainly still on the list and there’s Mozambique. But there’s what, about 50 countries in Africa. Why is the list so thin? What do you think is that still the case? And do you think it will, what ranking will we see and what impact will we see over the next 10 years? I mean, the first thing I would really like people to get is that there is a lot of political interest when you went built those ranking, because usually it’s the, you know, entrepreneurship index or, you know, quality of life in South Africa. That is a lot. And I mean a lot of political interest and I can give you even a Mozambican example. So 2019, actually 18 to 19, Mozambique went low and every index you can find around investment and entrepreneurship and business. Once they realized how much money they were losing over the investment they were having in the north of my country. Like from, like really, like from one day to the other, Mozambique went up on the ranks, but nothing changed. I promise you nothing changed. So that’s one thing you should be aware of. Everyone’s gaming the statistics. Everyone’s gaming the statistics to play to their interests, right? Again, it’s their conversation around people in position of power. They are not feeling powerful. And that’s creating all those cascading effects in other people’s life. That’s one. And two is even if you just talk with your business friends or just friends in general, people will all you give, will always give you a perspective on what they fail. It’s good or bad for you. Right? So in my example, the first time I heard about Dubai, it was one of my friends who told me like, you should never go to Dubai. It’s like all plastic, all those buildings, like they’re empty half of them. There’s nothing for you there. So I went to Bahrain. I told the story at first, it’s in the Middle East. And then I went to Dubai. I made so much amazing connections, so many amazing connections and actually spoke some good deals. And I actually found out there is a whole side of the Middle East that people don’t show up in terms of research, as you mentioned, from Israel and stuff, you know, from environment and all this, the things that’s not being communicated. So there is always this sort of like personal filter that people puts on when they give you recommendation about a place or if you should go or not go to a place. And I always say, if you can see by yourself, that’s good. If you can’t, you can Google on YouTube, you can see videos, you know, on how Mozambique looks like, how Tanzania looks like. And if you could make a connection with someone in that country and ask the person their perspective on it, at least we have more options to build your own opinion around the place. And it really doesn’t matter if it is, you know, just a town next to yours or whatever, but just understand that and understand that everyone will give you feedback from where they are coming from and what is their best interest. And if you’re willing to challenge that, I mean, there are amazing opportunities waiting for you, like 100%. You might need some work and I especially think with the case in Africa is that mainly the main language in the UN is English. So they always write English speaking countries first and then French and then Portuguese ones. So there is always that filter. But I mean, if you are in America or whatever, and you’re willing to learn Portuguese or French, you know, what’s stopping you? Yeah, there’s nothing about the languages. Yeah, there’s something. Yeah. I think there’s a little more to this. I fully agree with you. There’s certainly the view on the ground often differs. And this is just statistics. I’m with you. But I think there is once if we force ourselves to take a macro view, there is something too, too that how maybe it’s an obvious it’s certainly not always justified. But as the lightliness, for instance, how to move money in and out in South Africa is extremely easy, right? You will won’t have any trouble. The currency exchange rate might change a little bit. That’s obviously a risk every day. But then you go, I don’t know, Malawi. And it’s, it gets way more tricky to move certain amounts of money in and out. It’s possible, certainly, but you’ve got to talk to some government officials to get big money in and out and they will want their cut. Is it 1%? Is it 10%? We will find out, right? And so it’s, it’s, it’s getting, it’s just getting harder. It adds additional layers of bureaucracy to it. Now you can choose a business where you don’t have that problem, right? So it is just digital businesses. You don’t have to move a ton of money around. And you can have your credit card processing done in Hong Kong or wherever, right? On Singapore. So you don’t have that problem. But, and that’s also the same, the same amount of, you know, infrastructure is often a big deal. Can you rely? It’s basically a cheap resource you’re using. We’ve been thinking of infrastructure as well, like God gave and ding. No, it’s a cheap resource that someone else built and you can just use it for free, right? That’s what roads basically are. And if they don’t exist, then we’ll only have to change your business model or build your own infrastructure. You notice with mining, mining corporations usually have, and they’re used to building your own infrastructure. So they put in a train or they put in a road because otherwise they can’t get it out. And that’s already baked into the cake. So that this talk about infrastructure, I think it’s a little self serving sometimes because a taxpayer paid for it. And why they did it? That’s often not so clear, right? Because the government decided it’s a good idea. Generally, it is, but it’s not always a good idea to build huge infrastructure projects, right? Yeah, I’m not at all. We call them white elephants in Mozambique. Yes. You know, there’s a big golf between what’s needed and what’s being done. And that’s what that goes. There’s this airport in Sri Lanka. I don’t know if you’ve seen this. They built a second airport. But nobody wants to fly there because there’s no people around. There’s no roads leading there. So they have elephants from the jungle going on the runway. So it’s