Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Want to Prove the Naysayers Wrong?

Nattering Nabobs of Negativity? :) ***
I'm hearing drumbeats that I am a fool. That I am wasting my time trying to grow a more entrepreneurial Idaho. All I get is patted on the head. The right people will NEVER listen... and take the bold action required.
Yes, there are days I get that feeling but really? Really??
            Here's my sense:
I am 100% sure that we CAN do this, we CAN grow a more entrepreneurial economy
I am 100% sure that we SHOULD try - the payoffs are so high, the risks so low
I am 100% sure that we WON'T -too many people just aren't willing to do the right things the right way (and for the right reasons)
I'm asking YOU, my friends and acquaintances, to tell me the truth. 
AM I a fool to keep trying?
Better still, PROVE ME WRONG! :)
In the meantime... here's what keeps me going. I get tears in my eyes when I have exchanges like these on Twitter, Facebook or email...
@entrep_thinking obviously yeah and It was a great inspirational job u did there, here's another one 😃 pic.twitter.com/Nk5x36AX
@OAlkrem No, it was YOU students who were incredible!!
@entrep_thinking I just wanted to thank u for your unforgettable efforts best entrepreneurship event ever 😃
[these first three are in opposite order] 
Bottom of Form
@OAlkrem Well, great students and all those rock stars from @universityaalto & @aaltoes like @SteffenFarny - how could it not be incredible?

[ I've GOT to get back in the classroom. :)  ]
·        Omnya Mohamed · Friends with Amal AbdElhakam Abbas
I Remember U , when U said " Yes we can " 
we pleased for coming 
Norris Krueger and... yes, you CAN!!!! So proud of my new friends at CU!

OK, maybe I feel better ;) 

But I need to go "all in"... will you join me?

Here’s to an incredibly entrepreneurial 2013, everyone!


*** most of you are waaaay too young to remember that one! J

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Appreciating What We Have!

‘On the day of judgment, the honest Muslim merchant will stand side by side with the martyrs.’  --The Prophet (Haditha).

Here in the USA, our Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hanukkah holidays are meant for honoring and cherishing those people to whom we owe gratitude.  I gave thanks for those entrepreneurs who are changing the world in small ways and large. Sometimes we lose sight of what is important.

Here in Idaho we can be so quick to complain about all the hurdles we face in growing a more entrepreneurial economy and how entrepreneurs just aren’t understood let alone appreciated. 

True? Maybe. But I look at Tahrir Square on television, a place that I was just visiting, and…
All I can do is think about and worry about all those great students and faculty I met at Cairo University. I hope that they are OK and they stay OK.

The MENA region (Middle East & North Africa) is making huge strides in entrepreneurial activity (check the great blog at www.wamda.com) and it certainly seems that the entrepreneurial scene in Cairo charges onward and upward.

We saw how once again how business models and lean startup tools can transform newbies to seeing themselves as entrepreneurs, especially when we sneak in some IDEO-style design thinking (heh, heh).

When I led them in my usual “I am an entrepreneur!” chant.. at the end of the day, you could see the fire. It is powerful stuff to see people realize that they can be entrepreneurs, they can find new ways to unleash their destiny.

The future of Cairo, the future of Egypt and the future of the whole MENA region rests in the hands of its entrepreneurs.  I fear for the future if events thwart the blossoming entrepreneurs. 

When I look at my television at the events over there, it’s going to be harder for me to complain or worry about the hurdles we face.

To my students, faculty and new friends in Cairo – please know that I am thinking of you, as are your friends in Finland.  How can we help? Norris.Krueger[at]gmail.com ; @entrep_thinking

p.s. Even if you’re not in Cairo… :)  How can I help?

The Prophet also said: “A truthful and trustworthy merchant is associated with the prophets.
Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 50.