Last Wednesday, I got to attend the Philly New Technology Meetup Holiday Extravaganza attended by more than 150 entrepreneurs, innovators and industry leaders. It was an overall exciting time to get to meet like-minded individuals, connect and learn. Here are a few key takeaways and lessons learned from the speakers a the start of the event.
1. Share content that people care about
Twenty one year old entrepreneur Joshua Davidson kicked things off by talking about how he was able to grow his business organically and quickly by utilizing the power of social media to build relationships, and more importantly trust. He highlighted the importance of sharing content people care about, and at the same time, finding a way to have it go back to what you're doing.
2. Fail Well by learning from your mistakes
Experienced entrepreneur Josh Detweiler then talked about the importance of failing well. We shouldn't be afraid of failure because failure teaches us a lot of things. It's really about figuring out what didn't work, and getting back up because success has its peaks and valleys.
3. Align your time with your values
"Align your time with your values because someday when everyone in their room has their 100 million, you won't be remembered for that. You will be remembered for the people you impacted and the legacy that you built. Build your legacy fast because your time is short. Build your legacy big so that you're remembered, and build your legacy well so that you're remembered forever." - Josh Detweiler
4. Build for your users
You need users and revenue to grow your business and make it sustainable. And in order to get your users, you need to build your product well. You should also be thinking about how you will acquire your users. Have a plan to get users. Have a great product so that it can spread virally. Build your product well and build it with an emphasis on user acquisition.
5. Understand your market before scaling
Design strategist and active member of the software community Dorothy Danforth emphasized that as you start to scale, you should be making sure to do your research on your target customer.
You can't just rush without understanding your target customer. You can't make assumptions without really knowing what your target customers really want or need. She adviced,"One of the best and surefire ways to understand your target customers is to observe."
6. Building relationships take time
Simply networking with people won't get them to invest in your company. Entrepreneurs are often in a rush and forget that something's take time. You have to be constantly nurturing your relationships and getting to know people better. Your network can become extremely powerful, only if you're able to really nurture it, and grow it well.
7. Nothing grows without space and air
During her earlier years, Danforth would work 80 to 90 hour weeks. This is what happens to a lot of us. But Danforth emphasized the importance of taking time off to to travel and diversify our activities, and how it can help us see the bigger picture.
It's so easy to get distracted now a days, and so Danforth challenged everyone to be fully present in every moment of their lives. "Take a breather here and there. Don't just focus on things that feed your intellect and wallet, make time for things that feed your soul."
8. Introductions can be extremely powerful
Introductions can change our lives. Introductions can change the world. Business coach, entrepreneur and Philly New Technology Meetup organizer Michael Krupit talked about how he first met his cofounder through introductions. He then went on to give examples like how the members of the Beatles and Apple cofounders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak met through introductions.
With this desire to connect people, he encouraged people to use the web application he created called Intro.net, which makes it easier for people to make introductions, and see who are the connectors and influencers in the area. And more than anything, connecting is about giving back, and like what Adam Grant said, all it takes is 5 minutes.
David Ongchoco is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in LIFE. An aspiring entrepreneur, David has been working on different side projects during his free time like the Global Youth Journal, while also blogging about all the inspiring people he's been meeting in his first semester of college in his person blog www.davidongchoco.com. If you want to talk more about entrepreneurship, startups, education or any random topic, feel free to hit David up at email@example.com.