E135: Jason’s Talk at Cal Tech on This Week in Startups

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TWiST #135: Jason Speaks at Cal Tech

Jason recently spoke at California Institute of Technology’s Entrepreneurship Club to a group of students and entrepreneurs, offering advice, inspiration and some anecdotes to learn from.

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1:00-2:00 How many people in the crowd want to be entrepreneurs when you grow up?
2:00-3:30 Jason gives a brief history of his career as an entrepreneur.
3:30-5:30 The importance of ideas, action and iteration.
5:30-6:30 Why pivoting is underrated and hard work is paramount.
6:30-8:30 How many entrepreneurs here agree that it’s hard, lonely work?
8:30-10:30 Why Twitter is a great example of successful product iteration.
10:30-12:30 It’s not about the idea, it’s about the space.
12:30-15:00 How Jason learned the hard way that you can’t fundamentally change people and what to look for in startup employees. (Watch the clip.)
15:00-15:45 Why consensus can hurt a business.
15:45-19:30 The trend of investors looking for people who actually build the product (developers and designers).
19:30-22:15 Money is free–if you have a good idea.
22:15-25:00 Don’t underestimate the importance of a good domain name.
25:00-28:00 Jason’s past companies, Silicon Alley Reporter and Weblogs, Inc., and his current company, Mahalo.
28:00-30:30 Discovering that video was the differentiator in how well pages on Mahalo did.
30:30-35:30 Question from the audience: How do you make a company ok with failure?
35:30-38:00 Question from the audience: How do young people find mentors? (Watch the clip.)
38:00-40:00 The difference in the Gen Y mentality about winning and success.
40:00-42:00 Question from the audience: What’s the difference between an inventor and an entrepreneur?
42:00-46:45 Question from the audience: How do you build a team?
46:45-50:30 Question from the audience: What would you do differently next time? (Watch the clip.)
50:30-53:30 Why entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone and why you should just go for it.

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Jason: @jason
Cal Tech: @caltech

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