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The 'Sunday Blues' and the Unbearable Reality of a Sunday Afternoon

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
It happened every Sunday. After lunch a thick mist covered his heart. What followed used to be a visit to his grandmother’s house to eat cookies, drink Sidral Mundet and try to chase away the shadows while watching DeporTV on the small screen of a television in the kitchen. Nobody said anything. He and his brothers stared at the images in silence, as if hypnotized and time passed faster than usual. In his mind the tragic scenes of a merciless Monday were beginning to unfold.
It didn’t matter if he had heroically survived the previous seven days, the start of a new week seemed impossible to bear. He suffered. Cursed. He felt like he was dying because the break was ending and he had to go back to school.
The worst were not exam Mondays; I used to get rid of those with the idea that I would pass somehow. The truly tragic ones were those week starts when I knew I would get grades. His fatalism, that monster impossible to tame that accompanied him from the cradle, flamed up and proudly murmured words of misfortune in his ear. And while his eyes looked at images of Hugo Sánchez scoring Chilean goals, the scenes of the tragedy were drawn in his brain: he disapproved and his fear of having to repeat the year came true. His usual fatalism was amplified every Sunday afternoon.
As time went by, some things changed: school exams were gradually transformed into reports, research projects and teamwork. After graduations, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, evaluations eroded into job boards, client presentations, and endless job to-do lists. This was followed by his own projects, the idea of entrepreneurship and work independence. Professional life in all its splendor.
But every Sunday afternoon, no matter what he was doing or where he was, he felt like that little helpless child again, sitting in front of the television at his grandmother’s house, waiting for Monday with its promise of inevitable tragedy.
His reaction was pathological and he knew it.
Tired of suffering every seven days, he set out to investigate what was behind his Sunday sad syndrome . The first thing he found is that it was much more common than he thought: according to a study conducted by Monster.com in 2015, 76% of people who worked in the United States suffered from it, while 45% of people who lived in other countries was a victim of it.
Encouraged by the figures, he dared to speak of his illness and the empathic reactions did not wait. Knowing that he was not alone reassured him, although it was not enough for him to cope with the fear that was engendered on the afternoon of the seventh day. As he investigated further, he found little formulas to learn to tame him.
He started preparing his Mondays in advance . On Fridays, before leaving the office, I wrote a small list of tasks that the start of the new week would bring. The simple fact of being able to visualize them on paper reduced their stature. Instead of appearing before his eyes as enormous threats, they simply became what they were: pending resolution. Seeing them embodied there, I understood that they would always be there. Not just on Mondays, but any day of the week. And his job was simply to solve them.
Then he decided to eradicate television programs from his Sunday afternoons . Series, sports highlights and news spots could wait. He traded in sitting watching a small screen for walks in the park with his dog, incredible games of llanero baseball, and reading aloud of books and poems that made him feel good. He tried to get home since it had gotten dark with the sole objective of making the wait on Monday small, almost imperceptible.
He also eliminated from his Sunday afternoons any electronic media that might remind him that there would be work the next day. His royal earrings would wait for him until the next morning on his desk. Everything else was nothing more than specters trying to steal hours of light, not just from his day, but from his life.
The most difficult thing was to stop thinking about all the negative that Monday’s storm surge could bring with it. She tried to remember how she had felt week after week before noon on that (supposedly) fateful first day. Until now he had always come out alive and strong enough to deal with Tuesday and everything the rest of the week could throw at him. This simple exercise began to reveal an absolute truth to him: the worst of Monday was just the idea of it. The day per se was neither good nor bad, just a reflection of what I decided to project onto it.
If at the end of Sunday he decided to project dragons, failures and bad grades in his imaginary on Monday, they would materialize during the night to scare him away and ensure a tragic start to the week. If instead he imagined productive days, challenges to overcome and falls, yes, but full of lessons learned, he would arrive at the first day of the week knowing that it was fleeting and that before he knew it, it would come to an end.
With a little practice, little by little she managed to put the Sunday sadness behind her and inadvertently left the slopes of January, the bad months and weeks, and the years of lean cows. Because he discovered that, somewhere inside him, perhaps housed alongside his fatalism, there was also a creative force to transform his Mondays into extraordinary days and his little darkness into light.

When A Stint In A Family Business Didn’t Work Out, He Turned Around And Started A Million-Dollar Online Store

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When Bryce Monkivitch was 25, his family sent him to China to work in his uncle’s factory. That adventure didn’t turn out as planned. “He thought I was too immature and said, ‘Go home and get an education,’” Monkivitch recalls.
Monkivitch was hurt and disappointed. “It was a huge knock to my ego,” he says. 
But Monkivitch, who lives in Queensland, Australia, realized his uncle meant to help him and decided to get practical. He enrolled in accounting classes at TAFE Queensland. Six months into studying, however, he gave in to the temptation to start a business selling dog hats online through Facebook and Instagram. He had found a supplier for the hats through Alibaba, the online marketplace. 

Sister and brother Joy and Bryce Monkivitch turned their juniors fashion brand Sincere Sally into a … [+] million-dollar, two-person business.
Marie Mcmahon
Sales took off, thanks to the pictures he posted of the pooches in their cute headgear. He’d soon ventured into selling trendy clothing to teens and young women, creating an online store on the platform Shopify using $5,000 he saved from doing freelance concrete work. That was in March 2018.

That business, Sincere Sally, now brings in the equivalent of more than USD $1 million annually. Monkivitch, 30, runs it with his sister, Joy. They sell their apparel in both the Australian market and the U.S. The store competes with brands such as Nasty Gal, Fashion Nova and Princess Polly. 
Monkivitch is part of a trend that keeps on growing and is becoming increasingly global—the growth of million-dollar, one- and two-person businesses and partnerships. 
According to U.S. Census statistics, 41,666 “nonemployer” firms—those staffed only by the owners— hit $1-2.49 million in revenue in 2018—the largest number on record and 48% increase since 2011. 

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I was not able to find an exact equivalent to this data in Australia, but to give you some context, 62% of the 2.3 million small businesses in 2019 were “sole traders” —a category similar to nonemployer firms. Among this 2.3 million, 34% bring in revenue from $200,000 to less than $2 million, according to the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.
So how has Monkivitch been able to succeed so quickly? Here were some of his growth strategies. 
Embrace mobile apps. Monkivitch, who learned coding growing up, built an app—similar to a bot—that starts conversations with people on Facebook and Instagram. It talks with them about what styles they like and gives them offers and discount codes to attract them to his shop. Once he started using it, he says, “it was selling huge quantities.”
Build strong relationships with suppliers. With only a small amount of startup capital, Monkivitch hunted for a factory that was willing to take on some of the risk of making clothes before he sold them. That was critical to getting off to a strong start. “If we got an order, they would go and fill the order,” he says. “They would have the stock there.” As the company grew, that changed and he began stocking up on his own inventory. 
Learn to love online marketing. Monkivitch taught himself how to use paid Facebook ads to spread the word. Knowing his way around the platform has come in handy, with ads getting more expensive and merchants competing with the Australian government for ads. “You have to learn pretty quickly,” he says. 
Monkivitch spent last year traveling around the globe with other young entrepreneurs and influencers involved in online selling. “Hanging out with them and people who are really engaged in marketing has helped me to become much better,” he says. “I’m pretty much obsessed with marketing. It’s pretty much all I do every day—figuring out more effective marketing techniques.”
Tap the power of micro-influencers. Through his app, Monkivitch works with individuals, known as micro-influencers, who start conversations on Instagram with potential customers. The micro-influencers are given a discount code they can place on their own Instagram account, so the company can track sales they drive and pay them a commission. 
With many micro-influencers based in the Philippines, Monkivitch has traveled there to offer training. “We’re building communities there,” he says. “That’s also why we’re getting rapid growth.”
Team up. For the first two years, Monkivitch ran the business solo. Then he joined forces with his sister Joy. And she was also in the same age group as his target customers and up on the latest fashions. “My sister was intrigued by it,” he says.
With his store thriving, Monkivitch is glad his uncle encouraged him to “quit mucking around” and get serious about this direction in life. When COVID hit, Monkivitch expected business to be a nightmare. To his great surprise, when stimulus money started flowing, many of customers spent it on new clothes at his store. “Our sales went through the roof,” he says. Fortunately, he’s got the accounting skills to keep track of it all.

