End of an Era.

I was really looking forward to write this article for a long time.

Sometimes, closing projects and reflecting on them is even better than starting a lot of new ones. It’s about Start It Smart and Game Craft and my part there.

Start It Smart

I will begin with Start It Smart. As many of you may not now, each year, a new president is elected to run the club.
One year ago, this time around, I was elected to be the new president and Polly Atanasova was elected to be the new Vice-President of Start It Smart.
Now, our mandate is over.
I am really happy to announce that the new pair of President / Vice-President for the next year is Petar Sharkov and Mila Grigorova – two people who are proven entrepreneurs and have the big vision for where the club should go.
Petar Sharkov is running MindMapping.bg – a training company that teaches creativity by using the mindmap method.
Mila Grigorova is running a seasonal business and right now is trying to do some crazy stuff with Stoyan Angelov (From Infozone.bg)

Reflecting on the past year, I have few thoughts to share:

  • If you are student, the best way to learn and practice new things, that will be useful to you in the long run, is to join such an organization. You have Start It Smart, you have AIESEC and many others. Join one and take and give as much as you can from it.
  • If you join such an organization, you will be working for free. Put yourself a time limit – a year for example – for how long you are going to do this. Working for free for too long may cause you big damage.
  • Learn to value your time – this is your greatest asset. Time is equal for everyone and managing it better is going to make you better. (There’s a great presentation on Time Management hacks that you should see.)
  • Learn to delegate. In order to have more time, you have to delegate more. Working with people can be difficult at first, but becomes essential at some point.
  • Reading books is not equal to having the experience. If you are going to do something by the book, better check how it turned out for other people. Books are the greatest source of wisdom, but they can be misleading too. Think with your head.
  • Delivering on time is more important than having great skills. There’s a plague (Credits to Zori for this concept) in the Bulgarian Startup Ecosystem (From which I suffer too) – overpromising. If you promise something, you better deliver it or people will start questioning your credibility. If you tend to overpromise things, better be ready to overdeliver them.

GameCraft

On the other hand, managed to close (For my part. Game Craft is still alive and kicking.) my first startup that i co-founded with Vitaliy Filipov.
This week we finalized the papers and I transferred my equity to him so he will have more resources to dispatch and run the company.

The story here is that i stopped taking part in Game Craft in order to become the new president of Start It Smart (An year ago)
At first I thought I can manage both things – 50% focus on being a president and 50% focus on running the company. It turned out that this is the worst hypothesis ever.
Being a startup co-founder is very demanding. If you are not there, things are not going well.
On the other hand, being a newly elected president for an organization, that is trying very hard to establish itself in the ecosystem is demanding too. In the end, I was paying more attention to Start It Smart and the decision for me was to leave Game Craft.
I reflected a lot of things but maybe the most important one is this – Focus will get you to the top. Lose focus from your company for too much time and it will crash and burn.
All of the people I know, Start It Smart included, that are trying to focus on more than one thing have little to no success with their companies.

I know this sounds trivial, but it’s not trivial at all, when you have to do it. Being an entrepreneur means that you have a lot of ideas and live in a very social environment, but this can be very misleading.
There’s an entire industry, focused on hyping entrepreneurship and taking money from them (It’s a good market research homework – check how many entrepreneurial events are happening in Europe for one year).

There’s an article, by Georgi Kadrev from Imagga (My favourite Bulgarian Startup) called “The Importance of Focus” which I recommend you to read.

What’s next

Although this article may sound a little grim to you – it’s not. I am actually happy, because thanks to these projects, I learned and growth a lot. I can’t imagine any other experience for my student’s life.
Next, even bigger things are coming.
HackFMI was a blast!
A change really happened in our education after this event, so expect more in that direction really soon.

Until then, think with your head and check the following HackFMI coverage:

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