An inspiring Professor.
I have always felt that a teacher’s job is to inspire. And I am glad to have met one of the very few teachers who inspired me – Prof. Blake
Most people who know him know of his investment acumen, network and intolerance for bullshit, but let me shed light on some of the key takeaways for me, from his Search Fund and VC class:
- Nail it before you scale it. Get the business model right, test the product/service thoroughly and only then make the ‘big’ move
- Go slow when you can and fast when you must. It helps keep the ship steady even when you’re in it for the long haul
- Act-Learn-Analyze-Decide. This must be a perpetual cycle for any business. Especially when it comes to listening to consumers.
- The Founder must be a salesperson. Sales solves most problems
- Bootstrap till you can. There is no substitute for early profitability. Raising money comes with its headaches and limitations, which is why repeat entrepreneurs are so skeptical about raising money. Also, study WeWork in detail, and don’t do what they did. You’ll do great
- 4 most important life decisions: Who you choose as your life-partner, How you treat your body, What career you choose and What kind of a parent you want to be.. don’t go wrong with these, and you can screw almost everything else up
- Your first job post-MBA won’t matter. Work for a a company that is growing and where you’ll develop the right skill sets
- Don’t be passionate about being an entrepreneur. It is like being passionate about being married
- Listen. VC’s look for those who can listen, analyze and then respond. Leave your ‘I-know-it-all’ attitude at home
He never asked us to pursue a specific career path, but showed us what the journey would be like in a couple choices. Teaching is his way of giving back, what is yours?