I am a serial entrepreneur. I have had the privilege of starting companies in every mega region in the world: India, China, Africa, Europe, USA, and now, South America. Some successful and some not so successful, but every startup a learning lesson.
One thing I love about startups, is that they start with an idea and grow from there. My wife likes to say I like to see something grow from nothing to something. I love to mentor people and the next generation of entrepreneurs. The experience I have gained helps me influence the culture of my latest startup PAGO46. At P46, we want to revolutionize cash payments by making them more beneficial and convenient for consumers and merchants. We are on a mission and are firm believers that our culture and people are what is going to make a difference for us to succeed.
Speaking of mission and culture, we have this saying called “Martian Mode”. If anyone of you have seen the movie The Martian starring Matt Damon, a startup is likened to what Matt Damon faced while on Mars. Now, I don’t want to reveal too much of the movie for those who have not seen it, but basically Matt Damon is stranded on Mars and fights for his very survival. He doesn’t have time to feel sorry for himself, he can either give up or get to work.
Just like the Martian; at P46 whether in business meetings, product sprints, fundraising presentations, as issues become more complex with multiple variables affecting a decision and outcome, we circle back to this notion of “Martian Mode”. In a nutshell is focus on what you can control and solve one problem at a time; we can just solve one problem at a time.
One of our core culture attributes is very much like Matt Damon stranded on Mars. You start with a mission, solving a big consumer problem that typically might involve disrupting an industry. As the journey progresses you can either let your brain trick you, as you start dealing with multiple forces at play such as lack of resources, competitors, and the cards stacking up against you; or you can enter the “Martian Mode”: focus on what you can control, do the math, and get to work.
So to our community of users, Merchants, Customers, and Partners, I can promise you we are using our Martian Mode to solve your problems. As Mark Watney, the Martian, said “That’s all it is. You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem and you solve the next one, and then the next. And If you solve enough problems, you get to come home.” This is one of the rules we follow every day to bring us closer to our mission; we want to make a difference because you are very important to us.