Joining Entrepreneur First (EF)

I will be joining the second cohort of Entrepreneur First (EF), the London-based company builder and startup accelerator in Hong Kong. (#EFHK2)

At the time of writing, I don’t have an idea and a team. Not sure if the EF methodology works. However, a startup founder should always try to challenge himself, right?

Just like YC, 500 startups, Techstar, and other accelerators, EF provides a small amount of funding to help you kick start a new business. When talking about a new business, the cohort members will really start from scratch. Personally, I take it as a longer version of a hackathon. You can consider it as a 3-month version of Startup Weekend. Hopefully, I won’t get burnt out.

I tried to give myself a rough direction before starting, may be an industry I find interesting? However, I find it hard to stick with any. I found myself industry agnostic. Perhaps, it’s a side effect after conducting my consulting business for years?

Working on startups is always counter-intuitive. It’s just like you study hard for a core subject exam but you get a ‘C’, whereas you get an ‘A’ for another irrelevant course. There is no code to crack the game despite 10 years of hard work.

This time I’ll just take a natural way to deal with the challenge. What can I lose?

About the Kick Off Day (KOD)

There are around 50 members in the cohort. Not all of them are attending the KOD. Basically, we just have some casual games. It’s not much really about working or business training. I am not a talkative person. It make me feel very tired to chat with other people for the whole day, though the food was not bad.

After the KOD, I discovered that most members didn’t have concrete ideas. However, I was not sure if they were observing others’ ideas. I found it really difficult to further develop on ideas about biotech, med-tech, material science, etc. Theoretically, if you can bridge 2 domains to develop some ideas, the entry barrier will be much higher. In reality, I can’t even understand how to work with something I have no idea at all.

Idea or Personality Match

I’ll always value personality-match than idea-match. And our skills (edges) can complement each other. The program requires us to find 1 cofounder to form a 2-person team. I’ve no problem with this requirement. Don’t like to work in a big team either.

Personally, I found myself hard to work with enterprise guys. When hearing them talking, it’s just like listening to my customers in a board room for long hours. I try to switch to auto-pilot mode but it’s so painful. I’m done. Maybe better for me to work alone.

My focus

Nonetheless, it’s eye-widening to interact with people from different backgrounds. I’m just a startup cofounder born and raised in Hong Kong. It may be my biggest edge? Who knows? 🙂

My focus will be probably about #SaaS, #Ecommerce, #Sales, #Productivity. I’m just too practical. Helping the others is good. Creating values for society is good. But failing is too painful. If an idea doesn’t have a clear business model, I’ll just leave it alone. Helping others not failing a startup is probably a great idea.

I still don’t have a concrete idea in my mind. Paul Graham always says that solving your own problem is the best way to generate startup ideas. I have many problems regarding my works. However, I can’t relate them with a startup idea. Am I pressurized? Not very, I’ll try to chat with more people.

The cohort will start on 28th Jan 2019. Let’s see how far I can go!

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