Hello, I'm Bilel Kouider.
Passion for startups, social good, and happiness. I'm passionate about new business models and how new technology can drive better customer loyalty and increase revenue. I lead with empathy and positive approach to deliver change, growth and retention.
I consider myself a citizen of the world 🌍🌎🌏 and currently based in Barcelona 📍
As a creative soul, I seek innovation in everyday life to define closer experiences. I am passionate about how emerging technologies transform our lives at scale and as part of my master thesis, I spent 18 months studying the crowdsourcing model and how it can be a key partner of innovation for any organization.
I like to build experience on the internet that makes people's life easier. I created 1 start-up, 3 side-projects and brainstormed countless ideas. A portion of my portfolio has crypto-currencies investment because I believe that blockchain technology will democratize financial products across the globe. Another portion of my portfolio is in non-profit organizations because I believe that the way we use our money, defines the world we want to live in.
I am fluent in French, English and understand Arabic and Spanish, I lived in 5 different countries, visited more than 20 countries, and currently working in an international tech company which has strengthened my empathy for people and influenced me on how we engage with diverse Customers, Partners, and Employees (C+P+E= People).
I realized very early on that your personal life is very closely linked to your professional life and having a variety of experiences gives you insight and capabilities, which define who you are and what you want to be.
To keep up with the pace of changes and unlock my creativity, here's what I usually do:
• I like to go for a walk or running outside. My lifetime goal? Running a marathon on each continent.
• Fasting is one of my favorite ways to reboot my energy level and clear up my mind. I usually do 3 to 7 days of fasting water-only up to 5 times a year. I also practice intermittent fasting.
• Reading a good thriller or a book on how ordinary people succeeded in impacting people's life.
• Cooking and learning new recipes. I love to cook for my family and friends, it is a way to share a good time and connect with people. I am a flexitarian and I mostly eat healthy vegetables to protect both, myself and our planet.
• Travelling and creating new experiences. Travelling is one of the best ways for me to understand different cultures, meet new people, and gain new perspectives.
OK, I have already spoken a lot, so now it's your turn. What's on your mind? I am always happy to hear different perspectives, so reach out if you like to share your story or discuss your projects or ideas.
I am an avid reader. I enjoy learning how others see the world. It gives me a different perspective on my life. These are my favorites books:
#1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
#2. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
#3. Mandela Long life to freedom by Nelson Mandela
#4. How to win friends and influence people by Dan Carnegie
#5. Atomic Habits by James Clear
#6. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
#7. The Brain by David Eagleman
#8. Zero to one by Peter Thiel
#9. Eat & Run by Scott Jurek
#10. Rich dad Poor dad by Robert Kiyosaki
And you, what are your favorites books that have transformed your life? Send me a note, I would be happy to get inspired 😃
I find my inspiration in books, movies, or even Twitter - Yes, I like Twitter it's actually the only social-media that I use. These are my favorites quotes which have had a deep impact on me:
#1. Happiness is not what you get but what you become.
#2. Stop shopping and stick to the plan.
#3. People care about your opinion only once it's backed by results.
#4. If we fail to plan, we plan to fail.
#5. Failure is a part of life. The people who never fail are the people who fail to live.
#6. When you have a clear goal in mind, the world becomes literally your library to help you to become better at your craft
#7. Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.
#8. As you vibrate higher you attract more genuine people who vibrate higher too.
#9. The true method of knowledge is experiment.
#10. When you fail to see the necessary leadership around you, be the leader you wish you had.
And you, what are the favorites quotes that have inspired you? Shoot me a note, I would love to know them😃
Few equations have profoundly impacted my thinking. I have mainly been inspired by The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness:
Desire = SufferingHappiness = Skill you developHappiness = Health + Wealth + Good RelationshipsHealth = Exercise + Diet + SleepExercise = High Intensity training + Sports + RestDiet = Natural foods + Intermittent fasting + PlantsSleep = No Alarms + 8/9 hours + circadian rhythmsWealth = Income + Wealth * (return of investment)Income = Accountability + Leverage + specific knowledgeAccountability = Personal Branding + Personal Platform + Taking riskLeverage = Capital + People + Intellectual PropertySpecific Knowledge = Knowing how to do something society cannot yet easily train other people to doReturn on Investment = 'buy and hold' + valuation + margin of safety
The measure of wealth is freedom.The measure of health is lightness.The measure of intellect is judgment.The measure of wisdom is silence.The measure of love is peace.
Eloquence = habit of writingKnowledge = habit of readingHappiness = habit of gratitudeGrowth = habit of self-reflectionCalmness = habit of mindfulnessLove, friendship = habit of listeningWealth = habits of investing, buildingHealth = habits of nutrition, working out, sleep
The culture is what creates the foundation for all future innovations.
Today marks 5 years of living the HP Way. Do you want to know why I stayed in this company?
Well, let's start with this statement: When I joined @HP 5 years ago, I never thought I would stay that long in this +80 years old company for somebody who is passionate about the startup ecosystem.
One thing that kept me through these years is the HP Way. It's the biggest innovation that Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard have created back in 1939.
At the time, these business principles have been radical - revolutionary even. They established the importance of respect for the individual, the value of leadership, the importance of diversity, integrity, the power of teamwork, and the need for adaptability.
Before joining HP, I bought the book written by the co-founders and started to understand the ins and outs of this culture. Considered as a “millennial”, I was astonished by the “startup culture” and the level of obsessiveness to put the employee at the center of the business.
5 years later, I am so grateful to live and breathe the HP Way. Being exposed and constantly practicing this mindset has skyrocketed my entrepreneurship mindset along the way.
