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'The Little Prince' Entrepreneurs

Cristian Hoyos

(I am aware that you might not have read The Little Prince, or probably just read it as part of a compulsory assignment at school, so you don't remember any of it. I was reminded of this last week, when someone close to me who was reading the draft of this article told me that. If that is your case, I invite you to read it. It would teach you many things about the human nature. And as a bonus, it will allow you to follow the little reference in this article 😊)

Entrepreneurs need to be more like children. Just like the pilot from the Little Prince, we need to see more elephants being digested by boa snakes, and less common hats, like the grown-ups.

But how to be as imaginative and creative as the Little Prince? Well, a great tool to practice it, is doing explorative experimentation (probably the most fun kind), applying new solutions to different settings with an open mind, wondering which possible outcomes could arise.

The beginning of a Startup is an ore mine full of opportunities to do this, and for NetMinds is no different. Our algorithm matches members of a business network among each other, based on knowledge + purpose. But, what else could it do?

Two weeks ago was our launch for NetMinds V2, so we decided to give it a go and perform an experiment in some existing professional networks. First, we made a list of these networks and selected two to analyse (very different between them). One was a UK accelerator that has being going for some years, and the other, a LinkedIn Group of Alumni and Students entrepreneurs from a well-known British University. Then, we gathered information from each member at open online sources to complement their profiles. And finally, we ran our algorithm, which computes an affinity rate between all the members, to assess the potential of a collaboration.

Looking at the results, if we wanted to see the 'hat' drawn by the algorithm, it wouldn't have made much sense. But once we put our 'elephant digested by boa snakes' glasses, we realize that purpose + knowledge sharing can bring people together in unimaginable ways. We saw opportunities for network clusters based on complementary markets, potential co-founding teams for an evolved idea, and tons of matching suggestions that we are analysing to have a deeper understanding of the solution capabilities.

Because just like in children's minds, possibilities are infinite. And as entrepreneurs, we are here to find them and test them!