• A Jobs Platform For My Blog

    I am going to do an interesting experiment.

    One really cool guy, Lyubomir Petrov, approached me with a question whether I’d like to link a sub domain, like jobs.radorado.me to his distributed jobs platform to give it a test.
    I really liked the idea that I will have a local jobs platform without all the noise and administrate it myself.

    So here’s the deal – jobs.radorado.me is now live and I am going to give it a try.

    Jobs platform in a Blog ?

    Yes, I know it sounds weird but the idea is a good one.
    I am often asked to hunt people for positions in startups, so why not include my virtual profile in the hunt too ?

    Since this is an experiment, I am going to put my own set of rules (You can check them in the section after).
    Still, most of the companies and startups in Bulgaria are not using services like Careers 2.0 or SomewhereHQ (I think Eventyard are the pioneers there) so this job platform may come in handy.

    Careers 2.0

    Careers 2.0 – A Search for Sofia, Bulgaria


    There are few more resources for looking for companies or talents for the startup ecosystem here, but the overall picture is bad-looking.
    I wonder when the big guys from jobs.bg and jobtiger.bg will notice the big startup bubble and the huge demand for talents to work in the newly funded and founded startups here. I bet, not soon.

    So How do I post an offer ?

    This is simple – you go to jobs.radorado.me and use the button to add a new offer.

    But keep in mind the following rules that I will apply to all jobs offers, before approving them:

    • Offers must be for programming jobs – something software or hardware related. No bartenders, please.
    • Each job offer will have a limited time to live on jobs.radorado.me – 1 month. Every offer that is month old will be deleted.
    • Be creative and tell a story. Everyone can create a boring job offer, so try to be different.
    • I hold the final decision. All jobs must be approved by me, so if I don’t like something, i will notify the owner / creator and remove it.
    • Finally, if you want more attention to your job offer, you can contact me for more details. Subscribing to my blog will help a lot there 😉
  • 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:

  • What is happening around HackFMI

    A month ago, I started a project called HackFMI – a 3-day hackathon, based in the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics with few simple ideas:

    • Establish a tradition in the Faculty.
    • Involve all the students in solving the infrastructural and educational problems by using software and hardware

    And since I haven’t been blogging for a while (At least, not in my blog. In HackFMI – almost every day :D) I decided to share a summary of what happened so far:

    Programmer

    Programmer

    The event is going to happen and it’s going to be big!

    The dates are 12th, 13th and 14th of April, starting on Friday around 18:00 and ending on Sunday, around 22:00.

    We have the entire 3rd floor of the faculty booked and ready to use for the hackathon!

    For now, we have over 100 registered students to take part in the hackathon!

    Sponsors and Partners

    Read more

  • I didn’t get selected for SEP

    I had an article prepared, in case I was selected for the SEP Program (Summer Entrepreneurship Program) and no article, in case I am not selected. So here goes one for that case 🙂
    It’s a once-in-a-lifetime program, where you are sent to the USA and you got everything covered. The only thing that is required from you, is to rapidly develop yourself and learn a ton of things while there.

    I was really looking forward spending some time in USA for this so-called mini MBA program. You have to go to the valley at some point of your life and after that, bring the experience back to your country to boost the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
    It seems, I wont be that guy, which is sad.

    SEP Reject Letter

    SEP Reject Letter

    As a final suggestion to the letter above – I would really like to have more details on why I am not selected and any kind of feedback.
    A simple no without any reason won’t lead to improvement, and since SEP aims to improve the lives of 30 young people, they can go a long way by just adding few more details to the rest of us : improve your essay, Do some NPO / NGO work etc.

    Good luck to everyone who got selected. Give your best there ! 🙂

  • Coming soon – #hackfmi

    I was sitting one night, browsing Facebook, reading about how bad our education is, when something struck me.
    We should do a hackathon in the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics (Sofia University) !
    The day before that, i was checking hackprinceton, so the idea formed fast.

    I did a quick post in the Facebook group, where all the students from the Faculty are, describing my idea and the reaction was big.

    The FB Post

    The FB Post


    Few people messaged me and the decision was quick – “Lets do it!”