Covid Hunter, the scanner that detects coronavirus in people and surfaces, will be manufactured in Mexico

January 31, 2021 5 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

It is now possible to detect the coronavirus without testing, thanks to the Covid Hunter device, a scanner that identifies the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus immediately. The developers describe it as “the world’s first non-contact viral detector” and will be manufactured in Mexico .
The Covid Hunter , developed by the American company Advanced Medical Solutions International (AMSI ), is capable of detecting traces of coronavirus immediately in people and objects, without touching them. It can also identify new variants of COVID-19 and other viruses, such as influenza, the company reported in a statement.
“The Covid Hunter is a non-invasive, non-contact, immediate and portable virus detector, specially designed for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes covid-19 disease, demonstrating 99% effectiveness and with sensitivity within 0 to 2 meters on surfaces, through glass or transparent material , and inside the human body ” , explained the company.
The company detailed that the scanner can locate the coronavirus in various human organs , such as the lungs, throat, nose and skin, and even on clothing. Simply point the scanner at the object less than two meters away.
How does the Covid Hunter work?
At first glance, it looks like any ordinary laser scanner, but the beam it emits and its software analyze in real time, by refraction, if the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is present . When the scanner identifies this protein, characteristic of the coronavirus , it emits an alert sound, and if there is no presence of COVID-19, it remains silent.
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The doctor Alejandro Díaz Villalobos , a specialist in immunology and allergies, is the only Mexican who is part of the project. The researcher also explained that the Covid Hunter has had a 100% efficiency level in the tests presented by the team. The device detected positive COVID-19 samples validated via PCR test , and also managed to differentiate between positive and negative patients.
Since the vaccine will take time to be applied to the entire world population, Díaz believes that the best way to contain the pandemic is prevention. Thus, the Covid Hunter would be a key tool for authorities and companies to detect the virus in real time in crowded areas such as restaurants, public transport, airports or similar.
“If we can immediately detect who is infected, we can mitigate their contact with other people or control their access ,” Diaz said in an interview with Forbes . The doctor added that, as the scanner locates the virus on surfaces or clothes, the disinfection work becomes 100% accurate.
The Covid Hunter will be Made in Mexico
Díaz Villalobos revealed that the team, made up of experts from Jordan and the United States, agreed that the manufacture and distribution of Covid Hunter will be in Mexico .
“You do not know the work it took to arrive and agree that Mexico was the country of manufacture,” revealed the Mexican researcher. He pointed out that they are in talks with several medical equipment manufacturing companies to finalize production details.
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The doctor pointed out that he hopes “to have the first production prototype in three weeks .” It foresees that when the first production is carried out, they can achieve certification from health authorities, such as the FDA in the United States and Cofepris in Mexico .
“I would ask Cofepris to allow us to move forward as quickly as possible with the entire process for authorization, especially because we are at the most critical point in the spread of the virus,” said Díaz.
The final price of the Covid Hunter has not been established, but they anticipate that it will be very affordable. The plan is to distribute the first units produced in the centers of high human concentration, so that later “this technology can reach everyone’s hands, because its objective is none other than to save human lives,” concluded the Mexican specialist.

A Brand New World – America, Entrepreneurship & The Power Of Pivot.

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America has always been the land of frontiers, the forefront of innovation, and pivoting however many times it takes it until it is ‘right’ and works.
To get to that place of being bold, you might indeed occur bruises along the way – and as so eloquently put by Amanda Gorman during President Biden’s Inauguration which we have just witnessed.  As he came into power last week, he spoke about the American values of being ‘restless, bold and optimistic’ and Gorman built on it further with
‘A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free
We will not be turned around

or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation.’
It is this value of entrepreneurship and pivot that has us all look to the United States of America for inspiration, and hence this was the third most watched item in TV History. This is what was celebrated within our team too at The FQ Global Pack.

