Through the Education Lens

Ten Ways to be an Entrepreneur

CJ Westerberg, June 26, 2011 9:35 PM


Entrepreneurship is a high-profile topic within education circles these days.  Thought this post
reminds us how entrepreneurship is not a one-size-fits-all scenario, either.  The Daily Riff posted this in June 2010 and it as relevant as ever - especially in edu-circles.  Fred Wilson is always on the cutting edge of tech.   -  C.J. Westerberg

"Entrepreneurship exists in the tiny space between madness and genius,
and, its journey requires a few cross border violations
across both madness and genius
to get to the final destination."

                               -JLM comment on AVC blog

Entrepreneurship: "Ten Ways To Be Your Own Boss" 
Video Below

Fred Wilson is Managing Partner at Union Square Ventures in NYC (early investors in Twitter and Foursquare).  He gave a presentation titled "10 Ways To Be Your Own Boss" at the 99% conference which can be seen in this video below. 

We like the way he paints a picture of how different people are pursuing and realizing their passions by choosing various roads of entrepreneurship.   One cannot help but notice how different our traditional school system is by comparison.  Its very structure and the qualities that are rewarded in students are counter to those embued by "real life" entrepreneurs,  especially at a time when our society needs "non-standardized" entrepreneurial traits and abilities. 

In Wilson's talk, it's hard not to notice how adaptability, innovativeness and a self-directed initiative resonate throughout all these stories.  Schools give stars and honors for getting homework in on time and for being "good" in class . . . how often do we promote a penchant for innovation?  Is that a word in the educator lexicon in assessment?  Not.

Wilson covers the 10 with some great quirky anecdotes - here's a quick cheat sheet:
  • Sole Proprietor - Matt Drudge
  • Partnership - Wilson's architects
  • Boutique - retail & Union Square model
  • Federation - doctors, lawyers, investment bankers
  • Husband/Wife Team - complementary skills
  • Project - authors, film-makers, actors
  • The Tour Bus - Hype-machine
  • The Start Up - seeking investment & customers
  • The Break-Out - Foursquare
  • The Company - Twitter 
One interesting story was when Wilson's firm was about to wire Foursquare their first investment check but hit a glitch because the two Foursquare partners didn't even have a checking account since they were bootstrapping the business for the first six months. 
Good stuff.

Fred Wilson is a highly-regarded thought leader (& very successful) in the tech investment financial circles, with investments including Twitter, Foursquare, Feedburner and  His blog is AVC.

Video runs 21 minutes - a good one for the weekend (and to share with students).  If the video below cuts out (we had a few heads up), this link here or here should work right away.  Sorry if it happens.  Let us know - thanks. 
                                                                                                                 - C.J. Westerberg

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