This post rambles a bit as it’s a live blogging effort to cover the real key questions and associated answers that this group of accomplished entrepreneurs provided during an hour plus panel discussion about the trials and tribulations of starting your own company.
Topics included what personality characteristics should you have to thrive as an entrepreneur. What are the most common mistakes that they see entrepreneurs making (or which they’ve made themselves). They discussed their biggest fears and how they’ve overcome them and even why right now is actually a really good time to begin planning an entrepreneurial venture.
Peter Gallant: serial entrepreneur, Pathogen Detection Systems
Execution is the biggest risk facing start up companies. The plan is usually not the problem. The execution is. Knowing when to do what needs to be done.
Recommended reading “The War of Art” it is very rare for entrepreneurs to really know what the milestones the must be achieved are. when they need to achieve those goals and how to forecast whether or not they are on track or behind or in real trouble.
He hasn’t met an entrepreneur that has a complete broad focus across all the horizons of focus
John de Souza, serial entrepreneur, founded the product that became Microsoft Messenger
Do you have the right temperment, the right skill set and is it the right timing. Once you are an entrepreneur, it gets going, you’re excited about it and suddently…what’s next? You need to get the company going and for this GTD can be extremely important.
How does being an entrepreneur impact your family? What if you fail? What if you have no money?
Buzz Bruggeman: Active Words. His belief is that computers should understand us. Problem: voice is not really a viable option. Active Words lets people name things. For example setting up the keystroke NT for directly navigation to New York Times. ( also like Quicksilver)
Frode Odegard: Founded several companies including one before he was 18. What is the nature of a true entrepreneur: restless by nature. potentially reckless, frequently fall into the “crazy maker” quadrant.
What’s important is that entrepreneurs tend to underestimate and possibly even feel resentful towards the needs to spend time simply thinking.
“If you don’t have a good framework to manage your commitments you will just drown”.
EDS: Entrepreneurial Dysfunction Syndrome
Buzz: the single biggest problem for him is the weekly review. Part of it is the issue of having the time to make an appointment with himself.
Once you’re an entrepreneur and you have built the product you are faced with two new problems: Distribution and Adoption.
They’re talking to HP so Buzz emails every single person from HP that downloaded their application and he asks them for help
If you can’t handle rejection you should probably just work for a big company.
If there’s anything you wished you knew earlier
1. The inventor should NOT be the CEO
2. Take Smart Money of Just Money
3. Use GTD to maintain sufficient discipline to keep wandering to a minimum
1. Having the right revenue model. Understanding what works in a given economy
Frode: My biggest fear is relationships. Can I trust these people? What are their intentions
Buzz: Biggest Fear: The serious maybe…
de Souza: Hiring the wrong senior person. As soon as you realize there’s a problem take action.
Gallant: making a wrong effort from a time, talent or investment perspective
Odegard: What’s your definition of success for an experience?
Gallant: A call to action: imagine that you’ve lost your job. What sort of entrepreneurial venture would you start next? This is a great time to be planning a start-up company. There’s sufficient cash, it is simply that the VC’s are being especially cautious.
Buzz: If I did not have a partner with a skill set he didn’t have they would have been dead.