Archive for February, 2011

Short-term pessimism and long-term optimism

February 11th, 2011

I spoke at the University of Connecticut School of Business last night.  Shared some of the Higher One story and some of my perspective on entrepreneurship. One of the items that came up was the right make up of teams.

In addition to founding teams having the right skills, smarts and action-orientation, I think the most successful entrepreneurs combine short-term pessimism with long-term optimism.  (There are some teams that have these in two different people rather than all in one person.)

In order to put in the long hours, and keep going despite set-backs, an entrepreneur relies on the belief that s/he can eventually solve the problems and surmount the obstacles.  If you didn’t believe that you could get it done some day, why start?

Yet, if  you have overriding confidence and optimism alone, then you may never see problems or do the required work.  It is just as important to have enough worry and discomfort with the current state of things to push towards making it better.

Call it a split personality if you will:  The courage to start.  The fear to work to reduce risk.  Both are key ingredients.

(I feel like I may have read about this concept somewhere, although can’t remember so if you have the citation, please let me know.)

Founder Breakfast and Start-up List

February 5th, 2011

I’ve got two half-baked ideas that I’m working on to continue to build the start-up community in New Haven.   Personally, my interest is in information technology-related ones (web, software, etc.).

One, for two weeks we’ve had a weekly breakfast for founders (or founders at heart).  If you’re interested in joining, please let me know.  The idea is an informal gathering to build relationships and exchange information.

Two, I just started a list of New Haven area start-ups.  Want to help flesh it out?  I think the number of start-ups in the area would surprise the average person.  Plus, the list of companies that used to be based in New Haven is also intriguing.  Please review and help update the list.