Last week I was asked by my buddy Jack Porter of Forward Innovations to speak at one of his Entrepreneur Boot Camps. It was a fireside chat format and I got to do a lot of what I like to do best: talk. I told the room of mostly young tech entrepreneurs a lot of war stories and gave lots of advice. One of the entrepreneurs was kind enough to email me back with the following email:
Hey Jim –
Just wanted to say thanks for the time you spent with us at the Boot Camp. Your practical and candid advice really resonated with me, especially as a first-timer who is new to all of this. Thanks for sharing your successes and your failures, and for taking the time to invest in us. I got a lot out of what you shared, especially:
- don’t time the market. if you have an idea…go
- burn rate is everything. watch it and learn to be honest with yourself. you CAN see it coming
- get VCs and investors to agree to the lowest possible projections. they measure success based on a plan
- VCs will ask you what you suck at. have an answer
- don’t hire from the industry you’re trying to disrupt
- tell your “A” players: “If you ever think about leaving, give me a chance to make it right first.”
- in acquisitions, you MUST be ambivalent
There’s a lot more, but I wanted to make it clear that the time you spent with us, at least in my case, was worth it.
Must admit that it feels really good to get an email like this – on a couple of levels. Most gratifying is that you realize people really do listen. Most of the successful entrepreneurs I know spend a fair bit of time “giving back”. Emails like this make it worth it.