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Thoughts on the difference between university and career in entrepreneurship

Thoughts on the difference between university and career in entrepreneurship

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  • Last point – this is about finding a compatible life… this life is not “normal” or “standard” – ironic since it is the American dream. Make sure that your personal stakeholders are along for the ride.
  • Basic business skills (accounting, some finance, management, etc.) are always god tools to have. How well you learn these things now is equal to the head start you will have. Imperfect information is all around us. Making an educated guess with the info available and trusting your instincts more as they develop. ..Networking – your gonna hear this a bunch from me. Working in a vaccuum does not create easy successCritical thinking – reducing the fear of the unknown, build confidence, makes the impossible possible…
  • Buisness plans serve as a guidepost – they actually have served me better as a historical reference than a guideThe four P’s are dead. Marketing education has some work to do to catch up with the pace of the real world. Forget the buzz words, forget the hype. We launch in an accelerated product cycle that traditional models can’t really describe… Remember that you are finding people that need your service or product. If you cant find them easily (think 10 groups), either no one wants it or you don’t understand your market. Period. Marketing how you will interface with the world… You dont have the luxury of time in the real world that school provides – the opposite effect is startup bus or suw… great excercises to ditch that habit. Know your data, know your passion and go with it… making a pivot later is easier than catching up.
  • Money is expensive and no will give you near what you want for what you want to give up… #truthSome of the most effective startup guys are the hired guns that jump around to many startups doing one thing. Not everyone is a founder and not every startup needs 5 founders.Learn how to set your bench marks and stick to them… when I get x customers, I will hire a new dev….Learn how to spot industry benchmarks – let your competition do the work
  • FOR YOUNetworking leads to more good things than any other activity. Who you know is the most important asset you have when launching.There is always a skill in short supply in a startup – with experience, you can fill in many of the gaps yourself – don’t shy away from learning new things and putting them to use. Who cares if no one told you that you are a “whatever” (accountant, designer, database whiz)… Your job a entrepreneur/founder is to become an expert and becoming an expertFOR YOUR CAREERMarketing is more than Facebook ads and cute tweets. It is a comprehensive understanding of who is interested in what you are doing and how they want to interact with you. Guess what… some people hate Twitter. Just sayin… learn how to talk to your crowd. (GETideas and CSS)Data makes the world go round… get and use every free tool you can find to measure what you are doing. There is no reason to not have basic data acquisition in place. None. Even if you are not sure how to use it yet, you will appreciate having the historical data when you figure it out. Things like tracking links, FB insights, GA, are simple to learn and use. Once you have the data, it builds a framework for better choices in head and gut.
  • Passion equals less work. Passion drives better decisions. Learn to trust your guts – you have the education and the pasison, trust yourself.MVP forces you to focus on what is important. It helps you spin up the backbone of the operation. Planning too long leads to missed opportunity. MVP provides minimal risk first hand experience in the market.Constant reminder that you work on your company, not for your company. – Working for the company stalls growth and development. You are a founder, not a parent… relates to MVP – some founders get too attached before they see it is a bad idea. Make it happen. Find a mentor or coach with the same attitude. Network, network, network….


  • 1.  Entrepreneurship kinda sucks sometimes This is hard work. Really hard work. Seriously, like a crap ton of work. Being the boss is way better than having one How to marry for health benefits
  • 2.  Basic skills of business Working with imperfect information Networking Critical thinking
  • 3.  Business plan as gospel thinking Most of Marketing 101 Analysis Paralysis
  • 4.  Where money comes from and what it costs Some people are not founders. That’s okay. How to benchmark (internal/external)
  • 5. FOR YOU FOR YOUR CAREER Get and stay connected  Learn to love marketing Develop your skills  Learn to love data
  • 6.  Find your Passion Find your MVP Find yourself separate from your work Find ways to make shit happen.
  • 7. Do More Work. Sleep is for the weak.
  • 8. Q&A Mitch Neff