1 - Must have conviction.
2 - Need to have a team you can trust.
3 - Need to have fun.
4 - Believe in what you do even if you don’t know what the outcome will be.
5 - Stay true to yourself and your people.
6 - Don’t let greed compromise the business model.
—  L. Kaileh’s takeaway from bRelevant’s Speaker Series featuring entrepreneurHans Ullmark
Watch on entrepreneurd.tumblr.com

We had an amazing opportunity to glean much coveted wisdom from our special guest speaker, Hans Ullmark, at Babson’s San Francisco site. 

Go ahead, start at the three minute mark. You will love him. Guaranteed. He’s one of the pioneers of B2B advertising and was a big angel investor during the dotcom boom/bomb. Besides his quick bio (www.collaboratesf.com — and check under the tab “management”), Hans is a branding genius. Simply put, you have to be for Microsoft to kidnap you. He’s a legend. 

bRelevant — Curry Up Now event — takeaway(s)

1. Relationships, relationships, relationships. 

2. Figure out your key metrics for success. Ravi chooses to be the happiest man on Earth.

3. You’ll know within a day if someone truly shares that genuine zest for your vision, and on that note, Akash never rehires anyone he’s fired.

4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Your ego has to be the first thing you say good-bye to at the workplace. Find ways of channeling your ego elsewhere. Ravi drives REALLY fast and loves astrophotography.

5. Face your weaknesses, then hire folks that are smarter in those areas to fill in those gaps. 

6. Always pick the “A” team first. The products will come after that.

7. There are Builders and there are Maintainers. Ravi figured out he was a builder at the age of 17. Akash is a builder that knows maintainers need to be present to keep the company going. Control freaks are sometimes necessary.

8. Build your teams and remember that the good ones worth keeping become part of your nerve system. Ravi’s been connected to his for a decade-and-a-half.  

9. There’s nothing wrong with building a business without a business plan. It’s harder, but being action-oriented is better than not taking action at all.

10. Tesla’s coming out with a mass market $30K vehicle in 3 years. CAN. NOT. WAIT.

KHN’s takeaway from bRelevant’s CURRY UP NOW gathering featuring entrepreneur Akash Kapoor and Tesla’s CIO (and intrapraneur) Ravi Simhambhatla

1. Follow your gut instinct — sometimes you just know it’s the right move, go with it.

2. Know what game you are playing — it’s important to know how to win.

3. Opportunity favors the prepared.

4. When you commit to entrepreneurship, be fully committed. Once you start to question yourself, it’s very dangerous.

5. Have fun! Enjoy the journey.

—  — J.Flores’ takeaway from bRelevant’s most recent 8@8 dinner featuring Naved Khan
What was most interesting to me was that Hans’ path to entrepreneurship was really a combination of his DNA (conviction) and necessity. The necessity to create a living for his family is what gave him the courage to take risks, and he readily admitted that looking back on things, some of the choices he made were foolish. I think the key lesson for other aspiring entrepreneurs is that if they have the conviction, they can take their “shot” now, without putting it all on the line like Hans did. So in that sense, most of us have the luxury of failing with far fewer negative consequences… and that should give them some courage to take action.
—  C. Fan’s takeaway from bRelevant’s Speaker Series featuring entrepreneur Hans Ullmark 
1. Check your EGO at the door. There is no time or space for that.
2. Your goal, as a manager, should be to have your team be able to put something on their resume that shows they have grown under your leadership.
—  A. Shah’s takeaway from bRelevant’s CURRY UP NOW gathering featuring entrepreneur Akash Kapoor and Tesla’s CIO (and intrapraneur) Ravi Simhambhatla

AbsolutelyNew

Congratulations to the winners of our recent student invention contest, who’ll receive free services from AbsolutelyNew, including: 

1. Intellectual Property Protection

2. Market Research

3. Product Development

4. Marketing 

The winners are:

1st: Scott Takahashi, Stanford University, “Refuel Water Bottle”

2nd: Lou Kaileh, Babson College, “EZ-Reach Duster”

3rd: Mazin Alshanbari, Babson College, “Marble Run Puzzle”

[My] biggest takeaway is that you can still come to this country and achieve amazing things through confidence, perseverance and passion. As [Hans Ullmark] did. I also think he lived the idea of relentless execution, calculated risk and overcoming the fear of failure.
—  J. Opatz’s takeaway from bRelevant’s Speaker Series featuring entrepreneurHans Ullmark
I like the part where [Professor Allan Cohen] said: ‘There is always a self-correcting mechanism’ — I think that dovetails on what’s in [Leonard] Schlesinger’s book, he says ‘There is no such thing as Problems, only Opportunities.’ You try different things, see the reaction, listen, then try something else until you find something that works. That’s how we learned to walk, talk, and even though we went to school to be taught not to fail, it takes many failures to find success.
—  LOU KAILEH

1. PERSONALITY drives the direction of a team and the most effective entrepreneurs (and leaders) are the ones who take the time to truly LISTEN.

2. Present your ideas and tackle them in MANAGEABLE CHUNKS. Test your ideas by setting a TIMELINE for accountability in achieving them.

3. Balance is key for team dynamics: being quant[titatively] heavy does not guarantee success — SOFT SKILLS are critical for any entrepreneurial team to thrive and survive.

4. Pay attention for STEP FUNCTIONing opportunities between industries with seemingly little linkage.

5. Western Capitalism is in danger of becoming static in their stodginess surrounding “best business practice principles” and must incorporate intuitive CULTURAL FLEXIBILITIES in their approach to doing business elsewhere.

6. The forgiving atmosphere of the West Coast is a strength of Silicon Valley — where failures are celebrated rather than shunned.

7. Picking your PARTNERS in business is as critical as picking your partner in life. Make sure you consistently and constantly communicate, understand, appreciate and cheer one another on. Pent up feelings are the death of partnerships. It makes ALL the difference in the world — whether in times of mourning or celebration.

—  — K.Nguyen’s takeaway from bRelevant’s most recent 8@8 dinner featuring Naved Khan
- Be humble and be kind to people.
- You have to fire people and ‘set them free’ when they are not working out.
- Continue to maintain the network. Call people, it works better than e-mailing them.
—  J. Flores’ takeaway from bRelevant’s CURRY UP NOW gathering featuring entrepreneur Akash Kapoor and Tesla’s CIO (and intrapraneur) Ravi Simhambhatla
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