Sunday 4 August 2013

A Farewell by Paul Orlando - he will be missed!

Paul after being a judge for Startup Weekend (Photo by Vaughn Hew)

Recently (18 July 2013) @PaulOrlando had his farewell speech to the startup community in Hong Kong. Fully in Paul style, the event started at 19:30 Paul time…(for non insiders...thats around 20minutes later)

After a short but jam-packed time, Paul is returning back to the US. Not because there is nothing left to do here in Hong Kong, though merely to support his fiancee on some of her endeavours. He was the man behind which organised a number of bootcamps and lots of other supportive work and was a key driver behind And don't forget the website, currently showing over 200 Hong Kong Startups!

His final presentation looked back though definitely looked forward! I put it below so you can take a look for yourself.

A few interesting topics popped up which I jotted down in my own interpretation:

  • techcrunch, asiatech, pandodaily.... interesting though do your customers read those as well? If not then why bother with the effort to get the publicity.. why not get on the front page of sites and magazines your customers use?
  • in line with that.. hopping around many startup events.. is that the best use of your time? Oh and when was the last time you visited an event frequented by your target customers?
  • a startup is a biz, so call it like that..its ok to stay away from the startup hype part...
  • Hong Kong is a market that has its own characteristics, does it matter we are not Silicon Valley? They do have their challenges as well.
  • And... startup is a business...why not call it like that!

Flip through some of the opportunities mentioned -

  • providing testmarkets
  • corporate accelerators
  • crowd funding 
  • group buying of resources for startups
  • GREEN stuff!
  • Get 100 Founders to Hong Kong every 6 months
  • Peer Pressure

Paul being Paul, an interesting twist had to be build in. A major challenge for many startups is getting to market. Let's call it stage fear. For days, weeks, months they have been working on their baby and now its time to go to market! Well, is it? Or should we tweak this, modify that, add feature here and there. Putting a bit of peer pressure in place, startups were asked to publicly commit to launching something by a date. Some of the startups making commitments I recall are:

  • surroundapp (engaging in Chinese social media in English) - having their first paying client before the end of july 2013-DONE!
  • social agent  (lead and sales generation in China) - getting their app out by 9 Aug!
  • pay 4 bugs (crowd sourced bug finding and fixing) - Ship before the following Monday - DONE!
Missed out a couple of other ones...which I will include if I can find them.

And guess what.. it looks like they were not aggressive enough as they reached their goals already! Look at the Facebook post below:

Good stuff and keep it flowing