The next stop for my challenge Around the World in 80 Experiments, is Tel-Aviv. The second largest city in Israel: The Startup Nation. I fly tomorrow (Monday 22 January) and will be working with the startup Knowers for a week.
HOW I FOUND EXPERIMENT NO. 27
“How do you find your next experiment?” is a question that gets asked regularly. Although there’s no one answer, this time it went like this.
I did a talk a few months ago. Someone approached me afterward and asked if I was interested in working for his company in Canada. Of course I was. We tried to set it up. Unfortunately, out of the blue, all communication stopped. It’s a shame, but there can be a million reasons for this to happen — I just hope it’s nothing bad (so, if you read this, no hard feeling, and please let me know..).
I chose departure “From Amsterdam”, to destination “Everywhere”, and got a nice list of options. And a map with price tags. I created a short list: Guatemala, Miama, and Tel-Aviv were on it. Tel-Aviv was only 189 euros. As a real Jelmer de Boer I switched to momondo, typed in the same travel dates and times, and found the same ticket for 178 euros. I don’t get why, but if you want to learn how to book cheap flights (and your Dutch), you can become a Jelmer de Boer yourself, by reading his book about cheap airfare: Thuisblijven is Duurder. Go check it out.
So, the ticket is booked. Now the real challenge starts: How do I find an experiment?
I don’t have that many friends on Facebook (±1100) and LinkedIn (±1500), but if you were to put them in one room together, it would be crowded. So, on Saturday I asked them (probably you) for help:
No shocking amount of likes, but a far more important thing happened: People started tagging friends in Tel-Aviv. Which led to a few calls with Isreal on Sunday and Monday. Monday morning I chatted to Nir Kouris — a guy that was tagged 3 times in my call for help.
Nir was extremely helpful and connected me to Laurance Newman, the CEO of the freshly launched startup Knowers. An hour later I spoke with Laurence, and he said: “We connects travelers with knowledgeable locals to create personalized travel experiences. It’s really interesting what you’re doing. We could use your help, and we’re more than happy to have you over!”
As soon as a hung up, I realized: all will be well—again! Even though it’s not the first time it plays out likes this, it’s still incredibly fascinating to me.
WHAT I LEARNED FROM THIS
The lesson is: You don’t need thousands of followers to get stuff done. You don’t need to build a following before you start. You need to start before you build a following.
In this case, people are open to having me over. People that don’t know me at all. But because they like the concept op Around the World in 80Experiments, they want to help me reach 80.
For that I’m immensely grateful.
WHAT I’LL DO IN TEL-AVIV
And if working with Laurence and Knowers isn’t enough already, I got a call from the Dutch Embassy on Friday: “Hi Kevin, we heard you will be in Tel-Aviv next week. We would like you to meet the ambassador, and for you to give a talk about the future of work. Are you available for that?” Of course, I humbly replied I’m more than honored.
So, tomorrow (Monday 22 January) I fly to Israel. Accommodation and food will be taken care of by Knowers. Laurence will pick me up from the airport. And we’ll discuss what we’ll be working on for the week. Without a doubt, It promises to be another epic adventure. But I’ll stick to the mantra someone I interviewed for the podcast shared with me: Stay curious, have low expectation, embrace the unknown, and you’ll be amazed at what will happen.
For now, thank you all for helping me.
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Ps; I’m the CEO (Chief Exploration Officer) of Around the World in 80 Experiments. A challenge to launch new ideas at companies around the world in exchange for food and shelter. To fund my adventure, I do public speaking at companies and business events on the project and the topics of curiosity, creativity and experimentation. To never miss the bi-weekly update, sign up below.