I’m in Bangkok for Google’s first Dev Fest in Thailand. In a couple of hours I’ll be on a panel discussing entrepreneurship so I’m jotting down ahead of time some of the things I’m going to talk about. (I lived in Japan early in my career where I worked in the Japanese language, so know how hard it can be to follow a speaker in a foreign language.) These are some of the most important things I’ve learned as an entrepreneur. One day I’ll write the full version.
Caveat Emptor: The journey of an entrepreneur is a personal one. YMMV.
Learning 1: Do what you love
I fell in love with computers as a high school kid and never looked back. I give a lot of the credit to my maths teacher, Mr Haines, who started the computer club.
Learning 2: Seek opportunities
I could hardly wait to see the world after graduating from Adelaide University and lived in Japan for several years. From Pachinko software (success!), to translation software (fail!), one thing led to another and I ended up in California.
Learning 3: Meet lots of people
Next I went to Stanford, I played with LISP machines and AI, but, much more importantly, I met lots of people; people who became future investors, fellow entrepreneurs, employees, and in some cases, lifelong friends.
Personal contacts are like innovation; you can never have enough.
Learning 4: Make sacrifices
Let’s face it. It takes guts to be an entrepreneur and you’re going to have to make sacrifices to succeed.
Learning 5: The 3 “A”s
Successful companies are constantly reviewing what is working and what is not, and adapting.
My 3 As of entrepreneurship:
- Audit – what you’re doing, constantly
- Admit – when things aren’t working
- Adapt – and survive
Learning 6: Get focused
Good technology and good people are not enough. You need to focus on the best opportunities.
Learning 7: Have fun
Life is too short for un-fun stuff. Having fun is the corollary to doing what you love, which completes the circle.