The Power of Public Speaking: From Thought Leadership to Business Opportunities

In the bustling landscape of startups, public speaking is often perceived as just another marketing strategy. However, my journey with my startup, Favoriot, taught me that it’s much more than that. Here’s how public speaking not only established me as a thought leader in IoT, Smart Cities, and IR 4.0 but also subtly paved the way for business opportunities.

The Early Days: Building a Personal Brand

When I started out, I was often invited to share my knowledge on various tech topics. And I did, wholeheartedly. These engagements were purely knowledge-based, leaving out any mention of Favoriot. This approach was intentional, aiming to build trust and credibility without appearing overly promotional. Over time, these efforts earned me a reputation as an IoT thought leader. But while this title brought recognition and esteem, it failed to translate into tangible business leads for Favoriot.

The Pivot: Injecting Favoriot into the Narrative

I soon realized that while being recognized as an expert is rewarding, it wasn’t fulfilling my ultimate goal – to get Favoriot known in the industry. I needed a new strategy.

Instead of keeping my talks strictly academic, I began to subtly incorporate elements of Favoriot’s products and services. I showcased real-world examples of how IoT platforms, especially like ours, can build effective IoT solutions. A couple of slides bearing the Favoriot product logo turned out to be enough to sow the seeds of brand awareness.

The Impact: From Awareness to Business

Gradually, the narrative began to shift. The moment of epiphany would often come during networking sessions or casual interactions when someone would say, “Oh, you’re from Favoriot? We’ve heard of you.” That statement epitomized the change.

While turning awareness into paying customers wasn’t instantaneous, it certainly laid the groundwork. Over time, some of those who had a mere awareness of Favoriot became interested parties, and eventually, paying customers.

Conclusion: A Strategy Worth Investing In

Public speaking is a long game, especially when it’s used as a business promotion tool. However, its effects can be long-lasting and profound. By transitioning from pure knowledge-sharing to subtle brand promotion, I found a sweet spot that not only solidified my position as a thought leader but also carved out a niche for Favoriot in a crowded market.

So, to all startup enthusiasts and entrepreneurs, remember: Public speaking is not just about sharing what you know; it’s also about weaving in who you are and what you offer. That blend can be a game-changer.

The Myth of Overnight Success: The Inspirational Story of Colonel Sanders and KFC

In our society, there’s a pervasive belief that if you haven’t achieved your dreams by a certain age, you’ve missed your chance. We often hear tales of prodigies and young entrepreneurs, creating a skewed perception of success. However, the story of Colonel Harland Sanders, the founder of KFC, busts this myth wide open. At 62, an age when most people think of retiring, Sanders started what would become a global fast-food empire. But is the story as straightforward as it seems?

Colonel Sanders: Behind The Age Number

It’s tempting to see Sanders’ journey as an overnight success story that happened late in life. Yet, to fully appreciate it, one must delve into the details. From a young age, Sanders took on various jobs and faced his share of challenges. By 40, he ran a restaurant, which means he had two decades of experience in the food business before KFC became a household name. This was not a sudden leap into the unknown but a culmination of life-long learning, grit, and passion.

The Secret Recipe and Building from Scratch

Sanders’ secret chicken recipe was renowned among locals and travelers long before the brand KFC existed. This gave him a unique advantage. In contrast, many entrepreneurs, like myself with Favoriot, have to start with a blank slate, forging a brand identity and customer base from scratch.

Yet, this difference is precisely what makes the entrepreneurial journey so fascinating. Each story is unique. Every path is its own, filled with its own set of challenges, risks, and rewards. Some entrepreneurs may find smooth sailing, while others brave tumultuous storms. Some have a well-laid roadmap, while others venture through uncharted territory.

Entrepreneurship: A Journey of Resilience

The tale of Colonel Sanders is not one of immediate success but of persistence. He faced numerous rejections before his recipe was accepted. The narrative underscores that it’s not about when you start but how you persevere.

For those of us in the entrepreneurial world, these stories resonate deeply. Our journeys may differ in detail, but the underlying themes remain consistent. Determination, resilience, and adaptability are paramount.

In Conclusion

Colonel Sanders’ story with KFC is not just about age but about resilience, experience, and the value of never giving up. For budding entrepreneurs, his journey is a beacon of hope and a testament to the fact that it’s never too late to chase your dreams. Every journey is unique, and while not all paths will lead to global success, they all provide lessons that shape and enrich us.

Remember, entrepreneurship is less about the destination and more about the journey, the lessons learned, and the passion that drives you.

Facing the Fear: My Reluctant Leap into the Startup World

Building a startup is no small feat. But sometimes, it isn’t the practical challenges that seem insurmountable – it’s the mental barriers we impose on ourselves. My journey from dreaming of robots to hesitating at the brink of entrepreneurship, and finally taking the plunge, is a testament to this very sentiment.

Childhood Ambitions: A Different Kind of Dream

As a child, the allure of science was undeniable. The ambition was singular: become a scientist, create robots, and make a dent in the technological world. Entrepreneurship was a path I’d never considered. In my eyes, it belonged to a different breed of dreamers.

Career Evolutions: The Safe Harbor

Life led me from the academic hallways of a university to the structured realms of the corporate world. My aspirations, while ambitious, were safely nested within known territories. The title of a Chief Technology Officer was my North Star. The CEO’s chair? That felt like an aspiration for someone else, someone more daring.

