Of 32 years of my life, 2022 is by far the most exciting and special year. It is an essential step to summarize the year because it won’t be as special as today. People forget the past and how exciting and special it was.
In January, I fully decided to stay at hexafarms and build a new technology oriented start-up. To be honest, I have been neither a huge risk taker nor conservative in seeking entrepreneurship. Since I had multiple offers from big companies and prestigious research institutes, it was not an easy choice considering the expected cost. Starting of new business with first-time founders is not easy. Everyone has a groundless ego regarding the right way to build a start-up. I have met a pile of people who believe themselves amazing and special because of the title of C-level and founder. I respect the courage of trying to make zero to one. However, it is all vein until your business can bring benefit to society or be profitable to pay you a proper salary. Also, everyone believes I can make something great and bring huge value to their business. It turns out that not all of them can fulfill the target 100%.
So, 2Q of 2022 has been wasted dealing with a not-fulfilling business partner. Smart, brilliant, nice, welcoming, and warm characteristics are not necessarily satisfying the quality of a founder. One works awesome in another big institute. However, an early startup needs only 3 types of employees. who
- makes right decision
- developes a product
- sells a product
A variety of different types will be needed when a business passes through the early-stage.
3Q is another game-changing period. One big lesson in fundraising is, never to trust and just wait for one investor. It is very similar to speed-dating. I am supposed to be one of a lot of potential investee. So, I should treat the investor likewise. My company ran out of funding. Right after receiving the first investment. Business moved from Saarücken to Berlin.
4Q was amazing. Biggest lesson: The understanding customer is paramount. I have developed beyond research level’s high technology in 2022. My AI model outperforms any publicly available model. My farm has digital twins and drones and sensors are all simulated and experimented on the real farm, too. I worked passionately, effectively, and a lot. If time was allowed, a few amazing research papers could have been released. However awesome technologies I have programmed, I missed the most important thing.
- Understand what the pain point of customers.
- Feel them by talking to A LOT of customers, don’t just imagine what they think.
- Often the solution is simple and doesn’t require the state-of-the-art.
Can’t wait to see what the 2023’s story will be.