Startup Velocity - Challenges of Student Entrepreneurship
Sam "Frenchie" Stewart
WARNING: Styles changed for printing. This will be ugly.
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Who is this
guy?BSc(Science Informatics) French & Comp Sci. Nightfly @ 19y.o. Raised investment, went to SF &
the valley. No idea what we were doing. Came home with extra drive & no money. Deferred Uni.
YBF & AC. Now Sapient. Current driver: Student entrepreneurship.
Most important things are thoroughly boring. As a result, most people don't listen. Goal of this
talk: Hype + boring message.
Manage Distractions Militantly.
Macro & micro. Social life at the pub & social life on facebook. We are the first generation to grow
up with push notifications. I'm not saying become a hermit, your friends are an important support
network. But consider the opportunity cost of your time. Time spent at the pub is time not
working, doublyso if you spend the next morning hungover. Choose your time according to what
you KNOW you should be doing.
Startup vs Studies.
Go to class vs should I go pitch for investment for my startup. Lack of time invested in studying =>
higher failure rate.
Average marks/semester. Axes removed for my own self confidence. Guess when I started my first
startup? The initial dip. Rebound: I learned how to effectively manage my time & had MY
HIGHEST MARKS. The big dip is actually when I stopped managing my time effectively & let
myself get completely consumed by my startup, YBF & Work. Moral of the story: Go hard, in
moderation. Be smart about it.
False dichotomy. Do both. Go hard, in moderation.
“The only true wisdom is in knowing
you know nothing.”
Uni has failed to prepare you.
probably should say this at uni.
You are not skilledup by industry standards.
Confidence is key. You need to protect your confidence. Your pyschological state is a key business
metric. People want to believe in the "proigal child" meme. Help them out.
Incredibly steep learning
getting dumped into the greater population. Not classmates a free for all. 50 yrs + exp. THE
ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IS OUTPUT. no "Extenuating circumstances" and "supplementary
If you have 50k
in the bank &
can seed fund
advice isn't for
Everyone sucks at budgets.Students
Boring Warning. A proper budget is absolutely magical. Seriously.
You have no Δt.
Most budgets advocate a saving of 10%20% of your pay check. Even a small slice will add up to
something over time. You don't have the 'over time' so you don't have that 'something'.
The Pros: (Many)
no mortage, no kids, no house. You have nothing to lose. even if you lose it all anyway, still
good on the CV.
Long hours without it taking a toll. Grind through the tough parts. Sprint at speed during the
Low financial requirements.
No "golden handcuffs".
Safetynet: worst case scenario.
Your friends/family will forgive you.
Prodigal child thing.
People are impressed & want to help you.
Looks awesome on your CV.
Gives you full perspective on the business.
Familiarity with new & trendy.
Grown up with this, viscerally understand vs "I'll take three facebooks."
“[Innovation] does not triumph by convincing
its opponents and making them see the light,
but rather because its opponents eventually
die, and a new generation grows up that is
familiar with it”
“Opportunity is missed by most people,
because it is dressed up in overalls and looks
like hard work.”