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Blognation #3 – Finally launched with UK leading the pack



I met Sam Sethi last night for a glass of wine as he felt bit sorry for me for been stuck in a hotel room on my birthday in Loud Water. One of the nice surprises was to find out that I am one year younger than Sam, which makes me feel good. When you get to our ages, 1 year matters. Good example is that the opposite sex stops aging altogether! Ah, talk to my lovely wife!

I have been trying to break the news of the launch of Blognation for so long that at the end, I missed the launch completely. Once I got to know Sam in early part of this year, and after seen the Hugh Macleod’s “Microsoft – change the world or go home” campaign, I half wrote a blog post titled “Sam – change the world or go home”. It was surprising to later see that Sam was thinking on the same lines. The result is the launch of Blognation. My reason for thinking on those lines were:

  • Sam was a very clever guy who understood the startup scene in the UK and Europe.
  • He had experience of starting up and selling businesses.
  • He had been blogging for number of years but had not made much money from it other than occasional consulting.
  • I looked at heavy blogging as a period of self discovery – leading to something big (e.g. starting a company or two – or joining a startup – or becoming an employee). I actually think I am now going through the same period in my life.

So back in April, Sam wrote a post entitled Go Big or Go Home. Here is an extract from the post:

Right now I am at the point where I realise that for Vecosys to remain useful and help the European ecosystem ?I need to either go big or go home” i.e either I need do this blog professionally and full-time or pack it in. Until now Vecosys has been something I have done in my spare time. I know I need to up my game and that means becoming a professional media company. As a result I am in the process of creating 5 new country blogs where fellow bloggers will write full-time, in English, on what is going on locally in France, Germany, Italy, Benelux and Nordic regions. I will seek sponsors and advertising to make this pay for itself but I will also need your help. – Sam Sethi (April 2007) has been in development for the last 3 months, and during this period, I met Sam couple of times and saw the development of site. The initial phase of Blognation will cover the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Iceland, Netherlands, Japan, China / Taiwan / Hong Kong, Australia, Brazil, South America with the help of 16 editors. I for one fully support the idea of not covering the USA. This fact will do more good for the differentiating aspects of Blognation than if Sam to cover the USA. This will help blognation to become the “voice of the rest of the world”.

I also spoke with Sam about the delayed launched of edocr, which was set-up in April 07, just before I took the Causeway’s Tradex assignment, which will now come to an end in Mid Aug 07. One of the reasons for the delay in getting edocr out is that the back-end is developed by a very busy CEO of a number of successful companies. In addition, it took us a while to find a graphic designer. We continue to miss deadlines. Let’s try to achieve pre-Alpha before the 3 months run out. At this point in time, all the work is done by others leaving me to just talk about the concept during networking events. Surprising to note that I have not even done much blogging on the subject.

We also spoke of number of other areas such as funding behind blognation, the VC market in the UK and Europe (who is who and the circles!), the impact of what I am doing in the North West to promote entrepreneurship (and the continuing importance of London for NW based companies), how blognation will be managed (and what I thought Sam should be doing in three to six months time), and the connectivity between what I am about and Blognation/Sam Sethi. Sorry, can’t go into too much details.

I also spoke to Sam about my third startup idea around carbon foot-print. I believe I have found a developer and perhaps an investor marketer. I need two others – people with deep knowledge on carbon footprint and GRC/CSR. I also want to research into Amit Chatterjee’s business at SAP. I got thinking about this after I met Amit in Vienna.

Lastly, Sam and I may have conceived another idea – not a startup with potential to make lots of money, but perhaps a “movement”. It is very early to talk about this now. Watch the space! It got something to do with Indians – Billa, you would love this!


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