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21 Books To Read In 2021

A portrait of Shelley Zalis
Female Quotient
On meeting Shelley Zalis exactly a year ago, at the World Economic Forum in Davos – where she had given me the stage to launch my book, The Values Compass – it was (intellectual) love and connection at first sight. Shelley had the vision to connect as many women around the world as possible, I had the deep dive on values to frame those conversations, and Ronda Carnegie executes as the Chief Innovation Officer. 
Hence the vision to unite the world through the power of women was born, to create the largest community of women supporting other women via collaboration and solutions. 
So building on Gorman’s words –
‘The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it’
I interviewed both Zalis and Carnegie after reflecting in awe of the entrepreneurial journey we have taken in the last year.

Portrait of Ronda Carnegie
Female Quotient
The mission leaving Davos in 2020 was clear; to create the largest global dinner series in history, weaving in the framework of values to create a values vault.  I clearly remember Shelley’s call to me just a few weeks after Davos, and even recall where I was standing because her vision was so powerful. The world stood still for a moment so that it could really land. And land it did.
The world dramatically changed in February and a physical dinner series around the world was absolutely not possible by March, but Zalis did not miss a beat and it became virtual – holding dinners right across Africa in 2020, always at 6.30pm local time, with 25 of the most influential women in the country at the virtual ‘table’.
Zalis explains: ‘Pivoting is the opposite of failure. It is seeing the opportunity even when one is not there. It is looking at the situation differently from others. A proactive pivot is evolution.’
The conversations that then ensued were values based – powerful, open, and honest, such that women could renew, reignite and reach greater heights because we have one another’s back. One of Zalis’ favourite tag lines: ‘Wherever in the world you land after this, you can call anyone of the pack, and the question will be, what time will you land? I will see you at the airport, sister!’
Carnegie takes this one step further and is thinking about the social entrepreneurs who are at the table. ‘What are their local and universal problems and what could the solutions be?  For the role and narrative of women is ever evolving, and we want to capture their stories and their legacy. And then this concept of values is a powerful way to build an important narrative, both locally and globally.’

An invitation for the dinners, and here is an example of a dinner in Switzerland.
FQ Global Pack
The mission of the FQ Global Pack Dinners are for every woman to have a seat at the table and not leave anyone behind, bringing visibility to voices everywhere. This is inline with the concept explored in the book ‘The Values Compass: What 101 Countries Teach Us About Purpose, Life and Leadership’ covering values from around the world.
There are a few top tips the team would like to share –
~ Be you, don’t try to fit the mould, and slowly but surely, you’ll create your own (entrepreneurship).
~ Experience as many other cultures as you can to see the beauty near and far.
~ Zig when others Zag – don’t be afraid to fail to succeed.
~ The power of collective action creates a movement and is an unstoppable energy force.
~ Do not ask for permission, and do not apologise too much either!

One of the virtual dinners – exploring Switzerland and the value of precision.
Mandeep Rai
In the past women may have been written out of history but we will ensure that is not the case going forward. Our key values are that we are #strongertogether, we #unitenotdivide and we go forth with #positivityandproductivity.
Indeed – we are brave enough to see the light, and now we have no choice but to be the light for ourselves and one another, each and every day.