literally white elephant project. And we have so many stories like that in Mozambique. Like full fledge, less top of the, you know, top of the line buildings that’s like in the middle of nowhere. Yeah. Yeah, that’s obviously, you’re interesting. That’s government bureaucracy. So, but what kind of the last thing I wanted to ask you, and maybe you’re very bullish about this, is crowdfunding, right? So crowdfunding kind of gives us this idea that we had Darren Marble on and we talked about basically it’s it, you’re obviously blind to what’s going on. And I think pioneer works a little bit like this too. Do it’s not directly crowdfunded. It’s a big pool of money that goes into it. So you only focus and that’s that used to be the idea, right? So when we talk about the stereotypes and discounts and people saving, you say, well, we want to, your money goes to Nigeria and say, well, is it a donation? I said, no, no, no, it’s a profit making money. And you’re like, oh, how do I ever get that money out? So I assume I make a ton of money. So there’s immediate hesitation for good reason, I feel why some of this is stereotyping. But some of this is real. I mean, it’s tricky. So what crowdfunding offers is basically it gives you this, this bias free filter, you see the investment opportunity to either say thumbs up or down and you put a little bit of money to it because you like it emotionally or because you think this is trending or whatever reason you have to put $100 into this business. It could be a boon. But when I see crowdfunding that raise, well, noticeable about some money, it’s we’re back to them to mostly use businesses, right? Because again, there’s certain early adopter advantages are very tricky to replicate in other locations. But do you think crowdfunding is kind of a bit of the solution to the problem, especially for most of it? Even to my own surprise, the answer is yes. So I actually have an example. So let’s speak of speaking with another comedian. So the reason why I’m bringing all those committed examples that I’ve been working with them for the last few weeks, so I have them fresh in mind. But there is this comedian in Mozambique that started to make, so the news in Mozambique can be quite comic, really quite comic because they have different accents and people say stuff that really doesn’t make sense. So he basically impersonates them on funny videos on YouTube and social media. And then one guy one time, I think he, I don’t know what happened, but he said, like, stop just liking my videos, ask me for my npezza number so that you can send me money about it. And he started crowdfunding like that. And people really pay every time he posts something people pay. And if you stop to think about it, business models that operates with only fans, for instance, it’s pretty much the same concept, but people pay you so that you show up something, right? It could be you making a fun video or something else. But I’m seeing more, especially with Africa, where it’s easy to grow with economies of scale, especially if you go with digital content that, you know, you just produce it one and just share it. It’s quite, it’s quite an interesting finding opportunity. I’ll say that the other side of the coin is that there is no real resolution for registered businesses to receive sponsorship. With those specific words, so you can change it as really payment for views. If you change that, you can receive that money legally. Again, there are a few, and I guess you’re getting any stock. No, no, no, we don’t get any stock. It’s pretty much like our fund, you just give the money for, but you could buy, say, an Algerian startup that issues shares, that wouldn’t be a problem, right? It’s not something you’re prohibited from as a consumer. No, no, that’s not the US for the longest time. Now, that’s not a problem. You can list your company in the, we’ll call it the value exchange market. You can list your company, people can buy shares. That’s not a problem. That’s not a problem. I guess the main problem with early investment, it’s not tailored to startups. Anything that’s sort of everywhere, you know? The deadlines are not real. Startups usually like the support and access to markets, so they can pay back the money and stuff like that. Yeah. Well, yeah, the question is, you know, with crowdfunding, it’s kind of in between, I make a donation, you know, Kiva. And on the other hand, it’s, I put my money in a retirement fund that maybe also allocates a little bit to venture capital. You know, there’s always like a mixed allocation. Well, with crowdfunding, you’re somewhere in between, you’re like, hmm, I just, I know I could lose this money, but maybe I make a lot of money back. And, but then you want like a legal system that at least a little bit enforces it. In the end, there’s no full enforcement. Everybody knows that. So the company does make it, or if it gets drawn out in legal battles, then there’s no profits to be harvested. That’s just the way it is. But you kind of want that idea that you bought 0.11% of that company. So you get 0.11% when it goes up, you know, for instance, well, there’s dilution, there’s more to it. But I think that’s what people want. And that’s, it’s more cultural thing, right, than a legal, you can, you can legally enforce it. But obviously, this is a little shaky. You want the culture to support this, you want the trust of a marketplace or an institution. Yeah. And my experience is that different African countries, they’re sort of keeping up with all the financial changes differently. So again, in Mozambique, there’s no relation around crowdfunding, even around social businesses. So we still get taxed as a regular business will do. So there are those things. And my understanding is that the government is sort of trying, is starting to listen to the startups and entrepreneurs that are even making some tests like small ones. But if I have to like bet, it’s a long short, it’s a long term shot. It’s a long range shot with that. But there is always, there are ways that you can navigate to those maps, but you need to probably have the local, the local expertise to help you out in any African country, really. The