I was asked a few days ago to contribute to a discussion on values for an organisation very close to my heart. Here’s what I submitted as the 5 most important values. I subscribe to them and I expect everyone I do business with would want to too.
- Honesty and Integrity
Maintaining the highest ethical standards. Being open and transparent in all processes. Respecting the resources assigned to us.Being honest and thereby inspiring trust. Doing what we say and saying what we mean, matching our behaviours to our words and taking responsibility for our actions.
- Commitment to community
Giving back. Being committed to doing good overall. Acting in an open and inclusive manner that embraces all players in the entrepreneurial community. Nurturing and inspiring nascent communities with our actions.
Valuing the the strengths, experiences, and perspectives of others while recognizing our own limitations. Being committed to partnering effectively with local communities to ensure that our work advances the broader good for all.
Placing value in individuals. Respecting people for who they are and the value they bring. Embracing diversity and each individual’s unique contribution. Fostering a trusting environment that treats each person in a way that reflects our values.
Working towards building a better and stronger company. Developing and protecting the brand and our associated brands.
What a ride! It’s been fun! It’s been challenging, but now, it’s time for something new.
I have just completed a transaction with Dimitris Tsigos and his StartTech group transferring all of my shares in coLab to them.
One key tenant in coLab recently told me “everyone who’s anyone has graduated from coLab or is about to”. I agree, and now, it’s time for me to graduate too.
The last 2 years of my life have been precious. In building coLab, I invested almost everything I had. Money, time, family, tears, everything. Yet, we built it and together, we built a community around it. With sacrifices. Through the crisis. Without (much) investment other than the investment from customers who trusted us. coLab was never meant to return huge profits financially. It did however return huge profits in social terms.
We built our corporate brand as well as our respective personal brands. We had hundreds of events and thousands of readers of our newsletter. We helped and were helped by many. I can’t count the number of kudos emails I received because of what we were doing.
Giving someone a chance in business is so important and all of you gave that to me and Spiro. We gave it to each other. It wasn’t always rosy but it was always fulfilling. I have taken many lessons from this past period. Lessons about commitment, about trust and about integrity.
Selling coLab! I know, shocking isn’t it? Well, they had it coming. The deal is pretty sweet and gives me the ability to continue along a new track.
Spiros will remain in coLab together with the StartTech team. I wish them all the best of luck. I hope you will give them the chance they deserve in this new beginning. If I can part with one final piece of advice to my past collaborators it would be this: service is more than saying, “Yes” and taking care of the customer. Above all, great service needs personality.
Now, on to the terms of the sale: There’s a small catch. The terms of the sale contain a non-compete clause with coLab so and while I will never consider coLab as a competitor but rather a collaborator, I will be going into coworking stealth mode for a short time. Let’s call it a hibernation from coworking. I will not be running a new coworking space immediately. I will be running events and some of them may be in coLab or elsewhere or some may be in a new event space I will likely set up soon(ish). It will NOT be a coworking space, at least not in the short term.
In parallel, I will continue the fun work I’m doing with StartupDigest, facilitating Startup Weekend in cities around the world and helping co-organise SW in Greece and further afield. I am about to complete my accreditation as a SWNext facilitator and the next cohort of SWNext will begin imminently. Also, I’m in discussions about a new track of work I may be tasked to do and as always, as someone who always has more than one pot of tea brewing, I have a few more things up my sleeve as well. Stay tuned to learn more.
By now, you all know my strategy. I announce something and then do my best to implement it. The announcement acts as a promise to deliver and a reminder to me that my reputation is at stake. Not delivering amounts to failure and while failure is acceptable, it is certainly not desirable. I fucking hate failing.
So, on to new things. Remember, I’m only an email away!
coFather of coLab
Only two things about speeches and presentations matter. Your audience is subconsciously asking:
A. Whatâ€™s your point?
B. Why does it matter?
Greek TV is terrible. After a long day, when you just want to flop in front of the TV it’s a real shame that you are presented with total crap and more advertising than content. We used to buy the weekly TV guide, pick what we wanted to see and just watch it.
However, in Greece, no TV guide can be trusted. Greek TV stations will interrupt shows to shove advertising down your throat whenever they can manage to sell a spot to an advertiser. This means that when a TV guide says some show will start and end at certain times, it’s most often absolutely untrue because the ad’s have thrown the timing out by hours. Forget setting the VCR the tape will end before the show does. A PVR is better. Don’t ever risk sitting through a 1,5hr feature. It will take 4,5 hrs with the ad’s.
Too often, I find myself wasting my life in front of the TV while trying to enjoy a 1.5 hr feature. I have now completely stopped watching Greek TV and have moved onto Satellite TV. I use a great Open Source TV listings software called TVBrowser that will bring the latest Electronic Program Guide (EPG) to my desktop, allow me to set reminders, set recordings and much much more. It’s java based software and a little heavy on resources but the benefits it delivers are great.
Stop wasting your life in front of the TV – Be picky about what you consume, use a PVR and an EPG. Don’t let the channels feed you crap.
Like email, but for websites. It’s a way to get new content delivered to you automatically. When a site gets new content, your RSS reader (a program that retrieves RSS): receives a notification.
Most sites with dynamic content have a little RSS button that helps you subscribe to that sites RSS feed. For example I have an RSS Feed on this site.
RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication”