Alex Lazarow comes from the small city of Winnipeg in Canada. Coming from this small town, having a first hand view of m-pesa’s growth and working in Venture Capital with the likes of Omdiyar network gave him a perspective about startup playbooks. Listen to this episode about out-innovating Silicon Valley with Alex Lazarow.
The strategies, tactics and playbooks that entrepreneurs outside Silicon Valley employed fascinated him. They fascinated him so much that he decided to dive deep and chronicle their stories. 200 interviews and numerous discussions later, this fructified into the book – Out-Innovate: How Global Entrepreneurs from Delhi to Detroit Are Rewriting the Rules of Silicon Valley.
Always interested in new scale play books that are taking the context around them and putting a startup on the path to scale. We are even more interested if they are from around the world where the context is varied and dynamic.
Our hope is that some of those tactics become relevant to our entrepreneurs who are trying hard to scale their ventures in India. Listen on and read the book!
Here are some excerpts from the Episode:
I think the best entrepreneurs operating in in places around the world, from Chicago to Amsterdam, to Nairobi to Bangalore, have more in common with best entrepreneurs operate in Sao Paulo than they do with those operating San Francisco yet no one’s telling their stories.Alex Lazarow 02:17
There are over 1.3 million startups around the world. There’s 480, innovation ecosystems around the world. And those numbers already probably outdated and are bigger already, innovation is really movedAlex Lazarow 05:41
around the world, and so has the creation of successful businesses. And so now Best practice is shifting and the book I talked about this notion of frontier innovators. And obviously, the world of innovation is not Silicon Valley or not Silicon Valley, it’s much more heterogeneous
You know, I think you’re hitting hitting the nail on the head on a lot of these, right? Because if I was going to take a step back on some of the lessons I learned through all my interviews, is really this necessity of having to do a lot more with a lot less and facing adversity.Alex Lazarow 14:33
Alex Uses Camels As An Example!
Camels are animals that can be spread across the desert, drink water faster than any other thing when times are good. But they can also survive when they’re tough. And so I think that it is not inconsistent with taking a camel like approach to raise venture capital that you need to be able to get through it.Alex Lazarow 18:05
But it’s rooted in a philosophy and an approach of not massively subsidizing user acquisition, not hiring way ahead of burn, not taking a short term lens on the world. It’s keeping this long term approach keeping sustainable unit economics and a business model and keeping burn under control.Alex Lazarow 18:05
Follow Alex Lazarow at alexlazarow.com
Follow Maharajas of Scale on Twitter here: @maharajaofscale
Here’s what the wordcloud looks like for this episode