Here are my entrepreneurial and start-up take-aways from Keith Ippel of Co-founder & Partner, Spring at Day 2 of SociaLIGHT 2015 in Vancouver.
Fear of Failure
We often don’t start anything because we fear making mistakes. Over the weekend around many established and first-time entrepreneurs, the big take-away from meeting many of them was about the feelings of failure. In the world of entrepreneurship, we need to:
- Fail fast effectively.
- Keep trying, keep doing something
- We make mistakes all the time. Keep moving forward. Do better next time.
- Always review, and adapt quickly
Aligning and Fitting Values
You will find me stifle a chuckle when I hear, “Everyone!” as my entrepreneurial students and the wantrepreneurial answer the question of, “Who would you like your ideal customers to be?” Of course in an ideal world, we would want our product or service to be accepted by everyone, but remember we aren’t built to be appealing to everyone.
- Understand your Personal Values: You will instill these in your Business
- Your Customer: Recognize what your Customer needs, and Stay Close (through his sharing of what one of the directors at Microsoft did for customer discovery that involved chats over coffee)
- Are you part of a Larger Organization? Your Personal Values must Align within the Larger Group
- You Never Sell: You Share your Story… Let your customer choose… Do they align with you? Always share your Values and see if they’ll be a good fit.
- Never be afraid of a No: We need to Love the No… So it gives us time to spend with the YES people.
- Competition:Understand how different you are from your competition
Do not be Alone
As entrepreneurs, we love the idea building a business and future for ourselves, but it can be daunting at the beginning when you feel everything lies all on you.
Keith shares: “Be with your advisors, mentors, board and consultants… Have a minimum of 3, max of 6…”
And when choosing mentors, he suggests the following criteria
- Values must Align
- Easy to Work with
- They need to be in a similar industry, have related experience, have similar business model experience, and also related functional expertise
- Have a network of customers, suppliers and employees
- And of course, Geographically Relevant
About Keith Ippel
With over 15 years experience as a leader in technology centric businesses, Keith has accelerated the growth of both small and large companies, launched new products, and raised over $20m in angel investment and venture capital. He has an unparalleled ability to collaborate with entrepreneurs, employees, and investors to deliver amazing products to the market. Keith is passionate about creating opportunities that previously did not exist for people and co-founded Spring to bring that into the social venture space.
SociaLIGHT provides empowerment, inspiration and support to early stage startups, leaders and entrepreneurs through conferences, a membership platform and educational media content.The brand, SociaLIGHT, is a spin off the modern day “Socialite” with a new spelling, meaning and acronym. The new SociaLIGHT is a “L.eader I.mpacting G.lobal H.umanity T.oday.”
Our mission is to serve 100 million startups, entrepreneurs, and leaders to build thriving and sustainable businesses that have a positive global impact, and to foster systemic leadership and innovation that embodies the quadruple bottom line “Passion. People. Planet. Profit.” SociaLIGHT is a for profit corporation that operates in Toronto and Vancouver. The annual SociaLIGHT Conference features international and local speakers and past contributors include Sir Richard Branson, Robin Sharma, Tony Hsieh and more. Over 1000 attendees come together to learn and connect and the event has been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post and called “The Mecca for Emerging Entrepreneurs” by You Inc.