In this post, three members of our Global Faculty answer questions about entrepreneurship.
What’s your advice for today’s entrepreneurs?
“ There’s so much to put into running a business, it’s hard to know what the most important thing is, but at the end of the day, it’s always going to be about creating something of value. If you do that and that’s what you’re focused on, eventually you make some money, but if the focus is I want to start the business because I want to make money, but there’s nothing of value you create along the way it tends not to work. It’s that real focus on, “This is something that’s different, that’s valuable, that people are going to want” is what the entrepreneur needs to focus on..”
– Andrew Bassat: Co-Founder of Seek, investor, entrepreneur
What are the greatest challenges for entrepreneurs today?
“ There are a lot of challenges for entrepreneurs. The cold truth is that 90% of start-ups fail. It could be hiring decisions, not moving quickly enough, not having the right business model, et cetera. I think that one of the most important things for entrepreneurs is not raising the capital but actually understanding what the business model is supposed to be. I [also] think that entrepreneurs should surround themselves with the right kind of mentoring [with] a serial entrepreneur, a successful entrepreneur – folks that have gone through the dark days of building a real business and have a holistic viewpoint of how to build the business model to the mundane of [getting] the accounting system up to how do you get customers and how these elements of company building come together.
– Brian Flynn: private investor and serial entrepreneur
What’s your advice for entrepreneurs and innovators with regards to failing?
“ You have to make enough mistakes to have know-how. If you made enough mistakes, you have know-how. Now, if you can use this know-how in a positive way, it’s good. Nobody lives without making mistakes. So, you can help somebody to prevent some mistakes. Everybody has to make mistakes and correct them. If you can correct them, you’re in good shape. “
– Stef Wertheimer: business magnate, philanthropist, former-politician