BASES (Business Association of Sanford Engineer Students) had its famous annual e-Challenge kick-off event today. The legenary entrepreneur and venture capitalist Vinod Khosla of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers was the keynote speaker. He started off by saying:
“Entrepreneurship is about … those who dare to dream the dreams and are foolish enough to try and make their dreams come true.”
This is the best definition of entrepreneurship I have ever heard. It really captures the essence of being a real entrepreneur!
Among many interesting points Vinod talked about, here are the ones that resonate with me:
- In entrepreneurship, there is no rule to follow. If you follow others’ rule, you are limiting yourself. Don’t limit yourself!
- Knowing your goals and knowing what you don’t know
- Identify your liabilities and assets. The business plan should maximizing your assets and minimizing your liability
- Put yourself in the competitors’ shoes
- People are ultimate assets – beyond the word.
- Identify top 10 risks for your business and think who has the skills in your organization to deal with these risks. Recruit 20 people for each risk.
- Encourage different points of view within the organization
- Balance of process and innovation is difficult but very important
- Find other’s wave to ride – leverage the resouces
In the end, he said: Don’t start until you have a passion for your vision. Entrepreneurs with irrational beliefs for their visions are most likely to succeed. This is especially true when there are dificulties – when other people stop, they will still find a way to do it.
Vinod talked about discontinuity of technolgoy, business model and social entrepreneurship. He gave special credit to microcredit. He said, in general, he enjoy doing things that can make a difference.