In the world of startups and entrepreneurships, you have a lot of talk, a lot of dreams, a lot of hype and — ultimately — a lot of disappointments.
But that’s life. It’s a small world. And it doesn’t take long to get found out if you’re not the real deal.
In this Q&A, however, we brought the heat.
David Chen is a Millennial entrepreneur with the experience of a Wall Street retiree.
Billion-dollar merger? Check.
Multiple startup exits? Check.
Successful ICO? Check that, too.
And perhaps, most impressively, Dave’s managed to do something even the McMahons of the WWE couldn’t — penetrate the Chinese market successfully.
In this Q&A, we ask him why entrepreneurs fail to raise money, even if they have a good idea (hint: ideas ain’t shit), the first thing you need to do, and, finally, what the best industries were.
Let’s get right to it. What’s the main thing stopping entrepreneurs from raising money?
Knowing their audience. You can’t assume that you know something and that it works at one region, but not the rest. It’s a relationship—and most of the times there aren’t relationships out there.
Secondly, you don’t approach someone in esports like you would in commercial. So my FaZe Clan pitch is different from my commloan pitch.
When is the right time to raise money — and what’s the first thing an entrepreneur needs to do?
There is never a right time, there’s only a right project. Know all your answers, make it simple. If a 10-year-old doesn’t understand it, redo the pitch.
You’re on a number of boards of startups. What’s one you’re bullish on at the moment?
I love them all. Sharebert was named Forbes’ top 23 in tech innovation. Commloan has done over a billion in funding—and I’m a customer.
FaZe Clan is the largest esports team with 300M subscribers and 10B views last year. And Micamp 20/20 does the best credit card processing.
What’s the best startup play — or sector — right now?
Sharebert is a great startup play because the tech is there. The management team is there. The need is there. It’s just there.
FaZe Clan is great because they have the global market, viewership—and they’re different.
What’s the next frontier for start up world.
I see China as the next market.
Why do you say that?
I say that because they have 44% of the world’s population. And if you don’t work with them it, they’ll just do it themselves.
INTERVIEW: Founder of $310M Clothing Line Bonobos On The Best Way To Raise Money (And No, It’s Not VC)
When Andy Dunn graduated from Stanford, the aspiring entrepreneur kickstarted a menswear company from his small apartment in New York. The clothing line, Bonobos, started off with a simple idea — selling chino pants.
Ten years later, the company was acquired by Walmart for $310M. According to Dunn, the key to raising funds does not always hinge on money. Here’s how he did it.
Here’s How Apple’s CEO Tim Cook Starts His Day (And What He Does Might Surprise You)
Apple has became a trillion-dollar company. Despite the tech giant’s great numbers, how does its CEO Tim Cook actually start his day?
In a recent Axios interview, Cook revealed he starts each day just before 4 a.m. with a strict morning routine.
What that consists of might surprise you: He reads user comments about Apple products.
“I like to take the first hour and go through user comments and things like this that sort of focus on the external people that are so important to us,” Cook says.
In other words, he reads comments from fans, trolls and everything in between.
You’d think the CEO never bothers to read stuff like that; that he’d have an assistant ready to give him the rundown.
“And then I go to the gym and work out for an hour because it keeps my stress at bay.”
Workouts can be super critical. Billionaires and other successful entrepreneurs cite fitness as a key component to their success (and overall sanity).
“I seriously doubt that I would have been as successful in my career (and happy in my personal life),” Branson once wrote in a blog post. “If I hadn’t always placed importance on my health and fitness.”
Investors Reveal: 3 Major Mistakes Aspiring Entrepreneurs Make
There’s an old saying about first time entrepreneurs—they don’t know what they don’t know.
No matter what field you are in, or what type of business you own, it is so important that you understand some of the mistakes that tend to plague so many entrepreneurs in today’s market.
There is one main mistake you can avoid from the jump. But it’s the same one many founders miss, investor Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin says.
“Most people come up with a solution first, without thinking through the problem,” Eckersley-Maslin told CNBC.
More often than not, aspiring entrepreneurs come up with a great idea…only to discover there’s no need.
This looks pretty obvious, at first, but you’d be amazed to know how many people overlook it. So what are the right moves to make?
Here are some common mistakes aspiring entrepreneurs make.
1) Underestimate the amount of time it takes to learn a new industry
“One dumb mistake I made is to underestimate the barrier and knowhow when entering into a new industry,” says Zhifei Li, Founder & CEO of the Beijing-headquartered Mobvoi, the maker of the smartwatch called Ticwatch.
“Irrelevant experience can be a burden,” Zhifei Li, Founder & CEO of Mobvoi & Ticwatch. “Stay humble, stay hungry.”
2) Holding on to an under-performing employee for too long
Chris Myers, the CEO and co-founder of the Denver-based financial tracking and analytics tools for small businesses BodeTree, says he held on to an under-performing employee for too long.
“I hesitated to take action, instead holding out hope that somehow the individual would fix their behavior and get back on the right track,” says Myers.
3) Launching a company with no customer validation
Victor Chang’s first startup idea, LifeCrumbs, a social journaling app, seemed brilliant to him. But Chang never tested it with potential consumers and that was, he says, a “terrible mistake.” He spent five months building the app in stealth mode.
“This hurts a lot because when we finally launched the service, we realized this isn’t what the customers were looking for!” In hindsight, Chang says, LifeCrumbs wasn’t different enough from existing products to be successful.