Building Your Dreams
As many of you should know, Cornell’s one and only Entrepreneurship Celebration was last week. It’s one of the best entrepreneurial events that Cornell has to offer with many panels and a great networking dinner that is priceless.
I’d like to take the time right now to touch on one of the coolest panels that I attended over the conference called: Executing a Startup Idea: Five Steps to Starting Your Business Tomorrow. This was by far one of the most interesting panels that I had attended over the conference. The panel was filled with recent alumni who had gone off and explored the wonderful world of entrepreneurship.
With a closer insight on the battle scars that most of them were wearing, I decided to highlight the top 5 things that I took away from this panel that I would want everyone else to know about.
1. Need a job? Invent it. We all saw this in the movie the Social Network. Places like Harvard encourage their students to create their jobs rather than get one. We are seeing younger and younger multimillionaires every day, you could be next. Be daring, be brilliant.
2. Got an idea? I heard many questions asked throughout the course of the evening about the protection of ideas. According to one of the panelists, if you’re that insecure about an idea, you’re clearly still a newbie. The best way to develop your ideas is to share it and gain feedback. Your network will most likely translate into the first users of your product anyways. After all, ideas are worth nothing. People underestimate the amount of hard work it takes to actually launching an product or service. So go ahead, and let your passion guide you.
3. Stop thinking and build. One of the panelists encouraged students to start building as soon as you can. Too many people get caught up in the planning and thinking phase. Developing a minimally viable product (literally anything someone can see) is key because having a tangible product can help you determine your market size and gain more valuable insight. Plus if it doesn’t work out, you would have gained a ton of skills actually building the project which you could then leverage in other projects.
4. Network. One of the most well known panelists was a history major that TA’d for Pedro Perez’s Entrepreneurship Speaker Series class. She strongly encouraged “pitt diving.” Pitt diving is a method of bum rushing speakers right after a talk and working your magic to establish a connection with prominent alumni. These individuals have a breadth of experiences that they are waiting to share with individuals that reach out. Put yourself out there, you might be surprised what you receive.
5. Knowing when to move on. I read a statistic that said if you’re a millenial, you are expected to average between 15-20 jobs throughout your career. An important question that arose during the panel was a question concerning about knowing when to pursue your next goal or idea. The answer was given by a panelist who has been pursuing his Ph.D while running a successful company. He said, “when you lose passion for what it is you’re doing, it is okay to move on to the next thing.”
These lessons aren’t a suprise to many of those in the entrepreneurship community, but it does serve as a good reminder.
Until next time, start building.
Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/jef_safi/370788914/”>jef safi \ ‘pictosophizing</a> / <a href=”http://foter.com”>Foter.com</a> / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>CC BY-NC-ND</a>