Victorias high-profile tech company members filled up the event (standing room only!). The format for the event had each speaker give their tale individually followed by a joint panel for questions and answers. I will recap the main highlights from each speaker.
Scotts story is a great one because he has a major failure and a major success under his belt. He says that his failure really let him appreciate the success he received before it. He had some great tidbits of wisdom.
“A feature is not a business.”
“VC investment is not validation of my business.”
“Had problem solution fit, not product market fit.”
“Educating companies feels like selling but it isn’t.”
“Media coverage is not validation of you, it’s just that you’re interesting. ”
“Have a business before taking VC money their website.”
Tim’s story is one of how a slight oversight can turn your world upside down. We attach ourselves to our careers and when things go bad we start questioning ourselves. His failure, and this is common to all three speakers, let him become a better person as a result.
“Create a product which resonates with you, yours employees, and your customers, not just for the money. ”
“Create a culture of gratitude. ”
Jim told us a cautionary tale of how our egos can get the best of us. Ruin out relationships, create stress, and lead us to failure.
“Create a business you love.”
“Don’t be too vertically integrate. Don’t try to do everything.”
“We spent time on media instead of battling the competition. ”
“There’s a crack in the brick wall, go fast through it. ”
“Media coverage, cool customers = easy. ”
“Core values, honesty, patience, collaboration, humility = hard”
“Fear, ego, identity = toxic. ”
The panel portion of the event was just as interesting. A common theme across the questions was “how can I avoid your mistakes”.
“Ask yourself is it working or am I distracted by the peripheral validation. ”
“Are people buying?”
“What are your core values, let them guide your and your employees decision-making. ”
“Invest in people and training.”
“Don’t work with people you don’t like.”
“Control the amount of work you do. ”
“Everyone is scared to ask for the money, so ask for the money. ”
You could tell everyone in the room wanted more but the event was at an end. I can see this event evolving into an all day conference one day.