A Glimpse into Possibilities: Silicon Valley

2016 brought with it a paradigm shift. Silicon Valley was an eye-opener. Everywhere I looked, there were pioneers building their dreams, undeterred by age, background, or experience. The air was thick with innovation and courage. But despite this inspiration, my internal battles raged on. Could someone in their 50s, with no experience in building a company from the ground up, truly become a founder?

Confronting My Fears: The Realization

The hurdles seemed endless: no product, no team, no market understanding, and certainly no revenue. Yet, beneath these tangible concerns was an underlying fear of the unknown. I had built a narrative that entrepreneurship was a young person’s game, and my time had passed. But as the adage goes, “Better late than never.” I took a leap of faith.

The Entrepreneurial Grind: A Journey of Discovery

Embarking on this journey has reshaped my perspective. While books offer wisdom, it’s the lived experiences – the tough calls, the sleepless nights, the highs and lows – that truly illuminate the entrepreneurial path. It’s a road less traveled, filled with challenges but also unmatched learning and growth.

Conclusion: A Tribute to the Fearless

Today, as a founder, my respect has deepened for those who dare to dream and act, regardless of the odds. It’s a tough journey, but to every entrepreneur out there, know that you’re not alone. And for those hesitating on the brink due to self-imposed limitations, remember: the best time to start was yesterday, the next best time is now.

Multiple Revenue Streams from a Single Product: The Favoriot IoT Platform Experience

In today’s business landscape, diversifying revenue streams is not just a strategy; it’s a necessity. When we initially introduced the Favoriot IoT platform as a service, our vision was singular – a subscription model. Yet, the journey unfolded layers of potential we hadn’t initially perceived.

1. Subscription: The Starting Point

Our journey began with the primary notion that users would subscribe to our platform for consistent access and updates. It was a straightforward revenue model, and it worked.

2. IoT Training & Certification: Leveraging Expertise

Soon, we realized the potential of intertwining education with our product. The IoT domain was booming, and a knowledge gap existed. We stepped in to offer IoT training, capitalizing on the platform itself as the main tool. This approach gave users hands-on experience. Furthermore, with the Favoriot professional certificates, we created a brand-centric credibility in the IoT sector.

3. On-Premise Licensing: Meeting Diverse Needs

Recognizing the diverse needs of different businesses, we shifted from solely an online subscription model. Some firms desired the reliability and control that came with on-premise solutions. So, we offered a perpetual licensing model, catering to those who wanted the platform within their infrastructural bounds.

4. Hardware Bundling: Enhancing Product Value

As the IoT universe expanded, we saw manufacturers eager to streamline their user experience by bundling their hardware with reliable software. By integrating their hardware with the Favoriot platform subscription, we achieved a synergy, creating a more comprehensive product for the end-user.

5. Tailored IoT Solutions: Expanding Horizons

Our final eureka moment was identifying the need for industry-specific IoT solutions. Companies approached us with unique challenges, and we saw the opportunity to tailor our platform to fit diverse verticals. This not only opened new revenue channels but also positioned Favoriot as a versatile, adaptive, and solution-centric platform.

Conclusion: The Core and the Expansions

Favoriot started as a singular platform but evolved into a nucleus around which myriad revenue streams revolved. From IoT education to product development and solution deployment, Favoriot became synonymous with versatility in the IoT domain. Our journey is testament to the fact that a single product, when viewed with an innovative lens, can sprout multiple avenues of income and value creation.

Why ‘Picking My Brain’ Isn’t Free Anymore: A Business Perspective

Back in the day, the question “Can I pick your brain?” was music to my ears. As someone eager to impart knowledge and share experiences, I always took these requests as compliments. I believed it was a testament to the value others saw in my insights.

The Early Days: Open Arms and Open Doors

In the beginning, I was a beacon of assistance. Why? Primarily, I had the luxury of time. I could afford to spare an hour or two to discuss ideas, provide feedback, or simply share my perspective on things. It was immensely gratifying, knowing that people saw me as a source of valuable information. Moreover, I genuinely enjoyed sharing. After all, isn’t knowledge most valuable when it’s shared?

The Middle Phase: The Emergence of Doubt

However, as time went on and my calendar started to bulge at the seams, a new sentiment started to creep in. Each “Can I pick your brain?” began to feel less like an innocent request and more like an intrusion into my already packed schedule. The intention behind the question also began to blur. Was it truly about seeking knowledge, or was there an underlying motive? Was I inadvertently feeding potential competitors? Were these sessions providing equal value to my business, or was I merely acting as a free consultancy service?

The Reality Check: Quantifying the ROI

After countless coffee dates, luncheons, and brainstorming sessions, I took a moment to reflect. How many of these interactions led to tangible opportunities for my company? Unfortunately, the answer was: very few. It seemed that the balance of value had tipped. While I was pouring out insights, expertise, and time, there wasn’t much trickling back in.

The Present: A More Guarded Approach

Nowadays, my approach to these requests has matured. My time, just like anyone’s, is finite and valuable. I’ve become more discerning. It’s not about being unapproachable or stingy with knowledge. Instead, it’s about ensuring that any interaction is mutually beneficial. The objective isn’t to shut doors but to ensure that both parties walk away feeling enriched.

To those who genuinely seek knowledge and collaboration, my door remains open. However, the days of one-sided “brain-picking” are firmly in the rearview mirror. The ultimate lesson? Time is a resource, and like any resource, it needs to be managed wisely. As much as I love to help, it’s essential to remember that every professional interaction should be a two-way street.