same thing to Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Nigerian, even in Tunisia, even though it’s white Africa, right? But it’s still in there. You have the challenges. Yeah. Tunisia is very special. I actually like Tunisia a lot as a traveler. It’s a great place. It’s a great value. I think they have the cheapest airport taxes I’ve ever seen. It’s like $2. And they get you anywhere in 60 miles radius. It’s amazing. Tunisia is really amazing. And it’s even like when we speak about Africa, it’s so interesting how Southern Africa is different from Eastern Africa. It’s different from Western Africa. It’s different from Northern Africa. And it’s still the same continent. It needs more exposure. You know, it needs more exposure on all levels, I feel. That’s something that I guess it’s not just Africa, right? It feels like the United States sort of rules communication in the planet and exposure in the planet. But again, there’s a lot, I mean, you travel a lot, you know this, but there’s a lot of beautiful and amazing stuff happening in Africa that you have no idea. Now, like local people with almost nothing doing so much for their community, do you just be like, how can the world don’t know about this? Yeah. Well, in the end, it’s, you know, the attention economy. Obviously, we have the same problem we talked about earlier. You have to find this unique niche and then you have to keep scaling it. And yes, it’s a question of money. And that is, there’s a part of capitalist power structure involved. Let’s put it this way. But it’s really when we talk about the informationalism to use that term that Alexander coined, it’s really you, if you have sooner or later, and I think this is definitely true sooner or later, if you have something interesting enough, then it will get global scale. And it doesn’t really matter where you start from. Yes, is it easy in English? Yes, it is easier in the US. But think about Gangnam style is an exception. But just think about it. The most watched video of all times, right? Comes in the language that nobody speaks. It’s funny, but it looks like any other video out there. It’s an earworm. Yes, but there’s so many, and it just makes it right. So long term, I guess, this core innovation, whatever that innovation is, move in. And I think it’s, I think it’s a core power law of informationalism, that this is this holds true. Now obviously, cancel culture is a problem, but you can always go to another platform, right? And then you might get canceled again. But you can build your own platform, you know, the Twitter like platform. But it also speaks about you using more decentralized platforms, you know, like Telegram, WhatsApp, if you use WeChat from China as well, decentralized to an extent to a certain government, I guess, it’s the best way to put it. But there’s also something around you as an entrepreneur, being uncomfortable and showing up for all that visibility that you want. And like 50, no, 60% of the clients I work with, specifically on their exposure component, the main drop back for they don’t have in the exposure is that they’re not comfortable with what they might entice. There is a huge failure of success and failure of failure, you know, like I do put all this work and doesn’t work out or what if this actually works out in my life change forever. So you should be able to take action because of all that fear. Yeah. Well, I feel all the games we play with each other, these social games, they’re rigged, right? They’re all rigged in someone’s favor. You just need to find out are they rigged in your favor, potentially, or in someone else’s favor. And then that’s it. But that’s true for any anything we do in life. If you think of life as a real world simulation, and everyone plays these roles, that we don’t even know why you play it, you could just snap out of the role. But then people look at you crazy and say, No, no, no, I can’t do it. They obviously know it’s a role, but they don’t want to get out of it. They’re rigged in their favor. Like think about an airport gate agent, right? They have all the power to let you on the slide or not. And they really use that power. They make sure that they’re a boss. And that’s why they show up at work. They don’t show up because you get paid whatever $5 an hour, $15 an hour. They want to exercise that power and get off on it, which is great, right? But you have to find in life this place for an airport agent, it’s their way of finding a game that’s rigged in their favor, at least emotionally. And you just have to find one that’s rigged in your favor. It takes a while. And it’s online the same problem as offline. It is. And if I can make a recommendation, a book that actually two books, they really change my perspective on systems. So the first one is Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. I believe it’s his name. And what really struck me is that he really said what you’re saying, like, there is always a system, you need to figure it out how the system works. And then you get to choose, like, are you going to play with the system? Are you going to play the system? Or are you going to destroy the system completely? So that’s super key. And the second book is The Good to Great from Jim Collins, and really speaks about you having that unique selling point, that unique value proposition. But it’s not just what you are good at, it’s also what the world needs and why you can be the best at doing, as you’re mentioning, and doing that in a way that feels good for you and your team as you’re growing your company. And, like, there’s tons of research around. So I highly recommend you checking out these books if you haven’t already. Yeah, I’ve read Outlier. I haven’t read Jim Collins, right? That was the second book I mentioned. I gotta look that up. That sounds interesting. I’m running out of time. Thanks for coming on there. That was awesome. That was a great chat. Thanks for doing this. Thanks for taking the time. I love it. I love it. Thank you very much for having me. Absolutely. Looking forward to next time. Sure. Well, take it easy. Talk soon. Talk soon. Bye.

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