One of the things I’ve recently become interested in is the mysterious world of business (perhaps one day opening a music school or something culinary-related…or a mix of both) . As part of my learning this year, I’m taking an “Entrepreneurship 101″ course from the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto. The focus of the course is learning the essential skill sets to starting a small business. The course/lectures are available online in case you’re interested: http://www.marsdd.com/event_series/entrepreneurship-101/. Here are the key points I took from week one of the 30-week seminar series:
Entrepreneurship – Identify opportunities, allocate resources and create value through identification of unmet needs/opportunities
Social entrepreneurship – Identify a social problem, use entrepreneurial principles to organize, create and manage a venture to make social change
What does an entrepreneurship brain look like?
- Opportunity recognition
- Designing (holistic approach, put all functions together)
- Risk managing (foresee risks and manage them appropriately)
- Resilient (manage ups and downs)
- Effectuating mind (action oriented; go out and do it, get feedback, continually taking action)
Finding your idea
- Scratch your own itch – use your own experience to identify, solve problems; create products you would use
- Iterate – develop and refine over time
- Reassemble – creativity is often the act of reassembling many known elements in new ways
- Collaborate – talk/listen to others around you
- Ask questions – find customer problems, develop the solutions (it’s okay not to have an idea at the beginning
Validating your idea
- Test it, what is your value in the market
- There is only one boss. The customer!
- #1 reason why start ups die is because they don’t have enough customers
- Talk to your customer – are you solving a problem they have? would they pay to solve it? is it a serious problem? can you build it economically? can you sell it profitably?
- Goal is to achieve product/market fit via trial/error in early development of your products
Here is another summary from week one of the 30-week seminar series (below).