Pavel König is passionate. When we got together for this interview, he was immensely enthusiastic about his project, nvias, which bears the subheading “At the start of every journey, there is an idea, a dream…”. Pavel believes that a period of major changes lies before us. Standard market models will continue to change. Technologies such as blockchain have the potential to change the rules of the game for business generally. And nvias wants to be there when it happens.
As Pavel König himself says: “Whether you want to change the world or just gain financial independence, you have to learn how things are connected, delve into the connections and sell.”
One of his ideas is an interesting view on the origin of start-ups. Everyone who wants to establish a start-up company has to get out of their comfort zone and take on considerable risk. People are both the key and a hindrance. And that is the basic building block for Pavel König. Let’s give people space. Let’s allow them to create. How should that look in practice? Can we really trust people to such a degree that we let them create without rules? We asked Pavel König these questions and more in the following interview.
O1: Pavel, what was your main motivation to pursue this very unusual issue?
I believe that a period of major changes lies ahead of us; the standard market models will continue to change. Technologies such as blockchain have the potential to change the rules of the game for business generally and I want to be there for that. Of course, there was a full range of motivations. Everything is based on values that I see as important – the necessity of change, constant discovery of new things and technologies, dreaming about even better technologies, thinking globally, believing in people, believing in myself. After I successfully handed off management of a division at AIMTEC, I gathered my courage and set out to build new things.
O2: In the introduction, I could only very briefly describe your ideas and the issues that you are involved in. Can you tell us a bit more about your project?
I want to create an ecosystem that connects areas ranging from children’s education at elementary schools to the establishment of start-ups. We are currently formulating the Programme for Creators, which is focused on programming in Minecraft, robotics, creation of new skills for Amazon Alexa and, for example, development of a game called Our Firms, which explains value added in firms. Meetings, or circles if you prefer, within the Programme for Creators have the purpose of creating a particular product, which we will “sell” (in the form of the number of lakes or number of acquired players), or with which we’ll take part in competitions. I believe that among these products we will identify products with potential for global success.
This is how an independent start-up with the participation of mentors and meeting participants will originate. Through participation in successful start-ups, nvias will gain resources for financing the development of programmes and creating a space for experimentation. People are key for success and when they work on the development of their own results, their motivation is much greater than when they are given tasks.
O3: You support people’s creativity and leave them an open field of operation. Can that really work without certain rules and boundaries?
If your goal is to make a product, you have certain boundaries. The task of mentors is to guide activities; by asking questions, you can further develop an emerging product and influence its direction. According to the MVP (minimum viable product) principle, you have to always think about the minimum product that you can put on the market.
I still catch myself with the initial reactions, “…I know, but…”; for the development of creativity and motivation, it is better to start with “…and what if…”. Sometimes something that is nonsense at first glance turns out to be an amazing solution and I like that :-).
O4: You want to create a community for sharing ideas and finding partners for further cooperation. Who can be part of your team?
We want to collaborate with people who hold the same values that I mentioned in the introduction. The Programme for Creators gives not only participants, but also mentors space for development. We give mentors coaching in the area of product/project management and leadership. That is truly a great opportunity for personal development as well as a big responsibility. I’m trying it out on myself – in managing one of the circles, I had the same exact feelings as when managing a project in America :-).
O 5: To conclude, please tell us about your future plans?
We are further developing our Programmes for Creators and we are planning to expand in the Czech Republic as well as to Europe. Besides that, we want to open up the potential that we have at universities and research facilities. We are working on creating a space for experimentation in the form of camps, programmes and possibly competitions.
I see inspiration in TechStars; we’re focusing more on the initial phases of working with ideas and technologies. There is more support focused on business acceleration – for example, everything that CzechInvest is doing :-). Should I forget that we are putting a lot of thought into using blockchain, which business will we change first :-)? Perhaps that will be our nvias organisation.
Thank you very much for your time and we wish you luck.
More information about nvias and Pavel König’s contact information are available on the official website at http://www.nvias.org/.