20 Lessons from Daniel Green ’13 (1 of 4)
Want to start or work for a startup? 20 lessons you should know first (Part 1 of 4)
By Daniel Green ‘13
Are you always coming up with new business ideas? Do you want to start or work for a startup? Maybe you are wondering where to start? These are the things that I wish someone had told me in 2010 when I first formally started my entrepreneurial journey by joining the eLab, Cornell’s student startup incubator. These are the lessons that I learned the hard way but that you don’t have to.
To make it more convenient for you, this article is divided into four parts because I know you are brainstorming ideas, hanging out with your friends, and (hopefully) doing some of your schoolwork too. Here is part 1 of 4.
1) Before you start or join a company, learn who you are and why you are that way:
If you don’t know who you are and why, how can anyone else? You have to be able to sell yourself to others; the only way to do this is to know why you do what you do. Inflect. Everyone has a story to tell—and you are the only person that can REALLY tell yours.
2) If you don’t think something can be improved, you don’t really care about it:
Constructive criticism fuels learning. Learning fuels innovation. Innovation fuels entrepreneurship. Don’t think of ideas that ‘can make money.’ Look around you for problems and solve them. Problems are opportunities that people will pay you to fix.
3) If somebody asks you to do something always say “Yes”:
Be a “Yes Person.” Even when surrounded by a sea of negativity, be the island of optimism. After all what is the worst that can really happen?
4) The only ways to succeed at something it to first do that thing poorly over and over again:
Get better every single time. Always try to get better. I think that’s the only way to succeed. Don’t expect to succeed at first because:
5) You don’t know what you don’t know:
Anyone who thinks they are always right is always wrong. Yes, this might include your parents, professors, and friends but don’t be afraid to respectfully ask “Why?”
Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish, Stay Active,
Read Part 2 of 4
Daniel Green (Food Psychology ’13) studies why we eat what we eat and is interested in reducing obesity through disruptive innovations in the Weight Loss and Healthcare Industries.You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @dgrreen or through his website www.DisruptObesity.com