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Future Startup Weekly 50: Links and Commentary 

Entrepreneurship, Technology and Society | 27 November 2022 | No. 49

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This last week Future Startup published.

1. As part of its seventh cohort, Accelerating Asia backs Bangladeshi startup Hishabee: Accelerating Asia announced its seventh cohort. The new cohort features one Bangladeshi startup taking the total number of Singaporean VC accelerator’s portfolio companies to 18 in Bangladesh. Previously I wrote about the important role regional accelerator programs have been playing in Bangladesh's startup ecosystem.

2. Entrepreneurship and important problems: What problem you are solving is of tremendous importance because if you’re not working on important problems you’ll not produce anything important. We have a tendency to take the path of least resistance. But it is almost always a mistake to do so. First, you will usually do better if you take on difficult challenges. Second, the path of least resistance usually follows a downward spiral. Choose the impossible with some caveats. 

3. Thoughts on startup idea validation: Validation means there is a need for the thing you are building. Founders are usually outliers. Founders also maintain a higher sense of optimism relative to the general population. Excessive optimism leads to bias — my idea is a billion-dollar idea. But reality operates without any conditional reasoning. So the only meaningful way to know whether your idea is truly a billion-dollar one is by putting it in touch with reality. Doing it is not difficult. The main challenge is overcoming your own mental barriers. 

4. Labor productivity and startup failure: Outcomes are usually proportional to efforts. Startup failure is usually failure to use efforts properly. You have to put in sufficient effort. And you have to do it in the right way. Solving the wrong problem is equivalent to putting in no effort. It is an equal labor productivity problem as much as mere inefficiencies. 

Outside FS Reads. 

1. We Still Don’t Understand the Attention Economy: I have met very few people who have mastery over their attention. The number is extremely slim. I certainly don’t have it. This article offers an unusual insight into the matter. Playing God never helps. 

2. Tyler Cowen reveals his annual list of best non-fiction books. Tyler reads an extraordinary amount. So his best list means, these are some of the best of the best books. 

3.  Jatri is doing some interesting work. But success in transforming public transport in Dhaka remains elusive.

4. Bangladesh’s food delivery startups struggle as funding dries up: Row’s piece regarding Dhaka’s food delivery scene draws strong reactions from some local players. For me, the report does not offer any new insight. To complement, you can read my interview with HungryNaki MD here

One question for you.

What are your best books of 2022? 

Share your list with me, simply reply to this email, I will add your recommendations in the next newsletter. 

Mohammad Ruhul Kader is a Dhaka-based entrepreneur and writer. He founded Future Startup, a digital publication covering the startup and technology scene in Dhaka with an ambition to transform Bangladesh through entrepreneurship and innovation. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, and society. He is the author of Rethinking Failure. His writings have been published in almost all major national dailies in Bangladesh including DT, FE, etc. Prior to FS, he worked for a local conglomerate where he helped start a social enterprise. Ruhul is a 2021 winner of Emergent Ventures, a fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He can be reached at [email protected]

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