Absolutely…in a positive sense [doh!], in order to help proactively ensure that (a) not only white males become entrepreneurs in the first place, and (b) that as investors they are not inadvertently restricting their universe of potential investees.
That’s why in the past few months I have gone out of my way to participate in the Black Founders Ideas Are Worthless conference (http://www.blackfoundersconferen…), the Latinos In Social Media conference (http://conference.latism.org/), and the women-focused We Own It summit (http://www.weownitsummit.org/pre…).
*original post can be found on Quora @ http://www.quora.com/David-S-Rose/answers *
Michael Hyatt on the Platform at Biola Universiy courtesy of now.biola.edu
The space for startups is more crowded than ever. First of all, it’s now international, so you have startups from every country in the world competing for your customer’s attention and their business. Then there is the Internet, delivered through every media, including your smart phone, where the volume of data spewing out is like a new Library of Congress every 15 minutes.
According to the most recent study by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, there were approximately 514,000 new businesses created per month in the US in 2012. The days when you could launch your business with a new web site, and the phone would begin to ring, are long gone. Even the Google search engine crawlers may take up to two weeks to find you.
So what’s an entrepreneur to do to get his new business noticed these days? According to many experts, including Michael Hyatt, in his book, “Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World,” you need to build the highest platform you can, to stand out and be heard above all the rest. Read more
It’s true, but…
Starting a company is NOT at all easy, and unfortunately there simply is no way toreally learn about it other than by doing it. No book, school, mentoring, or even apprenticeship can substitute for hands-on experience. When you consider that doctors spend a minimum of two years in pre-med, four years in med school, one year in internship, and two years in residency before you would consider putting yourself in their hands, think about how investors feel putting hundreds of thousands, or millions, of dollars into the hands of a startup team with no experience. Isn’t creating a viable company at LEAST as difficult as treating a patient? [Hint: Yes!] Read more
Guy Kawasaki interview via Mashable.com
Starting a business is a lot like starting a marriage. At first, all parties are in dreamland, with a vision of changing the world, having lots of fun, and raking in the profits. But all too soon, reality sets in. Product development is stuck at that 90% mark, a key person leaves, and customers are talking but not buying.
In his book Reality Check, Guy Kawasaki summarizes some of the key issues. I’ve seen them too often, and they seem to be the same for every company (and every marriage) no matter how great the team is. I challenge any startup to show me they have avoided all of these: Read more
OK, let me state up front that I am completely biased, because I believe the best tool to manage relationships with investors just happens (amazing coincidence, isn’t it?) to be Gust, developed by the company of which I just happen to be the founder and CEO. But I’ve been asked to answer the question, and since I’m basically a Quora credit slut, I’ll go ahead and answer anyway, leaving it to the discerning reader to discount my obvious bias. Read more
Image via StartRankingNow on Facebook
It’s great to dream big, but your startup needs a laser focus in the beginning to get market and investor attention. Google did it with search engines, Apple did it with a personal computer, and even Wal-Mart did it through low prices. A business plan I saw a while back to combine all the good features of several popular social networks on one site does not do it.
Trying to do everything at once probably means that none of the items will be done well. Plus it’s almost impossible to craft a message that will make your offering stand out in the minds of customers. I can’t think of a company that launched to superstardom with a broad focus. Can you?
Here are the common sense reasons why a laser focus is more likely to lead to startup business success: Read more
Dean Kamen with Segway via Wikipedia
If you haven’t had a failure, you aren’t pushing the limits. If you are really an entrepreneur, you are a risk taker and less cautious by nature, so failures should be expected. Wear you startup failure as a badge of courage. Don’t go after failure, but embrace it when it does happen and grow from it.
People who are afraid of failing should not become entrepreneurs. They can’t overcome the psychological fears of making a mistake, and are afraid of losing money. They are better off keeping their day job. Successful entrepreneurs, on the other hand, tap into the positive power of failure. Here are three examples:
- Steve Jobs was fired by Apple Computers in 1985, the company he helped to create. He went on to acquire Pixar, made it a success, and then came back to reinvent Apple as a very successful consumer products business.
- Dean Kamen, the creator of the Segway Human Transporter, several successful biomedical device businesses, and holder of 440 patents, jokes that his biggest failure is “that I have too many to talk about.”
- Thomas Edison invented the electric light bulb, central power generation, and the phonograph, but failed in his effort to extract low-grade iron ore from sand. He brushed this off, and went on to many successful media and transportation businesses later in life.