It is nothing short of amazing to see the entrepreneurial revolution happening at our local universities. From the EClub and IDEA programs at Northeastern to ILab and HackHarvard at Harvard to StartLabs and Startup Club at MIT to the BCVC at BC and the VDC at UMass Boston, there are tons of programs at different schools. This is creating hundreds of startup hungry students.
Right now our biggest challenge is making them aware of our ecosystem, but soon I believe we may solve that issue, but be left with a new challenge: What to do with all of them?
Thanks to all the press embracing technology, the movie the Social Network and the emergence of the consumer web and mobile apps, entrepreneurship is in the spotlight again. With that comes the interest and excitement of students in college. You can see it on all the campuses around Boston as seemingly every school has an entrepreneurship club, a startup mentoring program and hackfests. These programs do everything from inspiring new entrepreneurs to coaching them through their first venture.
The problem is, the odds of you being the next Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Clerico, or Aaron Levie is statistically insignificant. What's more likely is that you can lay a foundation in college for an amazing career as an entrepreneur that later in life becomes a successful founder. Here's a few tips for making the most of college to prepare for being a great entrepreneur.
Many forms of media can become dated quite quickly. Even some of the best books, movies and music suddenly lose their luster after a few years whether due to cultural shifts or technological advances. Despite being written in 1937, How To Win Friends and Influence Peopleis not one of those cases.
Written in the middle of the Great Depression and before any of the advances in technology we all take for granted today, Dale Carnegie's book has stood the test of time. I've reviewed quite a few books on this blog and each one I strongly recommend, but if you only read one book I ever review, make it this one.
It happens to us all. Your startup is cruising along, or at least you're really busy running in a million directions. Maybe you've also got pulled away with some personal issues like selling your home, caring for children or relationship challenges. No matter what the cause, you get away from the most important thing: Getting outside the building and talking to customers.
So knowing that you have dropped the ball and need to pick it up again, what do you do? How do you get back on the customer development horse?
I'm going to Tufts this evening to talk to a group of young social entrepreneurially minded students to discuss partnerships. I've learned a few things along the way that I'd like to share, but I'd love to hear anyone else's advice. Feel free to leave a comment or just tweet out your favorite piece of advice.
The journey of an entrepreneur is a long and winding road. It’s a test of endurance and one’s ability to evolve and adapt. I’ve always been one to observe processes and try to break them down. Looking at both my personal journey that is just beginning and those that are far ahead of me, I’d like to share my thoughts on what the major steps are in becoming a successful entrepreneur. And while we’re talking about the process of becoming one of the greatest entrepreneurs of all time, it's only appropriate to quote lyrics from one of the greatest rappers of all time, the Notorious BIG.
For someone trying to achieve something big, there's a tricky balance to strike: time spent with one's community and time spent getting your hands dirty and doing the real, honest labor.
For an early-stage tech entrepreneur, it's tempting to go to a lot of events and spend a lot of time hob knobbing with investors. In fact, it's so tempting that I'd say a lot of younger entrepreneurs go overboard with it and have a hard time striking the right balance. Time is limited. Every way you spend your time is an investment.