Based in Toronto | Facing the World
Based in Toronto | Facing the World
Uni of Utah Awesome at Startups
“With roughly one-third the budget of MIT, the University of Utah was named the number 1 school in the U.S. for creating startup companies. It’s the second year in a row that the University claimed the top spot.”
I think this is a strong case against startup hubs (in the general sense). Yes silicon valley will deliver some bang on tech startups, but anywhere that has a strong support network from local government and educational institutions can create successful companies too. The key is to provide an environment where working on a startup is not considered being unemployed. Huh…I think I’m going to go create that t-shirt: ‘I’m not unemployed, I’m trying to do a startup.’
I’m mean Dwolla was started in Iowa of all places! *nothing against Iowa, I’ve driven through it, I love corn fields.
This is reblog from full article here
The best way to come up with startup ideas is to ask yourself the question: what do you wish someone would make for you?
There are two types of startup ideas: those that grow organically out of your own life, and those that you decide, from afar, are…
I came across this essay by Paul Graham on what he looks for in founders (previously published in Forbes). If you are not familiar with him, Paul Graham is the founder of Y Combinator, a seed fund for young wantrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. He’s a really well respected man of thought when it comes to startups and all that is associated with the subject.
The article lists the following as the most valuable qualities: Determination, Flexibility, Imagination, Naughtiness, and Friendship. I completely agree with this list…well, maybe I would reduce the importance of Naughtiness. I think a better term would be Jugaad, a form of Indian resourcefulness. Anyways, on to the other points.
Determination and flexibility go hand in hand. Lowering your head and just charging in a single direction won’t bring about great outcomes. I love the analogy to a running back that side steps and weaves his way to his destination. There is never a straight road to success. The path to success is inevitably riddled with failures.
Imagination has to be the single most unique characteristic to an entrepreneur, especially the I-want-to-conquor-the-world types from silicon valley. I believe entrepreneurs are kids who never fully grew up. Kids naturally think outside of the box, but somewhere along the way to adulthood most of us seem to lose our imaginations.
And friendship… if not for the fact that a lot of founders are actually geeky straight guys, I’d say that entrepreneurship is about building a good marriage. In what other situation are people so tied together and are forced to work through so many issues?
Anyways, I’m glad I discovered Paul Graham’s extensive, albeit blandly designed, website. There’s a lot of ripe knowledge there for the picking.
I fancy myself an entrepreneur. I’ve been around the block once and this is currently my second go. It’s been an interesting learning experience, so I’d like to share some insights. Here is insight #1.
People come first.
It’s appropriate that this is the first entry. My biggest revelation has been that it doesn’t matter how great your ideas are, if you don’t find the right people to help execute, it will fail on it’s face. When it comes down to it, even if you choose less technically knowledgable individuals, it will payout in droves in the end. It is so critically important to choose to work with people who have the same goals as you and that you genuinely enjoy spending time with.
I started a company with someone in a completely different life situation. I was a young engineering school grad and he was an industry veteran, married with kids. Although I learned a huge deal in my time with him, I couldn’t help but feel a general disconnect. He was looking to build an IT company and rule over a legion of consultants (I was to be employee numero uno). I wanted to bootleg a company and try to take over the world. Even when business was going well, it didn’t seem like we were working towards the same goal. In the end, even though the idea was solid, I just could not continue in a situation where I was working to realize someone else’s dream.
Lesson learned. This time around I am looking for like minded people with a common vision.