Jul 26, 2012

A Conversation with MADE:Turkey Speaker and Coach Stuart Morris

Follow @stuartlmorris
Stuart Morris is a serial entrepreneur.

Over the past 19 years, he's learned how to grow ideas into successful technology businesses in developed and developing countries. He's also learned how to pick himself up and try again when things don't go to plan. Now he's passionate about helping other entrepreneurs start and build their businesses, too. He does that as a lecturer at the Centre for Entrepreneurship at Henley Business School,UK, as a mentor in The Family Business, and through the Transformational Business Network, of which he is a co-founder.  

Stuart is also part of an international team of inspirational speakers and coaches contributing to the first 48-hour MADE: Turkey Weekend for Media Startups that kicks off at 6pm on Friday, Oct 5 at Istanbul Bilgi University.

Q1 - Turkey remains a challenging place for independent journalism. What role do you think digital news entrepreneurs have to play in an increasingly connected country?  

Digital journalism doesn't have to rely on the physical infrastructure of print journalism. The journalist, and their message, can remain mobile and therefore respond to stories more quickly but they're also less vulnerable to the risks inherent in having to have physical resources in a fixed place.

Q2 - Like in most of Europe, Turkey's mainstream media is dominated by a few cross-media conglomerates. What opportunities do you think there are for grassroots media startups to challenge the status quo?

I think the opportunity is huge. Many of the old conglomerates are dying but are so big that they don't know it yet. Grassroots media can compete with them on every level by offering a quality product in an accessible way.

Q3 - Is it wise for entrepreneurs to take risks with digital innovations at time when many in the traditional media are struggling with it?

It isn't wise! It is essential! Whilst the traditional media struggle, the opportunity is there for the entrepreneurs to create something new, vibrant and profitable. The old business models are broken and it is time to find new ones.

Q4 - What’s the single most important advice you can give to someone wanting to start a digital media enterprise?

Don't keep talking about it... do it. If you keep waiting for the 'perfect moment' the circumstances will have changed and the opportunity will be lost.

Q5 - The MADE project is, so far, operating in the UK and soon in Turkey. How do  you expect the project activities to  differ in the various locations, particularly given the different economic and socio-political factors in the  two countries?

That's a huge question. The UK and Turkey are very different nations with incredibly diverse cultural, political and economic backgrounds. The challenges will be similar in nature but express themselves differently. Some of the solutions will be similar but in many ways the detail will be very different if only because the people solving them will have different outlooks on life, different backgrounds and different resources to call upon.

APPLICATIONS for one of the 20 places on the MADE:Turkey Weekend for Media Startups are being accepted until 5pm on the September 5th. For regular updates, follow us on Twitter and join the conversation in the MADE Network group on Facebook.

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