Ep 20: Entrepreneurship – A decade in Review with Bill Waldo
In another unscripted conversation, this The Savvy Founder episode looks into the past 10+ years of entrepreneurship to see what we can learn from then and now. Bill Waldo, entrepreneur turned angel investor, provides those insights from then until now. We delve into both sides – the entrepreneurial mindset and the investor perspective.
- Today we really have an incredible entrepreneurial ecosystem with access to resources from many organizations. Thirty years ago, there was nothing like it.
- Founders are more prepared today, because they have access to more information. But there is also more expectation that entrepreneurship leads quick success. The ideal founder has done their homework and knows what they are getting into. They have done their customer discovery and validate the problem they are trying to solve is real.
- Customer discovery means, knowing who is your customer; who actually pays you; as opposed to constituents that don’t pay you. Spend time in your customer’s industry and walk in their shoes to understand their pain.
- There are still many founders that are unprepared. Founders that know they are in for a long haul are coachable.
- The Shark Tank is not investing, its entertainment.
- Entrepreneurs are somewhat delusional in that they feel like VCs are their first target for financing their startup.
- Investors do certainly do more due diligence than they did 10 years ago. Due diligence means checking that everything the founder said is true; and checking what we heard said is what was said.
- Technology has changed, entrepreneur access to skills and help has changed; but the same founder issues exist today as in the past, perhaps with some greater expectation to quick success.
- Just because you have a business degree doesn’t mean you’re going to be a good entrepreneur.
- If you decide to join an accelerator, do your due diligence and make sure they have the connections and subject matter experts.
- Entrepreneurs are usually not financial experts, so they should find help to get their financial business model created; They need to understand how long it will take to break even.
- Always surround yourself with people smarter than yourself.
About the Guest:
Over a span of three decades, Bill conceived and developed a lucrative and rewarding company. He started from scratch and learned all about business along the way. With an incredible depth of knowledge based on his own experiences, Bill has applied his strategic planning skills and business instincts to the everyday dilemmas faced by business owners has applied in Southern California. After graduating from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Bill started Supreme Foodservice Sales, a foodservice sales and marketing company and soon became one of the leaders in the industry. The company handled all of the foodservice sales and marketing activities for some of the largest food manufacturers in the country, representing companies such as Nestle, Sara Lee, Del Monte, HJ Heinz, and The Lipton Tea Company. Throughout his career, Bill has served on several national industry advisory boards. Bill completed the sale of his company and went on to become more involved in his local business community. Since, he has enjoyed teaching and mentoring the founders of young companies how to grow and become successful. In 2006 Bill became an active investor with TCA and serves as the membership co-chairman and board member. He currently serves as a consultant for the SBA (Small Business Administration) and offers his expertise to start-up ventures through the UCI Small Business Development Center in Irvine.
About the Host:
Philip Topham is The Savvy Founder. Philip has an inquisitive mind and passion for ideas. He’s impatient to see tomorrow’s future today. He focuses on helping technical founders unlock their pragmatic dreamer and develop their business skills and social capital. With more than 25 years across start-ups and corporate roles, Philip has been everything from janitor to the Founder and Chief Everything Officer. H
Philip, can be found camping, hiking, or playing billiards with friends; and he loves a good ‘international’ pot luck.
Words of Wisdom
- Ideas are worthless; revenues are priceless; surround yourself with smart people.
- Life is a journey – mole hills or mountains? it’s your choice.
Connect with Philip at:
Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/philiptopham
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/thesavvyfounder
Website – https://philiptopham.com
Free resources: 10 Most Fixable Pitch Deck Mistakes @ https://www.thesavvyfounder.com
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