November 5, 2013

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Industry Outlook: Technology Entrepreneurs

November 5, 2013

The second part is when you’re in a real company you get exposed to problems that companies have that you don’t get. When you work at a company and see how HR works and how payables work and how facilities works, you get ideas on how you can solve problems that businesses have that you wouldn’t get exposed to just walking down the street.

So find some great companies and work there for a year or two and you’ll get exposed to a world of problems that no one is solving and you’ll learn a lot of execution that is missing from young entrepreneurs.

LUMAN: And if you can’t get the job, get a mentor. And get real advisers. Don’t get somebody that’s just a name, a brand and all that, but somebody who’s actually going to spend the time with you. Be smart enough to know what you don’t know, and have somebody that can help you with those things.

BHASKAR: You should know the difference between a product and a feature. If you’re building a feature that can be added by somebody else in their product, then you don’t have a sustainable advantage.

SKONNARD: It’s incredibly important to think really big, to think 10x while operating with a laser focus on a day-to-day basis. Thinking big like that—going back to your point—is what inspires those people to come to Utah and join your company. It’s what inspires your employees on a daily basis to work hard and do whatever they can to move the ball forward. If that’s pervasive amongst your leadership team, there’s nothing that can stop you.

A lot of venture capital investors won’t invest in a young entrepreneur if they have not completed their degree.

BHASKAR: It’s very important to show that you can consistently do something.

RICHARDS: But it flies in the face of the stats from BYU. Everybody that’s ever made $10 million or more in the last 20 years as a student startup, some 90 percent are dropouts, never got their degree.

WARNOCK: But they were going for it.

RICHARDS: But they got exposed to the college environment, which is really important. They learned problem solving skills. Some of them only lacked six or eight credits, but they still never went back—and now wear it as a badge of honor. We’ve even offered them the credits. They won’t take them.

LEHMAN: Culturally, though, we glamorize a lot of the recent high-profile dropouts. We glamorize Steve Jobs.

SLOVIK: We also glamorize NBA players, but most people are like, “Listen, you’re a short, little white guy. The chances of you being an NBA player are slim.”

BHASKAR: And the fact is, not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur.  

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