Pieter Levels is an up-and-coming, twenty-eight year old entrepreneur from Amsterdam. In the last year he has started up 12 businesses in 12 months. His audacious quest of creating a new business every month for a year has gained him social media fame and has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, Business Insider and WIRED magazine. Many of these businesses in fact have flourished and are currently used by over a hundred million people. Whether or not you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, here are a couple takeaways we can learn from Mr. Levels:
- Traveling Stimulates Creativity
Levels calls himself a ‘digital nomad’, travelling to eight different countries including China, Singapore, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Many of his businesses are based on the ideas he acquired by interacting with “a wide range of interesting people” while exploring new cultures. Actively pursuing unfamiliar places have cleared his head and stimulated creativity.
- Speed Circumvents Perfectionism
In an interview with TechInAsia, Levels explained, “I’ve always had serious difficulties finishing the ideas I started. I would work on stuff for ages to make it perfect, then when I’d almost be finished, I would scrap it and start on the next big idea.” Like many creative people, Levels quit his unfinished projects, many of which had potential, because of his perfectionism. The solution he found is to expedite the process of developing and launching his ventures.
- Failure is a Learning Experience
Most of Levels’ apps are referred to as minimum viable products – simple prototypes which allow a team to collect consumer information with the least effort. One of his startups for example is called NomadList and it targets digital nomads like him – a very small market segment. Levels admits his doubts that his ventures are unlikely to become the next Uber or Apple. But for him, this quest of 12 startups in 12 months is about learning and experimentation.
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