Junto: Learning & Entrepreneurship

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Early-stage Funding

While reading the book Angel Investing, I have come across some very interesting stats about getting funded by Angel Investors. After interviewing hundreds of angel investors, the top 2 criteria by which most angels invest are:

  1. Enthusiasm of Entrepreneur
  2. Trustworthiness of Entrepreneur
In addition, Alan Hall has shared with me that Grow Utah Ventures also looks at the entrepreneur/management team as their number one consideration.

To me, this is valuable information for entrepreneurs. While the business plan is important, do what you can to prepare yourself to be a successful entrepreneur. Take advantages of opportunities to learn from others. Get out and network...start making a name for yourself. Ante yourself to get involved with a similar company. Good luck!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Growth or Cash?

Over the past week, one of the questions that I have been pondering is: is it better to spend the money on additional personnel or keep the cash?

In business, it is well-known that cash is king; however, in order to be successful, you obviously need to take a leap of faith sometime. The conclusion that I have come to (and I'm not saying that it's the right one) is that controlled growth is probably the best bet.

In the beginning, you probably don't need a full management team to prove the concept/idea -- that can be done by yourself or with a small team. Once the concept is proven, recruitting additional personnel/management to grow from a seed stage to a start-up stage would be appropriate. The hypothesis that I am making is that if you prove the concept and show that with your team there is growth potential, I believe that cash (either from sales, internal or external financing) will follow.

If any of you been in this same situation and can offer advice, I'd love to hear it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

What's the Point?

Since I have started my blog, many people of asked me why. What's the point? They present valid questions and so I will do my best to explain the benefits that I see from blogging.

First of all, I have found that writing down my learning experiences has been very valuable to my personal progression. I love to learn. As an entrepreneur, most of each of my day is spent learning. I learn from books, articles, partners, professionals, and other blogs. When I take the time to review the lessons learned and articulate them well enough to write them down, it forces me to concentrate on one topic and at least try to say something that will be intelligible and meaningful to others.

It is fun. There are so many unique people out there that are blogging about their experiences. What are they learning? What challenges are they going through? What is happening in the industry? How can I apply this to what I am working on?

It provides opportunities to meet new people. While it hasn't happened to me (yet), blogging opens up doors to meet other like-minded individuals. When you enjoy, agree or disagree with a post, leave a comment and explain why...it provides interesting opportunities to think outside the box and get to know others.

What are other benefits of blogging? Do you have a favorite blog or your own blog? If you do, leave a link so that I can check it out.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The "Curse"

I woke up in the middle of the night last night with what I call the "curse" (you know, when you can't sleep because your mind has just been bombarded with new thoughts and ideas?). While it may be hazardous to my health (because of lack of sleep), I actually enjoy the "curse" because it is a result of something I'm excited about.

After a few months of researching various business plans and ideas, I think that I have finally found something that: 1) is a great opportunity that I am passionate about, 2) has very high potential (in terms of business success), and 3) will add positive value to all of the stakeholders (customers, employees, shareholders).

Anyway, a business associate once said, "If you have the curse, there is no use in fighting it. Get up, write your ideas down, and hope that those ideas will result in more peaceful sleep in the future!"

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Love is the Killer App

I just recently read the book entitled Love is the Killer App by Tim Sanders. This book came highly recommended and I can see why. The principles taught are very refreshing as they discuss the importance of 1) increasing your knowledge, 2) increasing your network and 3) using compassion in the business world.

Increasing Knowledge
The author explains the importance of using books to increase your knowledge. While magazines, websites, and newspapers are good sources to keep you up to date, books represent months or even years of well-thought ideas. Dedicating quality time to reading books and other reliable sources will pay dividends many times over.

Increasing Your Network
This topic is a personal favorite of mine. I love meeting new people. It is exhilirating to meet a new person and establish a long-lasting relationship. One of the reasons that I have enjoyed the Junto program is because of the doors that it has opened to meet many fascinating people.

Using Compassion
At first, I didn't quite understand what Tim Sanders meant by the phrase "using compassion in business"; however, it has become clear to me that he is suggesting that we strive to make the business world more personable. With less and less face-to-face communication (as a result of the advances in technology), it is important that we do all we can to make the most out of our business relationships.

If you haven't had a chance to read Love is the Killer App, I highly recommend it!