It is commonly said that greatest ideas arise in universities. This is probably why my university invited Francisco Ortiz Von Bismarck in order to foster entrepreneurship.
His experience in this field started with Facebook. Francisco was studying in Harvard when Zuckerberg launched what it is now the biggest social network in the world. When the opportunity of investing in Tuenti came up he didn’t reject it. Francisco has invested in other internet projects like Glass or Yousee and now has become an entrepreneur with Dup.li.
I would like to share the advices he provided about entrepreneurship taking into account his experience in startups’ world:
- Financing: Facebook’s initial investment was only 1.000$. Much more money is not needed to invest in the internet because it is a very risky field and 90% of these projects fail.
- The team: an engineer is always needed and it is recommendable to make him co-founder. It is also important to set up a society formally so that problems don’t arise.
- Traction: if the webpage, application or social network gets traction (active users) quickly, attracting investors will be easier and better financing conditions will be obtained
- The idea: having a great idea is not enough in this world. What it really matters is the execution and the traction. If you discover that something that has success in the USA: COPY – PASTE it.
- The business plan: it is crucial to have a global idea of what it is intended to get with the business but it is not necessary to waste much time elaborating a plan.
- Testing: before launching the product it is very advisable to try the application, web or social network with some friends in order to have an idea of how it will go in the future.
- Launch: the launch has to be done as soon as possible. It is not worth spending too much time designing something that you don’t know if it is going to be successful or not.
- Expenses: these are usually the reason why a startup fails. When the project begins earning a high salary is impossible.
- Income: traction attracts investors but don’t mean income. Ways of generating income have to be searched to be able to pay dividends: publicity, Premium accounts, applications for a fee…
According to Francisco, the most important thing is to fail quickly, with no fair, cheap and learning from mistakes. Having ambition and vision is crucial.
What most impressed me about the lecture was his vision of entrepreneurship which was very different from what I had learnt in the university and that he recommended becoming an entrepreneur to everyone. Why? In my opinion not everyone can be good at it or has enough resources.
Do you agree with his ideas? If you have any experience to share don’t hesitate to do it.