If I were to describe this week in one word, I think that word would be “inspiring”.
The topic of our second week in New York was entrepreneurship and throughout the 3 days of presentations we listened to quite a few interesting stories. All of our guest speakers were entrepreneurs who started businesses here and they were more than kind to share their experiences with us.
I personally am not what you would call an entrepreneur. Nevertheless, since I started the MBA program I did get some exposure to the entrepreneurship world, had several ideas of my own and now I am considering if this could be an option for me in the future. So I am paying attention to what is being discussed and trying to absorb the key elements. Even if I will never decide to open my own business, I am sure that some of the learnings can be applied on the corporate level as well.
The first speaker we had this week, Ziv, was impressive. His speech was structured around story telling in the form of how important is to build a story around the business you are creating. And he told us this business story and I was surprised by how long it took him to transform the one thing that he loved doing into a successful business. And the learning for me here is that patience is key when you start such a journey. He also mentioned two more things that I found important: 1) focus on only one thing at a time and 2) show your work when you have already done something and have something to show (opposite to just sharing ideas).
In the same day, in the afternoon, we visited WeHostels and WeWork. Our speaker, Diego, told us his business story and again, the company he build emerged as a result of his passion for traveling and wanting to provide better services for travelers like him. This actually brought into my mind a question that I have been thinking for a while, but for which I could not find an answer yet: is it a good idea to transform your passion into a business and source of income? And are you able to keep the same level of passion as you start working? Based on the experiences of Ziv and Diego the answer seems to be yes. But for these two happy cases, how many are there for which this model did not work out? Diego also gave us a pretty good overview on how to handle funding matters and which kind of funding should be sought when.
To save the best for last, my favorite part of the week was the session with Antonio and the reason for this is mainly the fact that I found his thinking and his views to be quite similar to mine. He has worked in large companies and also launched 3 successful start-ups so far and I think this gave him quite a balanced view over the business world. I found his approach to entrepreneurship to be more pragmatic than the ones of Ziv and Diego’s. And finally, the main idea that stuck into my head from his speech was to speed up when releasing a prototype concept, but pay attention to the details later on.
Looking forward to our next week, where we will get to meet the big players from the financing and consulting world!