How To Apply 'the Four Agreements' of Doctor Miguel Ruiz at Work

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Perhaps you heard about the book “The Four Agreements” or have read it or seen phrases on social networks. In any case, you will find in it valuable recommendations for life to work better in all areas: family, friends, relationships, work, abundance, health and well-being in general.
Miguel Ángel Ruiz (1952) is a Mexican author, writer, and speaker of texts and themes of spirituality, influenced by another great author and thinker, the Peruvian anthropologist Carlos Castaneda (died 1998). His most influential work is The Four Agreements, and they are based on what Ruiz transmits as Toltec wisdom, a pre-Columbian culture that dominated the northern Mexican highlands between the 10th and 12th centuries. The original edition was published in 1997 and has sold more than 4 million copies.
The value of the four agreements
It depends on where you look at it, the four agreements are expressed very simply, and very profound at the same time.
This double look allows the person who is looking for answers to some of his life dilemmas, to find them in simple and pleasant language; and whoever seeks to go deeper, will find many levels to continue diving.
What can The Four Agreements be useful for in the office? To communicate better, learn to understand others, manage your emotions, train yourself to master your impulses and achieve a better level of work excellence.
The Four Agreements are: Be impeccable with your words; Don’t take anything personally; Don’t guess or guess and always do your best, the best you can.
FIRST AGREEMENT: BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORDS
Words create states of consciousness; and these determine your thoughts, which, in turn, are manifested in the results.
Beyond your language, culture and experiences, it is the language you use that shapes your way of representing the world. Your ideas, wishes, goals, purposes; your relationships, ties and gifts. Everything is manifested through the word.
As you know, they can build huge dreams and benefits for humanity; or destroy with your load of fear, resentment, frustration, anger, and malicious opinions. This means that the words are not innocent, and they are loaded with meaning.
The word “impeccability” means that you don’t do things that go against you. To be impeccable is to assume your personal responsibility; fulfill each and every one of your commitments (starting with the ones you assume with yourself, and then with the others); and, at the same time, channel the gift of the word in a constructive and positive way.
For example, getting into gossip, aggressive opinion in meetings or on social media does not produce any virtuous results: on the contrary, you let huge amounts of your vital energy leak through what you say, write and even when you think about ideas through the words you put into it.
What you think (and what you say, that is, what you declare) is what you become.
To incorporate the first agreement in the office: talk less and do more. Exceed your own expectations regarding the fulfillment of your commitments. Watch your thoughts. Evaluate before speaking. 70% listen and only 30% speak. Seek to be more precise in your language to adequately express all your ideas. Avoid hurting and focus on uplifting and adding value in your interactions with others. Discard all aggressive communication in your life.
SECOND AGREEMENT: “DO NOT TAKE ANYTHING AS PERSONAL”
Most people assume that everything that happens is designed for them; in favor or oppossing. In favor, there is no major problem: everything fits. The matter begins when people feel that everything that happens to them, happens, the events of the world and their environment, are “against them.” “The world is against me”, they say to themselves.
Can you imagine then what happens? Sure enough: apparently the world starts firing thick ammunition at said person.
However, it is the ego of people that produces anger, frustration, and great emotional drain when trying to fight against the opinions and situations of the world that can poison your life.
All part of the ego wants to give you airs of greater importance; Therefore, if you show yourself excessively focused on the opinion of others, you unconsciously create a certain dependence on the approval (or not) of the other. In this way you will be trapped in that emotion that you have generated yourself.
Feeling like the center of the world is called by many names: self-centeredness, selfishness, arrogance. They are nuances of the same expression when you do and think that everything revolves around you.
When Miguel Ruiz in “The Four Agreements” says “Do not take anything personally”, it means that this step will be crucial to feel free, outside the domestication of education, dogmas and social and cultural conditioning that you drag in your life .
This point is not about accepting everything without being shocked, but rather the problem appears when you give entity to “that” that the other party says or does, and you let your emotions get out of balance.
For example, when you are offended by nothing, you react in generally inappropriate, even exaggerated ways. This arises from wanting to be right rather than choosing to be happy.
