How can you ensure you are really helping instead of virtue signalling?

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Photo by Ravi Roshan on Unsplash

Preamble: I run a cybersecurity startup, so the introduction focuses on the Aussie cybersecurity angle to set informed context. The rest of this article however, could be applied to any B2B startup.

Introduction

CyRise Demo Day for cohort 4 delivered on its promise last week. I thought it was fantastic, and I hope the companies who are now officially fellow CyRise portfolio companies get the support they ask for. …


Avertro just turned one. These are some of the real moments from our first year.

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Photo credit: Syaf Djamil

5th September 2019

Antler representative: “Alright, Ian and Roman. Who’s going to do the driving on the laptop?”

Me: “Roman can. CTO’s job.”

We laughed. There we were, sitting in a meeting room on level 8 at Tank Stream Labs within the Sydney Startup Hub.


Avertro just turned one. Here’s how we successfully got through the year in spite of a global pandemic.

Like many early-stage startups, there were times in the first months of our existence where we questioned if we would survive beyond the first year. When the global pandemic hit, we didn’t know if we’d make it past June.

Yet here we are, one year on from Avertro’s genesis. The pandemic isn’t over, but I no longer lie awake every night working through all the permutations on how to keep us alive.

Today, we are well and truly breathing, with an extremely healthy runway. However, we remain grounded in reality, as there’s still a summit ascent to prepare for. …


This is the summary and conclusion to the multi-part series sharing the lessons I’ve learned on my entrepreneurial journey thus far.

No matter the outcome of your startup journey, the one thing you can count on is that you will learn more through the journey than almost anything else you’ve ever done before in your career.

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Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

I hope my journey will help those of you embarking on your own startup path. Here are the links to each article in the series.

Introduction article.

Eight Lessons

  1. Don’t wait until you feel 100% ready to start your entrepreneurial journey
  2. Luck is what happens when preparation meets…


This is a multi-part series sharing the lessons I’ve learned on my entrepreneurial journey thus far. Here is the eighth lesson. Read the intro, first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh lessons, if you haven’t already done so.

According to MIT:

“Design thinking is a powerful process of problem solving that begins with understanding unmet customer needs. From that insight emerges a process for innovation that encompasses concept development, applied creativity, prototyping, and experimentation. When design thinking approaches are applied to business, the success rate for innovation improves substantially.”

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Photo by Marília Castelli on Unsplash

At its core, design thinking is about understanding the user (i.e. customer), the unmet needs at hand, the problems you are focusing on, and then going about solving them in a way that delivers real value to people. …


This is a multi-part series sharing the lessons I’ve learned on my entrepreneurial journey thus far. Here is the seventh lesson. Read the intro, first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth lessons, if you haven’t already done so.

We are besieged with startup success stories. The multi-million dollar rounds of funding a particular startup has raised, making it the newest unicorn, pepper our social media feeds. Good news stories are great. They help us to keep going, or encourage us to start the business we’ve been dreaming about. But they also lull the reader into believing that the startup journey is all about raising venture capital. It’s not. …


This is a multi-part series sharing the lessons I’ve learned on my entrepreneurial journey thus far. Here is the sixth lesson. Read the intro, first, second, third, fourth, and fifth lessons, if you haven’t already done so.

From where I’m currently sitting, running a startup makes the challenges I used to face in my various corporate roles seem about as stressful as sitting by the pool of a five-star resort worried about getting sunburnt.

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Photo by Chris Greenhow on Unsplash

I don’t mean to make this about stresses in the corporate versus startup world. There are definitely challenges in the corporate world that we’ve all had to deal with. …


This is a multi-part series sharing the lessons I’ve learned on my entrepreneurial journey thus far. Here is the fifth lesson. Read the intro, first, second, third, and fourth lessons, if you haven’t already done so.

We must acknowledge that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

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Photo by Neil Thomas on Unsplash

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few months simply asking people for help. Some old friends. Some new friends. No matter. I’ve asked anyway, because everyone has something of value to contribute no matter their background or experience.

Even when I think I know the answer, I will ask at least one other person for their opinion or assistance. Validation of one’s perceptions and opinions is extremely important along this journey. …


This is a multi-part series sharing the lessons I’ve learned on my entrepreneurial journey thus far. Here is the fourth lesson. Read the intro, first, second, and third lessons, if you haven’t already done so.

The title of this post is a quote attributed to legendary racing driver, Mario Andretti. In business and in life, the incessant pressure to have everything under control, does more damage than good.

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Photo by Tim Carey on Unsplash

If you really do have everything under control, you’re not pushing hard enough. And you’re likely not living your best life.

Formula 1 cars are notoriously unreliable, which is why they succeed

F1 cars are unreliable because almost every single component is pushed to the edge. At any point in time, that edge can cause the car to break down. It could be a rubber seal, a malfunctioning sensor, or a programming error that isn’t even mechanical. …


This is a multi-part series sharing the lessons I’ve learned on my entrepreneurial journey thus far. Here is the third lesson. Read the intro, first, and second lessons, if you haven’t already done so.

In the startup world, we use the term “unicorn” to describe a privately held company valued at over $1 billion. In this instance, I’m functionally overloading the term by using it to reference an individual person: you.

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Photo by Inês Pimentel on Unsplash

This is important because in an early-stage startup, you are very much part of the story. Anyone you are trying to convince needs to buy into you as an individual, not just the company and problem you’re solving. …

About

Ian Yip

Cyber Risk. Cybersecurity. Business. Tech. Entrepreneur. CEO at Avertro. Former CTO at McAfee Asia Pacific.

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