At TiEcon 2007 yesterday, one of the breakout panel discussions was titled Entrepreneur’s Path to Success. The six panelists and the moderator had started 21 companies between them. These were all repeat entrepreneurs. Moderator Sumant Mandal, who is now managing director at Clearstone Venture Partners extracted great input from the panelists. In closing, he asked each to share one “Do” and one “Don’t” with the audience. Here were the responses:
T.M. Ravi, President & CEO of Mimosa Systems – Do follow your instincts; more often than not they’ll be right. Don’t hire the wrong team.
Dick Williams, SVP and GM, Wily Technology Division – Do focus; believe in what you’re doing and commit everything to it. Don’t spread yourself. You can’t give yourself a backup plan; it will defocus you. Don’t believe you are infallible; prepare for the possibility of failure.
Dean Drako, Co-Founder, CEO and President, Barracuda Networks – Do find a customer for your product before you build. Don’t be a solution looking for a problem.
Karl D. Chandler, Shareholder, Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel, Inc. – Do make employees feel they are important to the business; success. Don’t spend all your time raising capital; try to get enough to get you to the next round.
Jai Rawat – VP Business Development, myTriggers – Do measure; be hard on yourself. Don’t fear failure; if you believe it’s worth failing at, you can get past that.
Talal Hanse, Chair ICC, ex-CEO Sensys – Focus is very key; do make sure you validate that focus, that there are significant customers who feel the need. Don’t ever stop being trustworthy; keep your integrity along with your passion. If you fail, you will want to leave with your reputation intact.
Look for more wisdom from TieCon in upcoming posts on this blog.