I have come to love participating in Career Day at West Mercer Elementary. The third, fourth and fifth-grade students were at it again this year, coming up with startup ideas unfiltered by the societal baggage that kills creativity for most of us as soon as we hit adulthood.
Like in past years, as part of my three sessions, I explained what a venture investor does, laid out the criteria we use to make investments (team, product, market, business model and timing) and asked each of the students to pitch a startup concept (their own “$1,000,000,000 idea”). Elementary school students like
In that miracle masquerading as the NFC Championship game last Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks taught entrepreneurs and all of us in the startup world five of the most important lessons about starting and building successful companies.
1. Nothing ever goes as planned.
For the first three-and-a-half quarters, nothing worked for the Seahawks. Quarterback Russell Wilson had thrown four interceptions and couldn’t run the ball. Penalties killed every promising drive. The Seahawks were down 16-0 at half and 19-7 late in the fourth quarter, and it wasn’t that close.
Every startup leader knows the feeling. Your product breaks in unexpected ways at unexpected times. You lose customers
“Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all.” –John F. Kennedy
Most experts who wax about the ongoing mobile revolution focus on the growing power and functionality of our smartphones. I have always believed the more important change has less to do with our increasing access to these new brains and more to do with ones we already have.
Human beings have so many talents and insights that in a feature phone world were difficult to expose. Today, anyone with a smartphone can produce high-quality, specialized work 24 hours per day. As an example, I am writing this post on