How to be an entrepreneur?
I attended an excellent “Venturefest Bristol” 3rd November 2011
Paul Magelli, a serial entrepreneur (including being CEO of Apertio, which he sold to Nokia Siemens Networks in 2008), was keynote speaker. His experience and tips on being an entrepreneur were very enlightening. They follow (as I understood them):
The difference between a ‘professional’ and an ‘amateur’ entrepreneur, is the number of mistakes you’ve made ! More is better !
Think global, maintain pace & know your proposition (what your customer will buy! Sales is helping customer to see the benefit).
- Entrepreneurship is a Search, NOT a Serial process
A process of matching the seed of a capability with an unsatisfied need.
[This aligns with ‘Effectual’ and ‘Causal’ reasoning from 'What makes Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurial?’ Saras D. Sarasvathy 2005]
- Entrepreneurs Conceive, convince & consummate – all skills for this needed as part of your team. Form the team and practice!
- Basic ingredients for success: Technology (a science), Team (good teamwork/fit paramount – a craft), and Timing (the art of being ready or in right place at right time).
- The team you start with will not necessary be team at exit – manage expectation from start.
- Responsiveness: the ability to execute fast, within others decision loops, is one of your best advantages.
- Knowing which decisions need all the data, 80% of, or only 20% of, is a key skill.
- VCs want to see the value of their investment grow – which is not necessarily the same as the value of the company growing !
- You are the best judge of value – do not abdicate that responsibility!
- Always have 4 alternatives – not just a plan B! Always plan for success and failure.
- Enjoy the journey; the exit is not the only reward. But, if there is no economic reward, then it’s a hobby !
- You can succeed!