SOLVE YOUR OWN PROBLEMS When you see a problem in your life, that’s your new business idea. When you solve one of your problems, you solve one of the problems of many other people around the world. Just doing your job, filling a role, and going home isn’t good enough anymore.
Anyone want to share something stupid you’ve done lately?
Here are a few of mine… I was a B-student (at best) at ND My last computer is somewhere on I-80 I got an MIP with a BAC of .04 two weeks before my 21st birthday. Last year I asked a girl out having completely forgotten that I already had a date at the same place with someone else.
My problems No idea what I wanted No creative ideas to start something new I got smoked in every single real interview Everybody telling me to take whatever job that would have me Basically, I was really pissed off, so I did something about it.
Problem: It’s hard to connect with people who can help me start and grow my own company. Solution: Get the best startup events in your area in 33 cities around the world Press coverage & growth Revenue is sexy Kauffman investment
Step 2: When you solve your own problem, you have a business.
What pisses you off here? Choosing classes? Off-campus housing? What else?
Bad Problem Solving Example “I’m going to build a social network for Notre Dame Football Fans” Will it make tickets cheaper? Will it make us not suck? If you don’t solve a problem, you don’t have a business. Solving your own problem is hard enough, so don’t bother trying to solve someone else’s.
Good Problem Solving Example Problem: I am starving. Right now. Solution: Someone bring me a tasty sandwich as soon as is humanly possible. It doesn’t have to be the best sandwich I’ve ever had. Just get it here. Now.
To plan your solution, borrow from the people who are a lot smarter than you are. Step 3:Borrow from people who are smarter than you are.
$10M rev in 2010 Sold for $125M to Comcast in 2008
“You just stole the TechCrunch logo and just put brackets on it! #FAIL” - First reader comment on TechCrunch article
Tell your solution to everyone. Step 4: Talk to everyone about your problem and your solution.
If you think your idea is worth anything, you’re an idiot.
You need to find out: How big the problem you are solving is Who else shares your problem How much (or if) they will pay to have that problem solved for them If you are actually solving another problem while you are solving your problem (like [Startup Digest] is)
Tips for growing For the love of God, keep everything simple Smoke and mirrors (or, let’s be honest, lying) Social proof Short cold emails will take you to DC, Dubai ONE and ONLY ONE call to action The art of email follow-up
“Blame nobody. Expect nothing. Do something.” – Bill Parcells Step 5: Put everything on you.
Covering costs My living expenses: $2000 per month So, I need to make $500 per week
Ways to make $500 per week Walk down your street and work part-time for the bar, deli, restaurant or gym Grab a gig off of Craigslist to tutor, write, consult, and dog-sit three days per week Use Twitter to find a cool company whose product a badger could sell (like Wildfire)
What you’re really scared of is what you would do if everything you did was completely up to you.
But everything must be up to you. It’s the fastest way to learn: What you’re good at What you suck at Where you want to be What and who you really care about What you are capable of “We regret the things we don’t do more than the things we do.” – Mark Twain
You have no idea what you’re capable of until you try. (Just knowing is such a good feeling.)
“Remembering that you are going to die one day is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” Steve Jobs (you better know who he is)
Still, most of you will go work for someone else and you won’t love what you’re doing.
What the hell is your problem? (Seriously, tell me why.)
FIX WHAT PISSES YOU OFF! (If nothing pisses you off yet, you need to read more stuff.)
Just doing your job and pushing through your problemsisn’t good enough anymore.Solve them.
So, if you won’t solve your problems for yourself, do it for the world.
3 Pulitzers Can’t Be Wrong We need to get millions of American kids, not just the geniuses, excited about innovation and entrepreneurship again. We need to make 2010 the year of innovation, the year of making our pie bigger, the year of “Start-Up America.”
0.1% = 30% Kauffman Foundation Study: High-growth entrepreneurs (problem solvers) make up 0.1% of the population Their solutions and the people they employ account for 30% of the US GDP