Photo: Flickr / Joi
Idea? Check. Passion? Check. Coffee, coffee, and coffee? Check!If only it were that simple to launch a startup. And while starting out is that straightforward in some sense, every founder also consistently runs up against gaps in skills, knowledge and resources, which complicate things. Here are three knowledge gaps that founders should fill:
- How to adapt and pivot when your initial idea doesn’t work out (because chances are it won’t).
The popular design-deals site Fab.com started as a deals site for gay men. But Fabulous.com wasn’t knocking it out of the park, with only 150,000 users. So founders Jason Goldberg and Bradford Shellhammer took a breath and made a huge decision: they scratched Fabulous and re-launched as Fab.
How’d Goldberg know when to pivot, and how’d he break the news to his board? How did he and teammates figure out Plan B — and go on to score a million customers in less than 5 months?
Find out at Startup 2012, Business Insider’s fourth-annual conference on entrepreneurship and business-plan competition, taking place May 3 in New York. Goldberg will be speaking, along with other successful founders, on how they successfully conceived of and executed major changes at their companies. Other things you’ll learn about include:
- How to overcome rejection, especially when influential tech people tell you “no”
The founder of online-conversation site Branch, Josh Miller, was rejected from elite tech incubator Y Combinator. Burn. Fast forward and he’s scored seed funding from Twitter’s co-founders and from SV Angel, some of the most coveted capital in Silicon Valley. How’d he swerve around rejection? He’ll tell us on May 3. So will other speakers.
- Which skills you ACTUALLY need to found a company
Do you need to know several programming languages? Have business training? Which skills are critical, when? A handful of brilliant founders are going to tackle this topic at Startup. Gina Bianchini, the serial entrepreneur who co-founded Ning and is now at the helm of Mightybell, will speak on launching a venture without a hugely technical background — and without a technical co-founder. Ben Milne, the Dwolla founder who is taking on the global credit-card system, is going to tell us how he runs his business as a dropout who was never taught code. You’ll also hear a robust debate on whether to drop out. Come learn more by grabbing your ticket here.
You’ll also see the finalists of the business-plan competition go head-to-head with sceptical VCs at the conference. Out of hundreds of applicants that came in last month, one will be awarded at Startup with $75,000 in cash and prizes to grow their business. The 2010 winner, Redbeacon, was acquired by Home Depot this year for an amount that left them “very pleased.”
And BI is inviting feedback from founders and entrepreneurs: what are we missing? What else should we be covering at Startup? Let us know in the comments, below.
See you there in May!
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