Big Think From Start-Up Founders
By Mike Wolff


Just Do It!

“My message is to go for it, try to lean in, do things like ask for help, network, do deals, recognize the market you have.” —Fran Maier, co-founder online dating service, at Boulder, Colorado Startup Phenomenon Women Conference, 2013/08/29.

“You have to trust yourself. When I first started working on Ubooly I would try to look at what everyone else had done that was successful and recreate it. What I realized was that I already had a ton of entrepreneurial experiences that I could pull from in daily life.” —Carly Goge, 2012 TechStars alum and co-founder/CEO of Ubooly, a Kickstar-funded maker of “ entertaining (and cuddly)” customizable toys, on July 29, 2013 blog.

 ”First, if you truly believe in something you can make it happen. Second, never, never underestimate the power of relationships; it’s tremendously powerful, exponential. Third, really work on getting feedback from the market by going out not ‘buy our product, guy’ but ‘what issues are you having and how can we help’?” — Duncan McCall, PlaceIQ CEO and co-founder at Xconomy’s Mobile Madness conference, Dec.4, 2012.

“The only way to be an entrepreneur is to do it and learn from experience. No school will teach you what you need to know.”— David Goldberg, Launch Media co-founder and currently SurveyMonkey CEO, when asked by Fortune whether business school is necessary for entrepreneurs, on CNN Money, July 8, 2013.

Think big, start small. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Be the best, boldest and brightest you that you can be. If you want to do something, just go and do it. Don’t limit yourself.”

advice to other entrepreneurs from Claudia Batten, co-founder online gaming advertising platform Massive and crowdsourcing agency Victors&Spoils, on 24/10/2013. 

Sweat Like Sisyphus

“I started Composite Software almost twelve years ago — 12 years! — and finally today got to the elusive exit all founders seek. It didn’t happen in one year, or within a venture cycle, or even within a decade  ….it took a lot of sweat, patience, low moments, fear, drive… And it takes the commitment of scores of believers — not just the founder — to carry the company through. While it all may sound cliché, I’ve lived it, and it’s true. We all have the scars to prove it, which is why today tastes so good.” —Michael Abbott, general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, previously Twitter’s VP of Engineering, and a founder himself, on his blog, June 21, 2013.

“If you start a SaaS [software as a service] business you will not be Kevin Systrom [Instagram co-founder], you will be Sisyphus. Because building a SaaS business takes a lot of time and money…. At a minimum you’d have to expect to spend 7 years building your business, though it could take 13 years.” — Ben Sesser, 2X founder, in “Memo to this year’s YC class: It’s damn hard to build an enterprise company,” pando daily May 21, 2013.

 We didn’t know what we were doing. It wasn’t my goal to start an industry.” —Herbert Boyer, Genentech co-founder, interviewed for Something Ventured video, 2011.

“I go into everything with a huge ego.” Amanda Steinberg, founder of Daily Worth, “a multi-platform financial media company for women who want more — more net worth, more self worth, and ultimately, more joy,” addressing female entrepreneurs about winning strategies for raising capital, on 2013/08/29.

 Follow the Money

“Startup fundraising isn’t about convincing skeptics but rather finding true believers.” Lee Hower, LinkedIn co-founder and co-founder/general partner at NextView Ventures, in CNN Money, May 26,2011.

“The number one reason start-ups fail is undercapitalization.  Make sure to figure out what you think you need to launch and then double that number!” —Mark Saad, founder of three companies since graduating from NC State in 2008 with B.S in entrepreneurship and finance. Currently CEO of Feelgoodz, maker of eco-friendly shoes, he told IMR how the College of Management (now Poole COM)  “helped me tremendously from a network perspective.  In fact, my lead investor and top advisor at feelgoodz was the entrepreneur-in-residence at NC State and we have worked together ever since I graduated!”

“You have to be brave—get money from strong people.” —Jimmy Treybig, Tandem Computer founder interviewed for Something Ventured video, 2011.

More money and more access to capital will create more entrepreneurs and more innovation. Entrepreneurs are the catalysts that will ultimately change the world.” —Slava Rubin, co-founder of international crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, in new episode of Kauffman’ Foundation’s “Top of Mind” video series, Aug. 29, 2013

 Build a Company


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