I love entrepreneurship, but the term is losing its meaning and is becoming a word to defend a group of lazy, arrogant people who are too “intelligent” to work and instead go to meetups and talk about each other. This must stop.
The reason I fell in love in with entrepreneurship was the core idea of following something that personally excites you and transforming it into something that can help other people. You work incredibly hard building something because you really enjoy making actual things.
Unfortunately, it is extremely easy to use adjectives and meet with other people who like these same ideals, but do absolutely nothing towards actually making things.
To build great products you need a few things:
1.) A drive to learn, and be willing to give up everything else to spend hours learning marketing, finance, programming, or design.
2.)Be able to see through bloat. You will have many, many people approach you with their ideas, opinions, etc. It is critical you do not waste your time with people who are ignorant, and just like talking about big ideas and do nothing. Find people that are willing to work their ass off, and really understand the industry. For example, one thing that NEEDS to end is this new trend of completely inexperienced business students or non-programmers starting startups that help people learn to code or learn to run a startup. This creates bloat, and is a complete waste of time. If the person running this startup for startups has never actually run a company or written a line of code themselves, what makes them qualified to be a teacher? They are not qualified. Now, if they hire people to teach at this new code or startup school that have experience, this is very valuable and a great move.
3.) Learn from mentors. I have learned pretty much everything I know from experienced developers, business leaders, etc. School is incredibly valuable, but getting solid mentors gives you real world experience. For me, I was lucky enough to get a job at Detroit Labs right out of high school for the summer. I cannot even begin to explain how much I learned just by sitting in a room with the four cofounders and seeing how they ran the company. Additionally, being a Kleiner Perkins fellow this summer was incredible. Being able to talk informally with some of the top VC’s was so valuable.
4.) Be willing to work. Really freaking hard. Don’t trick yourself into thinking sending emails is hard work. Actually work. One very valuable thing going to a very competitive school has instilled in me is learning to work hard, and more intelligently . School makes you to be evaluated by someone other than yourself. This can expose critical flaws. School is not the only way to get this type of feedback, but it is a very great means to do so.