Tech entrepreneur and angel investor Fabrice Testa shares his tried and tested method for super entrepreneur success through a new book. He tells Silicon Luxembourg how the entrepreneurs have the power to save us all.
Photo: Fabrice Testa, author of “Super Entrepreneurship Decoded” / Image Credits: Fabrice Testa
Congratulations on the publication of “Super Entrepreneurship Decoded”, published by Amazon. For those not familiar with the term, what is super entrepreneurship?
Super entrepreneurs are innovators that really want to change the world and solve big problems.
So, the entrepreneur can save humanity. Isn’t that why we have scientists?
What I’m saying is that there are a lot of developers, but we’re missing builders, people who turn these inventions from scientists into solutions, who are building amazing solutions, like 3D food printing. There are of course plenty of them, but there might be more among the younger generations of entrepreneurs that go into this. When I mentor these entrepreneurs they say “it’s complicated it will take many years”. Some say “it’s impossible”. What I wanted to say through the book is that there are some known people like Musk and Branson, they did it and continue to do it, but I also I wanted to mention people who are less well-known and who succeeded in doing it. If they succeeded why can’t you succeed too? What is probably missing is that they didn’t know exactly where to start and how to do it. In my book, by working with and observing super entrepreneurs, I’ve tried to decode their secrets, why they succeed and others fail. I give a method. It won’t guarantee a success but I believe that by applying the method, entrepreneurs and innovators can minimise their mistakes and maximise their chances of success. It’s a tool to try to help them.
One of the major enablers for super entrepreneurs is the fact we are living in an age of exponential acceleration. Can you expand on this?
Since 2007 we see this exponential curve in many technologies. What we see now is a world where the technology is increasing exponentially and costs are declining exponentially, so we’ve an abundance of goods and services. In the book, I give the example of the Hyperloop, a high-speed train, travelling from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 35 minutes. Solutions to reduce carbon emissions and make faster transport are possible because of exponential acceleration, but it is also estimated the ride will only cost $20.
The age we are living in gives tremendous opportunities for entrepreneurs to materialise their crazy dreams. If they have a crazy idea they should trust it. Because today it might well be possible to do it.
Fabrice, you’re an angel investor and entrepreneur. Do you consider yourself a super entrepreneur?
I will let others decide if I am a super entrepreneur.
What’s been your entrepreneurship journey, then?
When I was a kid I was fascinated by space and still am, but also by science and great inventors. What I discovered very early in life is that they all wanted to discover something new, a new country or medicine. They wanted to discover and shape a better world. I wanted somehow to be among these people, who can have an influence or shape the future.
My passion for space was strong, I decided to become an aerospace engineer. I managed larger projects in space. At the time, multimedia was booming and I started my first company. Then, I had the opportunity to join another company, which had the crazy idea to eliminate 35mm prints in cinema and replace them with digital. We faced setbacks but after 10 years we became a group of 200 people and we achieved 100m turnover. We succeeded from a crazy idea to replace 35m movie film with digital copies. Now you know that today cinema is digital, no one is questioning this anymore. I came to Luxembourg in 2012 to create a satellite company. After three years it was sold and after the sale of this company I started business angel activities and mentoring and coaching. In 2017, I met the founder and CEO of Maana Electric, who also had a crazy idea to convert sand in desserts into solar panels. Now we’re 40 people there.
Do entrepreneurs have time to read books?
I think learning and reading is important also for entrepreneurs. I think I’m pretty busy myself and I find time to read 50-60 books per year. Now there are audio books etc, so that even if you go to the gym you can listen. Last but not least, according to many people, my book is an easy read, it’s not super long. I think they will have time to read it.
When you start, it becomes a bit of an addiction. I will probably write another book. I have also a project to launch an online course around the big ideas of the book. The book isn’t going deep into several matters and the online course would help motivated people go deep into some specifics.