How to Get Over the Hump of Entrepreneurship

November 10, 2011

4:43 pm

Four entrepreneurs from FastCustomer, Personal, SheFinds Media, and SnapCloud met at DC Week this afternoon to talk about getting over the bumps in the road that all entrepreneurs face.  Here are their suggestions:

1. You need to know someone who speaks Russian.

Hiring technical talent requires you to speak technically – or have someone who does help you. As one entrepreneur on the panel said, you can’t hire a Russian teacher if you don’t speak Russian.

2. Nip office politics in the bud.

You only get two strikes and then you’re out if you try and engage in office politics at Personal.  If you don’t discuss issues, but instead let them fester, your team will fail.

3. Hire the right people.

Be proactive in hiring to avoid future team issues. It’s more important to hire the right people than to grow fast.

4. There are lots of great singers who will never be famous.

Just because you built a great product, you won’t automatically have a great business. You have to aggressively market your product in order to ensure it catches fire.

5. Talk to your customers before the product is built.

FastCustomer talked about their success at customer development while building and planning products. Don’t just start building products until you know someone will buy them.

Entrepreneurship is ripe with pitfalls. Use the above common sense pieces of advice to avoid those humps and build a lasting business.

Allen Gannett is an entrepreneur and DC resident. He was a castmember on MTV’s Mover and Changers. You can follow him on twitter at @AllenGannett and his blog at

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