Parallel Entrepreneurship, Year 2

This is my second year doing parallel entrepreneurship, and I thought it fitting to reflect upon the last year or so.

Last year was my first year as a parallel entrepreneur – or at least my first year after I realised that I was a parallel entrepreneur. In 2013 I played an active part in the following companies:

  • MAIK – my design company, and the foundation of a lot of my activities.
  • The Bike Crate – a sub-brand of MAIK, producing and selling bicycle baskets.
  • BASTARD – a furniture company based on the concept of upcycling.
  • Bastard Festival – an association evolving around a festival with music, workshop and various activities.
  • App Class – teaching app development on a 6 weeks course.
  • CHEF CHEF – a recipe app, which is a personal ‘con amore’ project that I’m doing with the talented Julie Kessler.

My learnings so far is, that six simultaneous projects is a bit too much to handle responsibly. I’ve also learnt that doing a lot of different things that don’t have a lot of synergies between them, is really time and energy consuming.

So: this year I started out by closing the furniture company BASTARD, even though it was performing fairly well. I really enjoy making furniture, but the industry is just too far away from my other companies and the direction they are heading. I also decided to dis-engage from the Bastard Festival association as well as reducing the App Class teaching to a minimum.

We are hacking our own products.

This gave me the necessary space to focus more on the existing companies as well as starting up new projects. The portfolio for 2014 is now this:

  • MAIK will still be acting as an overall incubator for all the design / product related initiatives.
  • In The Bike Crate we are hacking our own products using various techniques and will release two or three new models this year.
  • A jewellery brand (no name yet), that we are creating as a sub-brand of MAIK. We are exploring pretotype techniques while creating a jewellery brand from scratch.
  • CHEF CHEF is ready to be launched and marketed.

To spice things up, I’ve also started working on two completely new projects of which I can tell you very little. One is an art project, and the other is a tool for the retail industry. They both have a lot of synergies with my existing projects, as they are both centered around apps, and since they’re related to areas I’ve been working on earlier.

Working on a lot of different projects simultaneously still makes a lot of sense to me, and it gives me so much energy to be able to shift between different tasks and working on different problems. But working with me can be taxing since my dedication is never 100% on one project. I have still to see if this becomes a problem in the future…for now I’m still learning and having fun.

I’m super exited for 2014 – I have a lot of exiting stuff to show the world and I can’t wait to see where it all takes me!