Seen in another way, every time you want to change someone’s opinion or behavior, you get frustrated, because you can hardly change yourself: it is impossible to change the other person if that other being does not want to do it. In any case, it could change at the rate of evolution.
This second agreement is the one that causes much of the suffering in life, since, in general, you are too susceptible to everything they say or do around you. Now you know: assuming a greater perspective of situations and issues -even those that directly involve you-, you will not be able to get emotionally hooked, respect the positions of others (not necessarily justify them; although you can understand them from a completely different and integrating perspective for your well-being From this place you will radiate the same around you.
To incorporate this second agreement into your work environment: Learn from the differences with others; integrates and respects the decisions of others. Understand that the other is “an other” with their own problems, beliefs and difficulties. If something is bothering you, find the appropriate space and express it clearly from your perspective (taking over your communication, not blaming others). Do not seek to impose your wishes over the opinions of others. Always consider the highest good of all in any situation. Avoid living from the ego: learn about compassion, humility, conscious listening, open-mindedness to live better experiences. This will help you to have more peace in all aspects.
THIRD AGREEMENT: “DO NOT GUESS OR ASSUME”
Another source of inner discomfort, extreme emotionality, destruction of your self-esteem and worth, and deterioration of your personal power is living making assumptions.
How many times have you spent days, months or years pondering questions that had nothing to do with the reality of things? Or, have you met people who you’ve given just five or ten seconds to cut them out of your life?
All this happens because you suppose more than what you allow yourself to live the experiences to confirm your formed and sustained perception. Assuming something, in terms of having a hunch or hunch, is not the problem: the issue is when you think it is that you assume it is true, even without having checked or observed it in perspective, or collated any information.
When you assume something you start from an incorrect base, because beforehand you believe and assume that you have the absolute truth about something. What’s more: you stop distinguishing what a presumption is, to the point of taking it for granted as something is real … without even having checked or experienced it.
The process of guessing is unconscious and part of the brain’s cognitive biases. A bias is a shortcut your brain process takes trying to find an escape route or quick fix. It is usually based on a quick impulse whereby you associate information based on your life experience, and connect it with that current situation, rushing to take the shortcut (bias) to draw quick conclusions. As you can see, this does not bring an accurate result, since you start from the wrong places and want to control situations by trying to precipitate them at the speed that your emotional dynamics demands.
To incorporate this agreement to help you at work: ask more questions, be patient, reflect, connect better with other people. Avoid assuming by applying active listening and assertive communication. Relieve the facts, cool your emotions for at least three days before acting compulsively.
FOURTH AGREEMENT: “ALWAYS DO THE BEST, THE BEST YOU CAN”
When we talk about “being the best version of yourself,” it means that you will begin to live your life in a way that makes sense to you, and that, in turn, you can transform your environment through your actions.
This agreement proposes that you move towards the trait of excellence. Many people seek perfection in themselves and in the world: that does not exist on this physical plane. So we can aspire to be excellent. At work, for example, there is a lot of talk about “having to be perfect.”
Being an excellent person is more than being impeccable; it means expressing continuously and in all aspects of life your highest commitment to the total quality of your thoughts, words and actions. Doing your best is leaving your known zone, to expand a little further, feeding yourself with energy to reach a higher level of excellence in everything you do.
Doing the best you can is always giving your 100%. 99.9% is not one hundred percent of what you can give. There is a difference.
All that is required on your side is that you do, always and at all times and places, your best effort. It is giving a little more than usual. It’s getting out of the comfort of downplaying things and doing them fast to get rid of them. It is making a conscious choice to be a better person every second of your life.
To incorporate this agreement: practice giving a little more each day; make an effort in those aspects that you need to improve. Get inspired by people who have already done it – there are millions of sources of information available. Talk to people who are exemplary from your perspective. Learn from biographies, uplifting movies, and experiences where you learn. In the face of failure, revalue it with the learning it has left you. Discover the inexhaustible source of your personal power to be more excellent every time in all the planes of your life.

