Since I am at the Western Users of SAS Software this week and on my sixth city this month in the traveling statistician/CEO tour, I drafted a guest blogger for today.
Eric Ortiz wrote the following blog post. He is married to my oldest daughter, Maria. He also is the founder of Moblish , a mobile-first publishing platform for journalists, and his company is competing for a $20,000 seed grant. You can vote for Moblish here , or you can read on to learn more about them and vote for Moblish at the end of the post.
Being an entrepreneur is a lot like being a parent. The job is thankless. You are responsible for everything. And you have no one to blame but yourself when something goes wrong.
The key to success is patience.
You can’t get upset when the clinching game of the World Series is on TV, and your 5 1/2 and 1 1/2- year-old daughters want to watch “The Wiggles.”
The same temperament is required when finding a UX designer takes weeks, not days as you thought it would.
You can read every book ever written on parenting, but when Mom is on the road for work and your kids don’t want to go the f**k to sleep , no amount of Dr. Spock, Dr. Ferber or Dr. Seuss will get them to sleep any faster. You just have to ride out the storm, stay calm and wait until the wailing turns to dreaming.
Startups can be stubborn, too. Just as no handbook can replicate raising children, experience is the best teacher for starting a company. You can think you have the greatest idea in the world. Validate that idea with potential users and customers. Segment the market. Determine TAM, SAM and beach head. Complete a financial plan with five-year projections for revenue, gross margins, operating expenses, head count, balance sheet and cash flow. Create an innovative business model. Check off all the due diligence boxes. Have the smartest advisers. And prepare for every contingency.
The failure rate of technology startups is still 90 percent .
Successful first-time entrepreneurs quickly learn the most valuable lesson of first-time entrepreneurship: What little you thought you knew is even less than you thought.
The only way to build a company with staying power is by doing – by rolling up your sleeves and getting to work. Every day is a series of micro wins and micro losses. Some days you are up. Some days you are down. Some days you pull an all-nighter. Some days you pull back-to-back all-nighters. Some days you are sick. Some days you are tired. Some days you are discouraged.
But you keep showing up. Seven days a week, 365 days a year. There are no breaks for startup entrepreneurs.
Parents know the feeling. When you want to sleep in and your toddler wakes up at 5 a.m., sleep time is over. Your kids are counting on you to feed, clothe, shelter and buy them stuff.
As an entrepreneur, the startup is your other child. And you keep showing up.
I have no choice — my office is my kitchen table. I want to change the world and have the will to believe I can.
My name is Eric Ortiz, and I am developing Moblish as a Knight Fellow at Stanford University.
Moblish is a publishing platform for professional and citizen journalists that streamlines mobile reporting. The challenge is to make live multimedia storytelling more efficient, increase the flow of quality information worldwide, and create monetization opportunities for journalists and news organizations.
We are in the process of building the Moblish prototype. The product should be ready for beta testing with journalists and media outlets by December.
We need your help.