    My main idea behind this hackathon is to establish a tradition of something cool and useful in the Faculty.
    Why not gather all the bright students, put them in a contest mode and make them do apps, tools & automations that can help the Faculty itself ?
    We are the leading facility to produce IT talents for Bulgaria, yet, there are no signs of innovation and automation in the Faculty.
    Also, traditions are the things that keep the students involved, and help Universities sell more. I want one day, high-schoolers to look are previous hackathon and say – “God, I want in, because i will participate in those epic hackathons!

    Having said that, let me introduce you – #hackfmi, the soon-to-be traditional hackathon in the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics.

    #hackfmi logo

    #hackfmi logo


    With a unique mix of proven models, like Startup Weekend, and some new ideas, we are going to disrupt the Bulgarian educational system, starting from the heart of all.

    With the rising of the Bulgarian Startup Ecosystem, there is a great hunger for good IT talents.
    And this is one of the best ways to put the students in entrepreneurial shoes. Can you develop something for 3 days, that must be working ? That is going to be integrated with the Faculty’s IT system and is going to be used by your colleges ?

    We are working hard, so stay tuned.
    Follow #hackfmi hashtagh on Twitter and hackfmi.com for updates!

    It’s going to be huge.

  • I Should Stop Working for Free

    One day i woke up, and a very specific meme image was on my mind :

    I Should Stop Working For Free

    I Should Stop Working For Free

    Yep. I should stop working for free. At some point, if you don’t monetize your skills, you just have a lot of hobbies.
    And hobbies, unfortunately, don’t pay bills.

    That’s why I decided to start monetizing some of the things I love doing, starting with my blog (and not placing ads).
    I will still produce kick-ass articles with one difference. If you really like them, there’s a way to say that with money 🙂
    Being a big part of the Bulgarian Startup Ecosystem, I consult people a lot about their starting businesses.
    I give ideas and create concepts for campaigns that people love and use. Now, there’s a way to say “Thank you”, expressed in cash.

    You can find out more about me here.

    Here are few call to actions for you. Pick one and do it:

    • Go to the comments, and unleash your hate. Who the hell am I, to ask for money ?
    • Tweeet this article in anger. Here’s a template for you – “Little shit asking for money. Who reads his blog anyway ? #ffs #radorado”
    • Actually subscribe and show your love.
    • Give me feedback (Comments / twitter) – How should I ask for money ? How to do it better ? Will be appreciated!
  • Creating entrepreneurs – The new season of 3Challenge

    As you may know, i am the current president of Start It Smart – One of the biggest entrepreneurship clubs in Bulgaria.

    Since the beginning of the club (4 years ago), all of the members shared one vision & mission – to create entrepreneurs (Including ourselves)
    The flag event of Start It Smart, without any doubt, is 3Challenge – a contest of 3 parts (Idea, Seed, Grow) for innovative business ideas, where we look for people who have innovative ideas but no business/entrepreneurship skills.

    Idea 2013

    Idea 2013


    Read more

  • Snug Essentials – Indiegogo this Snuggable idea!

    I don’t always do such blog posts, but when I do, the idea is really awesome and i like it !

    Petya Miteva, part of the Snug Essentials team, happened to pitch their idea at a Start It Smart meeting and everyone loved it.

    Bulgaria is famous with that every grandmother knits socks & pullovers for their grandchildren, so why not use their skills and create something, that can be sold as a fashion accessory ?
    Enter Snug Essentials – hand-knit covers for your laptop, iPad or Kindle.

    Laptop Covers

    Laptop Covers


    And there is a nice sustainable business model for the knitters – they get paid well and have a job after their retirement, and they do this job like no other (Knitting skills over 9000).
    Since the pensions in Bulgaria are really low (Around 100 BGN), this is one of the main reason that i liked the project so much.
    You get some really well-knitted covers, while the knitters get paid more than the average payment in this industry.
    Grandma Knitter

    Grandma Knitter


    The products will be mainly focused for the european market and they will sell to the medium to high-price market. (Which can provide the better payment for Knitters)

    Okay, the idea is cool, what can i do ?

    Well, there are two main call to actions:

    And finally – be snuggable !

  • My pick for the companies from the second Long Weekend

    Lets establish a tradition here.
    Every time there is a Long Weekend (This is the LAUNCHub’s 4-day event where the shortlisted companies pitch & get feedback in order to prepare for the pitching in front of the investment comite) i will write a blog post like that.

