How do you build a world class workplace for innovators?

We're on the list. Yey.

1. We're supposed to focus

Every entrepreneur is told to focus. At best, we’re given superficial reasons to why (often perpetrated by venture capitalists, who themselves are all about diversification), and equally superficial definitions of what focus really is.

2. We don’t have enough funding

Everybody knows that building a startup is capital intensive. It goes without saying that the surplus from a 50 people consultancy (which we were at the time), wouldn’t be enough to build anything big. Also, pulling people out of client work to build ventures would further reduce that surplus ..

3. We don’t have enough ideas

Yes, they claim ideas are cheap and execution is everything (which we also strongly dispute, but that’s for another post). Still, our ventures had to be based on *something*. Where should all those great, innovative ideas come from? Were we creative enough for this challenge?

From focus to business diversity

For entrepreneurs it’s as important to generate options, as it is to execute on them.

From funding a runway to playing with time

What do you do if you barely have the funding to build one company at a time? Easy. Build eight companies instead.

From lack of ideas to abundance of opportunities

Not enough ideas? Really? I have to remind myself this was our greatest worry, yet it seems ridiculous today. Since we set our new course five years ago, we have probably had over a thousand ideas, we’ve experimented with more than 100 of them, and we have ten companies live in our portfolio (mostly our own, some are external startups we’ve helped build and invested in).

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Anders Haugeto

Anders Haugeto

Founder of Iterate, Norway. A venture builder for platform and software companies.