The culture is what creates the foundation for all future innovations. If you break the culture, you break the machine that creates your products. And given the power of the HP Way, I am not surprised that HP is one of the best tech companies to work for. This spirit of invention has been nurtured for 82 years. The results? In 2021, we are ranked #19 of the top innovative company and have been part of the list since BCG ranking has been created in 1963. In my opinion, this is amazing proof of success.
How can I define the HP Way? For me, it’s simply a shared way of doing something with passion. The employees are making the HP Way LIVE by maintaining this level of expectation. A culture is a thousand things, a thousand times. It’s living the core values when you hire, when you write an email, when you are working on a project, when you connect on zoom. A culture is the power of a good community – people who can help, listen to ideas and provide alternative views.
As my mentor — Alex Stoll — once told me, ask anyone and you will get an answer. This is the HP Family. This is the HP Way.
Having such great culture helps me grow my skills, connect with diverse and talented people, resolve complex and various business challenges and — above all — maintain work-life balance flexibility. No hours defined, no desk fixed — the company provides such flexibility as long as you achieve your goals. No micromanagement you are managed by objectives.
It sounds like a startup isn’t it? Well, these are the reasons I stayed in this company.
We all know that culture is critical to a business. I learned with the HP Way that the stronger the culture, the less corporate process a company needs. When the culture is strong, you can trust everyone to do the right thing. People can be independent and autonomous. They can be entrepreneurial.
Ever notice how families or tribes don’t require much process? That is because there is such a strong trust and culture that it supersedes any process. In organizations (or even in a society) where culture is weak, you need an abundance of heavy, precise rules and processes.
We are experiencing significant macroeconomic changes, uncertainty, disruption, and stress and HP is — constantly — going through massive transformations to reinvent how we operate and adapt to the new employees and customers need; With the HP Way at the center of the culture, I am convinced the company will overcome any headwinds.
Living the HP Way has transformed who I am as I — constantly — need to reinvent and scale-up how I think personally and professionally to thrive in this new world. I am blessed for these 5 years. Thank you HP family.
It’s the number of iterations that drive the learning curve
Back in 2017, I attended a conference in Houston and the lecturer emphasized the importance of creating a life plan and how to strengthen it through your journey. The way he articulated his thoughts made me realized how passionate he was about this subject and he concluded his conference with the following: “Stop shopping and stick to the plan”. This specific quote resonated a lot with me. It became a mantra and one of my favorite quotes that I live by.
The reason it was so clear for me is that I have been in this race of jumping from one opportunity to another simply by curiosity and the desire to learn new things to maximize my thoughts process. There’s nothing wrong with that because I am convinced that the more you learn, the more you train your internal software to become a better-assisted process for making better judgments and therefore better decisions.
It is critical to stay open to new ideas but the importance of mastering your craft and building on top is equally important, if not more. In this world of constant changes, constant flow of new information, it’s becoming a critical skill to stay focused through the noise and create what matters for you, your life, and what society needs.
Once I set my goal and develop my plan for the year, I constantly reevaluate them and question how am I progressing. Once it’s written, it’s becoming a contract between myself and this goal to ensure I don’t waste my time shopping for something else. It would become a waste of time and energy if I deviate from that.
Consistency became a key driver of my mindset. Consistency in my plan. Consistency in my values and relationships. Consistency in my willingness to learn and being curious. Consistency to become healthier. Consistency to become a better social and human being.
Consistency is hard. This is not an easy thing to do in the long run. But I realized that this is what makes the difference between the amateur and professional world. Between good and great people. People who are overwhelmed by their emotions vs people in control of their plan. People who are changing plans constantly by the frustration of not seeing quick results vs people who stick to the plan knowing that results will come later. Regardless of any headwinds, they stay relentlessly focused on the end goal. The consistency through the journey.
• It’s easy to wake up whenever you “feel like it”.
• It’s hard to stick to a routine of getting up at 6AM.
• It’s easy to pivot from side project to side project, focusing on the new shiny object of the month.
• It’s hard to stick with a side project for years, many of which may not be profitable for a long while.
• It’s easy to give up on someone when you hit a roadblock or the next potential partner becomes available.
• It’s hard to be faithful and invest in a relationship for decades.
People underestimate the power of repetition. Consistent practice is the only way to get great at anything. I stopped worrying about the people who are more talented, smarter, or better connected because I’m willing to put in the work & play the long game to keep leveling up.
It took me years of exploration, practices, and failures to connect the dots. Looking backward, the drive of learning and development was my therapy similar to the daily water our plants need to grow. Shifting my mindset towards consistency is the choice that I made with myself to become better at my craft. For things to change, you have to change. But don’t get confused, the learning curve is across iterations and not only with repetitions. If you do what you always do, over and over, you’re always going to get the same results.
Let’s say I have a website selling shoes and my goal is to increase my revenue. I’m putting in thousands of hours to increase my deals, but they are thousands of hours doing the same thing. Whereas if I was putting in thousands of iterations, that would be different.
So, flexibility and exploring new areas are fundamentals when they are part of your plan. For instance, if I was trying new sales experiments on my website all the time, I was constantly changing up the user experience, the onboarding, the messaging, the survey-after sales, and I would talk to other website owners and figure out how they run their businesses. So, the more iterations I can have, the more shots on goal I can have, the faster I am going to learn. It’s not just about the hours put in. It’s the number of iterations that drive the learning curve.
Now, I don’t wish for fewer challenges, I wish for more wisdom to overcome these challenges. For me, wisdom which means making good judgments is powered by consistency. My routine changed over time; my approach didn’t. If you are not consistent with who you are and who you want to be, you become a slave of your emotions and therefore you ain’t stopping shopping.
So, create your plan, stop shopping and stick to the plan.