Entrepreneurship Summit 2013: Scott Belsky’s Closing Comments
In case you missed Cornell’s annual Entrepreneurship Summit in NYC this year, and don’t have the time to revisit the videos, moderator Scott Belsky succinctly summarizes major takeaways from the event:
- Don’t outsource core competencies, whether it’s customer service or the French fries. Make sure you keep core competencies in house.
- Maniacal focus on customers. Whether you’re starting something or turning something around, that’s always what it comes down to.
- “No dudes, no divas.”
- For an entrepreneur, “no” means not now, come back later.
- Strive for optimism and don’t allow cynicism. Run away from cynicism.
- Never refuse knowledge from your customers and competitors.
- Keep a flat organization. Don’t let titles create artificial walls between people who actually really need to work together.
- Don’t shy away from diving deep into a decision, or in your business, or a detail in your business that you really deeply care about, however small it is.
- Base relationships and partnerships on trust, before anything else.
- A healthy dose of fun, especially from an odd couple of founders, can really make for a sustainable culture.
- Building a business is a maze. Run the maze with the right people. And be prepared for mazes within the maze.
- Spend zero time on whatever’s in the headlines.
- Create, or invest in, matter that actually matters.
- Your business should be a reflection of you.
- The bigger you get, the smaller you need to act.
- Generating revenue is the best way to cover your expenses. And for some reason that just sounds so profound!
- When you’re in a hurry, take your time. This is when the critical mistakes are made.
- Great solutions to problems come from empathy over sympathy.
- And great, great work ethic may be one of the greatest things you can do to inspire your children.
Closing comment by Scott Belsky: I’ll just end by saying that a labor of love always pays off. You know, sometimes you do go from nothing to something. Sometimes you go from nothing to nothing to nothing to nothing to hopefully something. But a labor of love always pays off.
Save the Date: Summit ’14 – Friday, November 7th – The Times Center, NYC
Special thanks to:
Kathy Savitt ’85, FOUNDER AND FORMER CEO – LOCKERZ; CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER, YAHOO!
Niraj S. Shah ’95, CEO & CO-FOUNDER – WAYFAIR
Steve Conine ’95 – (Co-presenting with Niraj Shah), CHAIRMAN & CO-FOUNDER – WAYFAIR
Brian Distelburger ’01, PRESIDENT & CO-FOUNDER, YEXT
Laurie Glimcher, DEAN – WEILL CORNELL MEDICAL COLLEGE
Josh Wolfe ’99, CO-FOUNDER & MANAGING PARTNER – LUX CAPITAL
Cheryl Swirnow ’02, COO & CO-FOUNDER – SHERPAA
Randy Garutti ’97, CEO – SHAKE SHACK
Neal Goldman, FOUNDER & CEO – RELSCI
Jessica Crolick Rolph ’97, MBA ’04, COO & FOUNDING PARTNER – HAPPYBABY
Karim Abouelnaga ’13, CEO – PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT, INC.
Scott Belsky ’02 – MODERATOR, FOUNDER – BEHANCE, VP, PRODUCTS/COMMUNITY – ADOBE