Lifestyle Design Experiment – Building Startups In Paradise

    Editor’s note: In August we heard Michael Bodekaer tell about his crazy project of escaping to Bali to live and work, and taking a bunch of entrepreneurs with him. Now in the midst of the Nordic winter we have him back (only via web though), reporting about the experiment.

    Paradise, realized
    We came from all over the world: 15 energetic entrepreneurs determined to realize our dream of paradise. We met in Bali, Indonesia, one of the world’s most beautiful places.  Over six incredible weeks, we lived together in luxury villas, ate, drank, swam, surfed, played and worked productively together in an unbeatable environment. Sun, sand, surf and cyberspace:  this was an experiment in lifestyle design, and we call it Project Getaway.

    The goal of Project Getaway is to bring entrepreneurs together to network, develop their business ideas and be productive in a relaxing and ideal environment. When you talk about outcomes, 100% is as good as it gets, folks: in an anonymous post-event survey, every participant responded that they “Will Definitely” or “Already Did” recommend Project Getaway to others. Not only did our experiment succeed, but it succeeded very well indeed.

    Welcome to extreme comfort
    Our accommodations at Villa Bali Bali were luxurious – lush gardens surrounded by three swimming pools, and a staff of 15 to attend to us. Lovely open air pavilions held deep couches to sink into for long talks or hours on the laptop.  Participants experienced a growing sense of inner calm and an increased ability to focus on work as each found their optimal work method and work time.

    One unexpected positive was how well everyone took part in making the event a success. Each person was assigned a small task to take care of, and everyone not only accepted their duties but went beyond the call – but I suppose that’s what you get when entrepreneurs come together to fulfill a collaborative dream!

    High productivity, new business partnerships, immense satisfaction
    As a direct outcome of the first Project Getaway event, several new companies were started right there on Bali and moved out into the world over the internet.  New working partnerships emerged. Improvements were made to business plans. Websites were designed and tested. And people made life-style choices.

    Most participants were already skilled entrepreneurs who have established online companies. Project Getaway helped them to focus, exchange knowledge, and get a lot of “real” work done. Some even said they could accomplish more, knowing that they could reward themselves with a wakeboarding afternoon, a quick plunge in the pool, or a leisurely Balinese-style massage.

    Three of the participants worked full-time for companies back home and reported that their bosses supported this retreat to fulfill their dreams of traveling the world while also enhancing their work skills.

    Life (and work) as we want to live it
    With a good Internet connection, a hard-working laptop and a sarong to wrap around you, it’s possible to live a relaxing, productive life in a truly exotic and beautiful place – and run successful businesses as well. Project Getaway – this is life the way we want to live it!

    If you want to read more about Michael’s experiences with Project Getaway, go to his personal blog.

    About the author:
    Michael Bodekaer is a serial entrepreneur focusing primarily on IT, software and online startups.
    Despite his young age, he has founded three successful companies, including Smartlaunch Systems (software platforms, IPOed in 2004), BoligPlus (apartment rental services, acquired by Eggert Holding in 2006), Softdetect (corporate anti piracy, license management and employee effectiveness improvement). In the past, he also worked with McKinsey and Company as a management consultant, and has a masters in Finance and Strategic management from Kellogg School of Management and Copenhagen Business School. He also teaches entrepreneurship at various startup bootcamps.