Monday, February 10, 2014

On Being a Startup Entrepreneur

Get out of your comfort zone.  A lot of people have a lot of ideas, but it's what you make happen that makes a difference.  If you're not uncomfortable enough, then you're not being innovative enough.  Fight inertia.  Imagine a toddler just learning how walk, that's how it is to be an entrepreneur.  Writing is great background for being entrepreneur, because it helps you think about how people are going to react emotionally.  We're all insane.  We're fed up.  Entrepreneurial mindset is a product of how you were brought up.

Everyone should take improvisational (acting) classes.  It helps to prepare you for meeting up with investors and presenting your ideas and plans.  Such classes may be better than formal public speaking programs.  Scopely teaches them.

When does a startup stop being a startup, and start being a 'real' company?  It depends on your mentality.  Google wants to be known as the startup, that is, for its culture, mentality and innovation.  It's about listening to what people want, not so much about what you want.  Startups are a matter of inevitability, that is, we're doing it.  Spread the belief that this thing is going to happen.  You need to get people to believe in it.  Imagine ducks gliding smoothly and easily across the pond, but below the waterline they may be paddling like crazy.  That's a way to get people to believe.

Whom do you look to for inspiration?  Young people and various communities can be inspiring.  Social media helps you reach your youthful audience, and vice versa, and the ideas they come up can be inspiring.

Where do the best ideas come from?  Put yourself in an area of overlapping circles, as in Venn Diagrams, where there is the possibility of combustion.  Watch out for Kickstarter, as others may copy your idea.  Listening and watching people, it feels like being a voyeur.  Keep things in a scrapbook.    

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

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