Start-ups: Disruption anyone?
Special needs, nimble solutions
Tech start-ups’ DNA is disruption.
A disruptive technology is one that displaces an established (read OLD) technology, shakes up an (often brick and mortar) industry or invents a product that launches a whole new industry.
Entrepreneurs, especially Millennials, often place a high premium on wanting everything they do (and how they do it) to be disruptive. And much of it is and should be.
Disruptive communications? Really?
Millennials sometimes comment their generation, the inventors behind these paradigm shifts, masters these new ways of working and doing business and they need seasoned professionals like a fish needs a bicycle. Or some such. The digital revolution has triggered a cultural one. Even the most established Fortune 500s have had to get on the bandwagon to survive and stay competitive (their specific challenge being the environment is changing faster than their ability to transform themselves). Each generation brings to the table what the others cannot.
When it comes to communications, though, and all the more cross-cultural communications, we are talking about PEOPLE.
PEOPLE can be your customers or clients; your business angels; the journalist who’ll write you a great plug in Slate, Inc., and a host of other publications around the globe; your followers and influencers on social media; or your stakeholders and shareholders when you get out of your parents’ garage and build a tech campus in some sunny part of the world.
You need to sway, convince, seduce, and build trust with each of these audiences for your start-up to be successful.
Folks, that hasn’t changed. In fact, people skills — moreover intercultural people skills — have become even more essential in these virtual (and oft collaborative) economies and in a competitive global environment ruled by instant and perpetual communications.
Disruptive means, indeed
YES! The tools have changed, the tactics have evolved, and most of all speed has revolutionized how infocomms spread. If anything, while strategy fundamentals and business goals have remained constants, communications have become riskier because of the Speed of Things.
And if you are successful, your disruptive technology will become at some point familiar to everyone (even if they are not users) as have e-mail, the Web, Twitter, smartphones, smartwatches and MOOCs– no longer disruptive, but established — gasp, common place in this new world.
The right fit: what I offer
- Shared values of digital nomads for whom quality of life and meaningful, socially-responsible work are indivisible
- A BIG toolbox to leverage the right means for the right purpose
- Seamlessly bilingual/multicultural expertise to get you off the ground worldwide
- Intercultural EQ that only comes with on-the-ground experience and perspective
- Passion, creativity and an early-adopter mentality
As a start-up, you probably face two challenges.
First, you have a variety of communication needs, each in appetizer-size portions. Since it would be OTT to hire a profile to fit each of these requirements, the DIY spirit rules.
And that’s where your second challenge comes in. You’re brilliant programmers and engineers with confidence to spare. Yet some business functions, from accounting to legal to strategic communications, are not your area of expertise. The strength of a start-up team that rocks comes with putting the right person in the right place. Fast Company names the 6 people you need on your start-up team. I can’t code an app if my life depended on it, you can’t become a seasoned intercultural communications expert overnight.
I’ll work with you on site and remotely to:
- Craft your story
- Structure your international communications strategy
- Build the channels to promote your start-up and its products
- Develop your company’s voice, values and brands
- Create bilingual content (need I mention how essential content marketing is?)
- Coach you to prepare and deliver winning pitches and presentations
- Launch your start-up in the US
- And more
We can collaborate on a project basis, a longer-term retainer contract, a part-time hire, or – if your business plan is appropriate – with a percentage of revenues scheme. Or a combination of options.
Some young companies I’ve worked in
various capacities I can mention: