Earlier in May I attended the TNW2017 conference in Amsterdam, which is generally recognized as the industry-leading conference in Europe for start-ups and innovation. Since a couple of years I strived to attend this conference and finally this time I had a ticket offered and some time off my consulting work so I took the chance and spent a couple of days in what I think was the most exciting conference experience ever.

Besides the various illuminating speeches I had the chance to listen to – check them out on my Twitter account @ItBelli – I noted some interesting insights that blew up my mind.

Always have your one minute pitch

TNW2017 organized start-ups battles based a one-minute presentation to pitch business ideas to win a 25K check from TNW. I got these as a life lesson: no matter if you have to pitch your business or yourself, be ready to express concisely and effectively yourself in a one minute presentation otherwise you are busted.
Like 140 chars in Twitter, you have one minute to impress your world: either it’s love at first sight, or you’re out.

Master your market

Do your market research before you engage in any business venture. Do not invest in a market you don’t master and in which you are not a specialist. It will be a waste of time and money.
I met many people at TNW2017 that were specialists in their market after having just 2 or 3 years of experience: they went ALL-IN in such a market, they learned every single bit of lesson learned with a single objective: master it and disrupt it!

Be ready to grow

While it’s easy to have a plan B when things go wrong, it’s crucial to have a plan to exploit the network effect: start thinking with success in mind and how to make your operations run smoothly when you hit that 1 million users threshold. Will your business organisation be ready to handle it ? Don’t be fooled with the simple “get it done” philosophy, you need to have a plan when the wind starts blowing to your direction. Be ready to handle it or you will be catapulted.

Be a visionary

From a business perspective, you must be a visionary to rule this crazy world. From “microdosing at work”, “hyperloop transportation” and “connected sex-toys”, businesses of the 21st century succeed by transforming the impossible into possible. Just think about Google Maps and their apparently “impossible” effort to map the entire world. Especially in Europe, we should all train hard to become more visionary, abandoning our “old-world” attitude, and re-imagining life as we used to know it.

In the end, TNW2017 was a “tremendous” conference, where you can witness a world in constant transformation undergoing a substantial technological revolution. The future is already here and is hitting hard.
For sure, I will be there again next year. Make yourself a favour: be there as well.