What makes an entrepreneur?
First Post! by Eric Schles
An entrepreneur must play the part of capitalist and philanthropist. For his creation, however bold and good intentioned, will hurt the established industry. And thus there will be jobs lost. Thus the true entrepreneur must accept that risk and reward are tied. The onus is either on you or on someone else, but either way, eggs will be broken. I have seen start up culture, create new friendships, break old ones, change lives, and give people hope. But you must be prepared for the bad days.
Every single successful entrepreneur has had these and knows what I am taking about. It is the day you run out of money, out of time, and let everyone down. I will speak on two examples: Fred Wilson and Steve Jobs. Both experiences this most extreme pain and they pulled through. That more than anything is what makes an entrepreneur: fortitude and unrelenting will. If you give up when the times are worst, then you do not belong in the start up world, because the bad times will come, and come often enough.
We must all disabuse our selves of this notion that we know what will happen next. For all our modeling, for all the pattern we see, we cannot see into the probabilistic possibilities in the future. The spaces of culture and change intersect and interweave, as they should, for the survival of the human race. Cultural values shift. Things we would find unthinkable were carried out regularly hundreds of years ago. This is an easy snapshot. And yet it is telling. One must accept the change that is coming and simply move with it. Because it’s that or death.
Thus, you must be ready for the “worst” as well as the “best” of outcomes.
The following exposition details the necessary skill set of an entrepreneur:
- Product development
- Time management
These are the skills necessary to lessen the blow of “defeat” that comes to all entrepreneurs. Nothing happens in a vacuum and each of these skills focuses on the ability to work with others and on deadlines. In the start up world you are either growing or you are dying. And there is no in-between.
However, nothing matters more than fortitude. If you cannot be bold, you will fail. Thus, courage under pressure informs each of these skills and determines the course of your entrepreneurial career. But more than that, you need to be right. Over the coming year I will teach you how to be correct. Who am I? I am Eric Schles. A founding member of the entrepreneurship and innovation association. I served as its president. During that time I brought the club to notoriety while traversing a graduate degree in computer science, a subject I knew little about.
I have worked on several projects, too many in fact to name. I believe in big ideas and big change. I believe that there is something fundamentally wrong with a society of complacency. I believe in innovation and courage under pressure.
I have worked on the following projects:
Adverysis (CTO): A company dedicated to optimizing pricing in the online advertising space.
Gigi (lead developer): A company dedicated to curing the healthcare industry
Skim.me (data miner): A company dedicated to helping people survive the information overflow of the internet
GreenTechworks(advisor): A company dedicated to green engineering and environmental sustainability.