    I was part of the volunteers, on behalf of Start It Smart, for the Long Weekend and i managed to catch all of the pitches, talk with most of the companies and actually give them feedback.

    The last time, i got 6 out of 8 teams (Here is the post [In Bulgarian]) so there’s a record to beat.

    Look Book

    Look Book


    I will give my top 5 list with additional 2 companies, because instead of 16, only 14 companies showed for this Long Weekend.
    Here goes the list (You can check all of the shortlisted here)

    • Monolytic – The one-man-army that can change the life of IPTV developers and providers for better. Great technology, should not be missed.
    • SMARThousekeeping – I don’t believe in the product, but the team is rock solid. They should get the investment.
    • Dragon Inside – They have traction and are already making money. Plus, the service is addressing a very interesting problem.
    • Transmetrics – They are solving a problem I don’t understand, but again, the team is solid (Exit to VMWare, Got network in entire Europe)
    • Tesseract Games – Orcs Must Die! in Space. How cool is that?

    And the additional two, that can easily go in the list:

    • Cars Cup – From the founders of eRepublik, an online game where you manage a racing behind the name of your favourite car brand. Users will stick.
    • UseTogether – Share Economy is hot. I got the chance to talk with the team and those guys are cool. I hope i’ll get the chance to speak with them in Bulgaria more often. Also, their brand is already developed visually, so the marketing for them will be an easy task (Giraffes in space !)

    In order to catch some of the vibe of the second Long Weekend, you can check entrepreneur.bg’s live blogging:

  • Launching EXITORFAIL Beta!

    Exitorfail made it to beta!
    We are happy to announce that today, EXITORFAIL is going live. A crazy idea, that we managed to bootstrap in the beginning of January 2013, for a page, where people meet with the startups from the ecosystem, vote & give feedback for them. At the end, everything is aggregated in a leaderboard.

    You can read some more information about the project or just skip and go to the website for some action. Your choice !

    Breaking the fortress

    Breaking the fortress


    The symbolism behing the picture – we ar trying to break the wall of silence and make people more engaged with the ecosystem!

    About EXITORFAIL

    The idea is very simple.
    In order to have more awesome startups, people must give feedback and be early adopters to the current ones.
    And that is still something rare in the Bulgarian ecosystem.
    How can we make people give feedback ? Simple enough – make it easy for them and make it a game!
    Every vote goes into a ranking so there’s an extra incentive for everyone.

    Also, there’s something special for each voter to unlock, at the end of his journey ! Make sure to find out what it is 🙂

    The terminology is simple enough

    • Exit means something good and is used to generally describe “I think this company is a winner and they are going to survive”.
    • On the other hand, Fail means “I don’t think that company will survive.”

    Before casting your vote and giving your feedback, you can click on the company to get some additional information about them.

    The team

    We are awesome! A powerful creative force.


    Zori helped us by facilitating a design sprint (Where we did a ton of work about the platform) and there will be a story about that very soon! Design sprints rock!

    Beta version

    We were planning to launch at the end of January, but it’s better to go out as soon as possible and gather feedback & ideas.
    We have a UserVoice profile set up, so it is strongly recommended that if you find any bug, or something crashes, or something is weird, to go and drop few lines there. We are going in a constant-fix mode, so any feedback will be taken into consideration.

    You can use the feedback plugin in the page too.

    Of course, if you gives us a feedback, you will receive a hug!

    Now Go Vote!

    You can vote for as many startups as you want (This includes only one or all of them)
    Click on their names to see more information about them.
    When you are ready – submit your email. We use it for confirmation.
    Everything is anonymous!
    In order to go to our awesome page and begin your journey, follow this link.

    What’s next?

    Right now, we will try to create the near-perfect system for exitorfail.com, that is up-to-date with each new Cohort from the funds.

    EXITORFAIL is just part1. There are more startupheroes to be unlocked and more epic stuff to be created.
    If you are willing to invest or sponsor the upcoming series, and have a great team under your wing, drop us an email 😉

    Big Thanks!

    To all of our beta testers, that came to betahaus | Sofia and recorded their experience with the platform. We learned a lot from the users themselves 😉