With a background as a professional investor, it took me a while to understand and alter my approach to business as an entrepreneur. It all stems from what I refer to as, “wealth creation.” As an investor sitting on millions of dollars to invest your job is to drive financial returns. Take on the least amount of risk with the highest potential. Work alongside passionate entrepreneurs and founders and enhance the vlaue they have already created and exit the investment within a specific number of years.
As an entrepreneur it is a completely different ball game. Scrape and claw, pivot, change direction, give out your product at a highly discounted rate for the first few clients, and eat ramen noodles rather then four to five course meals multiple times a week. While this does not sound sexy, for me it is probably one of the most interesting processes to go through. The ability to start from a completely blank computer screen and make your vision become a reality is a rush unlike any other. The key here is vision – having a big vision and then working backwards step by step to make that vision become a reality.
A mentor of mine taught me a very important lesson at an early age, do not chase dollars or wealth, wealth follows. This is probably the best advice any entrepreneur can follow. Do not go for financial gain in the near term. In many instances, bypass the upfront financial reward in exchange for executing on your vision. It will pay for itself 10 times over.
So, now let’s talk about education. This is an industry where you definitely do not want to chase the wealth. There are fundamental impediments and challenges to creating a pure technology company that will gain mass adoption in the space. Limited budgets, a slow rate of adoption of technology among educators, politics, the challenges go on and on.
I am a true believer that the real wealth will be created by the technology providers who work with content providers and educators developing innovative approaches and methodologies that incorporate how the brain and memory works. Think about this from an execution perspective, it gets a bit more hairy and complex. But hey, someone once told me Rome was not built in a day.