Entrepreneurs: Don’t Move To Silicon Valley – Read This Book Instead

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Ian Hathaway, Co-Author of Startup Communities, Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City
Ian Hathaway
The startup world has changed in many ways since 2012. At that time, many communities sought to emulate Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial success. The majority of venture-backed companies were located in California and a couple of pockets on the East Coast. Eight years later, thanks in no small part to Brad Feld’s book, Startup Communities, Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City, startup communities now thrive throughout the U.S. and across the globe.
Brad identified successful entrepreneurial ecosystems as those shaped by entrepreneurs, which he labeled “leaders.” He categorized the other components of the startup community as “feeders:” governmental entities, universities, Investors, mentors/advisors, service providers and large companies. One of the key messages of Brad’s book is that startup communities must be built from the bottom-up, starting with entrepreneurs. Feeders’ role is to facilitate the creation and success of founders, sometimes just by getting out of their way.
Now that startup communities are relatively commonplace, Ian Hathaway and Brad Feld have teamed up to address the interdependencies and working relationships between entrepreneurial ecosystems and legacy “feeders” in The Startup Community Way (TSCW).

John Greathouse: Ian, I’m stoked to connect with you – I reviewed Brad’s book back in 2012 and I’ve given a number of talks in So Cal communities discussing how Santa Barbara has become a prosperous startup ecosystem, borrowing unashamedly (with attribution) from Brad’s framework.
What led you to refresh the original book and what were your goals at the outset?
Ian Hathaway: The goal of our collaboration was to evolve and expand some of the thinking around the global startup community movement that Brad sparked in 2012 through Startup Communities. We had three initial goals: to broaden the lens of the Boulder Thesis towards a more global view, to correct some things Brad thought he got wrong, and to incorporate additional evidence and frameworks based on what was learned since. Bringing me into the mix was about diversifying the perspective and approach to achieve those goals.

