Why are there little to no crazy game changing ideas from Southeast Asia?
Recently I gave a short talk at JFDI.ASIA’s Batch 4 teams. My talk was centered around having a simple product hook in your product that makes it easy for founders to articulate their vision to people (users, investors, potential employees, partners) that they engage with.
As we invest and learn from the teams we work with in the Southeast Asia region, watching founders execute on ideas, the one thing that always nag at me is their product hook. How special is that hook? Does it engage emotionally or change behaviorally? Who ultimately will care?
We are in the beginning of the entrepreneurial revolution. Although the Lean Startup movement painted a great picture of what can be taught, it is not a framework for everyone. Execution is important but a lot of that has been commoditized. It all comes back down to the idea and how you think the world should be. You just need time to let the world know that.
So why aren’t there more crazy big changing ideas here in Southeast Asia?
- Fear of failure is probably the main cause. It makes people and people around them (i.e. ecosystem) think too short termed.
- There is low density of founders who have tried crazy things, failed, and still keep on trying.
- Lack of confidence.
Having said all that, it is extremely difficult to design a product hook with global appeal. I know that, we all know that. That is what ultimately differentiates companies.
Try not to paint yourself into a corner and stop there. Keep inventing and rounding up troops that believe in your “crazy”. And break out.