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Greathouse: You started talking with Brad about TSCW in 2016 and you finished a first cut in mid-2017. What work did you do prior to putting pen to paper… and what caused you to discard your first draft?  
Hathaway: I read a ton — tens of thousands of pages, from books to blogs to academic papers. You name it, I read it. I also talked to a lot of people. It was really that second part — talking to many practitioners across a wide range of geographies and ecosystem maturities — that revealed what our mission was.
We wrote part of a first draft (about 30,000 words), but it was too conventional and didn’t move the conversation forward to our satisfaction. We threw it away. Along our journey, we decided that the fundamental challenges to collaboration and the counterintuitive nature of these complex ecosystems were what needed addressing most, so we decided to write an entire book addressing them.
Greathouse: I’ve always been curious about the co-writing process – I assume there are as many flavors as there are co-authors. How did the experience go down for you and Brad? Did your process evolve as you worked together?
Hathaway: It took us some time to hit our stride. We have such different styles and backgrounds. But once we got into a groove, we complemented each other really well. In the end, what we produced together was substantially different and much better than if either one of us had tried to write this book on our own. And that’s the lesson for why cognitive diversity is so important for innovation and creativity: one plus one equals three.
Greathouse: You had previously collaborated with Brad on your New York University Startup Cities class. If you were to teach the class again now, how would you modify the curriculum, given the current state of the startup world?
Hathaway: For starters, there would be a different “textbook” this time! I’d make the course longer, but my view on startup communities hasn’t changed as a result of COVID. If anything, it has strengthened the lessons in our book — about unpredictability and the nonlinear nature of how social systems evolve.
Practically speaking, I believe there will be greater intentionality and gratitude for community once physical gatherings resume. Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s taken away. At the same time, it will be interesting to see if urban agglomeration run amok — where a few ridiculously expensive and crowded superstar cities dominate — will abate some. I think it will, but not nearly to the degree that many people think. Density will continue to matter. Co-location will continue to matter. COVID didn’t change that.
Greathouse: Agreed. When you look at the 1918 pandemic, it certainly shaped the subsequent decades in important ways, but it didn’t result in the destruction of dense, urban communities.
You talk about the importance of “Quality of Place” – entrepreneurs can live virtually anywhere, and they demand certain quality of life features often found in cities, rather than suburbs.
Given that COVID has forced knowledge workers to primarily work remotely and cities were initially hit pretty hard with the virus, do you think the notion of Quality of Place will evolve from how you describe it (in TSCW)?
Hathaway: Quality of place is more important than ever. COVID gave many people the chance to try life in other places without having to give up their jobs. Presumably, people chose those locations based purely on quality-of-life factors, including, due to personal and professional relationships. Look at all of the San Francisco techies and New York bankers flocking to Miami for precisely this reason.
Civic leaders should use this opportunity to welcome the kinds of high-skill talent that supports regional prosperity. These individuals are drawn much more so by quality-of-life factors than by regulatory races to the bottom.
Greathouse: Yep, I’ve seen a similar quality-of-life migration in Santa Barbara and Kauai. Some of the local politicians will capitalize on this migration of productive citizenry into their communities, but I fear most won’t.
With Oracle and HP’s announcements of moving their headquarters to Texas, it’s clear we’re seeing the delayed impact of low/no tax states competitive advantage. Even if the Federal government reinstates state tax deductibility, the lack of personal state income taxes will still be an incentive for executives and employees to relocate.
How do you see this trend playing out in the coming years and how will it impact startup ecosystems outside of California?
Hathaway: California is a magical place. An Ohioan by birth and a Californian by choice, I will never forget the first time I laid eyes on the Golden State. That was it for me. At the same time, it’s obvious that the quality of life here is going in the wrong direction. I spent most of the last five years in London — where my overall tax burden was high but still somehow lower than when I was living in San Francisco (where Ian lived before moving to London). Except, in London, my streets were clean, schools were excellent, and the health care was included. I could see where my money was going and was satisfied with the result. None of these applied to life in San Francisco, quite the opposite. That experience taught me that poor governance is a choice. California will always be a sought-after place, but the situation will worsen if major changes aren’t made soon.
Greathouse: I fear you are right. You don’t have to be a fan of Elon (Musk) to agree with his recent comments about California politicians taking the state’s decades long success for granted.
I tend to use the terms “startup communities” and “entrepreneurial ecosystems” interchangeably. You note that both are ecological systems, self-organizing, governing and sustaining… yet you draw several distinctions between the terms. Why are these distinctions important?
Hathaway: This is an important concept that I hope readers will go deeper on by picking up a copy of the book. It lays out the importance of incentives and the rational pursuit of self-interest. Startup communities consist of the group of people who are committed to helping entrepreneurs succeed. People are bound together more tightly through this shared identity and common purpose at the community layer. The ecosystem is a more generalized structure that wraps around a startup community. There are more types of actors who engage at the ecosystem layer, and they pursue a wider range of agendas. Most relationships are of an economic nature. Both communities and ecosystems are important, but they are fundamentally different.
Greathouse: You underscore many of the concepts in the book by including real world sidebars written by academics, entrepreneurs and other members of the startup community. Any favorites come to mind?  
Hathaway: I have two favorites, both from the U.S. Midwest. Scott Dorsey, a unicorn founder turned investor in Indianapolis, recalls his experience building a community while building a successful company, and then doubling down on the next generation of founders by launching High Alpha (a venture studio and fund). We refer to this process as “entrepreneurial recycling,” and it’s probably the most important concept in the book.
The other story is from Scott Resnick, who describes the distinction between communities and ecosystems through his experience in Madison, Wisconsin. He illuminates the importance sequencing: building a critical mass of supportive participants at the community layer first, before expecting to have a high degree of productive collaboration with actors at the ecosystem layer,  investors, corporates, governments, universities, etc.
Greathouse: I know you’re very active with Techstars (Ian is a Senior Director). In addition to your day job, are you contemplating any future books or other startup projects?
Hathaway: Well, I need to recover from writing this book first! But, I love books and writing, so it’s inevitable that I’ll do it again. A couple of ideas I have kicking around in my head relate to the concept of social capital — which we discuss throughout the book — and how the erosion of trust in our society has been monumentally harmful. Trust is a fragile thing that a democratic society can’t function without. It really is a sad thing to see what’s going on in this country. Other than that, I’m always working with interesting people on interesting challenges, so it’s hard to say what the future holds for me. For now, I spend my time helping entrepreneurs succeed, and that’s a tough gig to beat.
You can follow John on Twitter: @johngreathouse.