Tag Archives: entrepreneur

Guide to Become an Entrepreneur – Get Feedback and Learn From Others

Up until recently I have always toyed with the idea of creating a company and becoming an entrepreneur,  but wasn’t sure where to start.  I wasn’t certain how to build a business or where to get feedback and find answers to my questions.  After all, most people I know are not trying to start anything new, but instead they’re content with working their regular 9-5.  I put this list together with what helped me, to help others get started and more importantly, gain feedback and learn from other experiences.

Social Networking

twitter I am sure you have heard this a thousand times, social networking is a great way to interact and find people to help you on your journey.  If you are on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ and are finding yourself not understanding why you are not reaping the benefits, look at how you are interacting.  Are you just posting questions that only your followers can see?  Are you adding hashtags hoping someone sees you in a search for #entrepreneur? If so, you might be doing it wrong.

Try this instead.  Get out there and ask someone a direct question.  Social networks are not only meant to be a place for you to say what comes to your mind and hope someone listens.  Social networks are meant to be, well, social.  When trying to start Pixel Precise LLC I was crippled by the idea of launching and worrying about copyrights, legal, how to claim a company with the state, etc.  So I took a leap of faith and asked Jay Adelson, Ex-CEO of Digg.com and host of podcast AskJay I was watching at the time,  a direct question on twitter.



TED  Ideas worth spreadingPodcasts are great, you can learn a lot from watching 1 a day or even just a few  a week.  They are designed to fit busy life styles (< 30min per episode), you can load them onto your phone or tablet, and they are often to-the-point without all of the fluff that comes from TV programming. Even if a show isn’t dedicated to business you may find some value in them.  The podcast FilmRiot, is like this; I am not a film guy, but I learn a lot about what sort of hard-work goes into podcast production by watching this show.  It has the added benefit of being very entertaining as well. Who knows, maybe one of these days I will need to create a video for my company and will be able to utilize these great tips!

If you are looking for something that is a little more to the topic of business, I would try TED or AskJay.  Ask Jay is no longer in production, but there are still ~70 episodes of tips and answers to viewer questions.  I know I have asked myself a few of those questions before.  Next is TED Talks. Ted is a wonderful podcast that is still in production where people from all over the globe give amazing talks about their experiences and provide you with groundbreaking research at no cost to you!

Entrepreneur Communities

EntrepreneurMy first choice is Reddit, these people are brutally honest and you can remain anonymous to protect your ideas. Okay, I know what you are thinking, “Reddit? Really? Isn’t that the website with cats and memes?” Well yes, but it is also the home to reddit.com/r/entrepreneur, a sub-community solely focused on helping other entrepreneurs be successful.  Think of it as a forum to ask questions, get feedback and learn from other experiences.  If Reddit not your thing, give Google+ Communities a try.  It has a cleaner interface without all of the (cat) distractions. Also, Google+ Communities have multiple different pages around similar categories. So if one doesn’t work for you, there is an option to either create your own or try another one that suites your needs.

Design Communities

forrstThe times are here, you can’t honestly run a business without some sort of online presence.  That means you will have to buckle down and design logos, websites, etc. Two popular and prominent communities are Dribbble and Forrst.  Personally, I use Forrst. Here you can post designs and get honest feedback on how you can do better. Starting out, you don’t need many friends because once you post, many people will see your content and provide you with feedback and tips.  As for Dribbble the concept is similar, admittedly I haven’t had as much luck with feedback when starting out.  Maybe you will, you can always use it as a way to gain inspiration and find out what others are coming up with for creations.

Business Websites

Fast CompanyThere are many business websites out there, but one I really like is Fast Company.  Fast company always has compelling articles, sections on leadership and design, and there is the always interesting 30 Second MBA.  The 30 second MBA is a series of videos from different CEOs who talk about a business related topic 30 seconds! If you are looking to supplement yourself with more content just like Fast Company, try Inc or VentureBeat. Both are similar in content and appeal.

Local State Website

Step by Step Guide to Starting a Business in MassachusettsI won’t get into too much detail here because depending on where you are from, the information may be different. That said, I live in Massachusetts and I found this helpful how to start a business guide on my states website.  I am sure if you look around, you will find something similar for your location.  I was able to use this guide to find out how to get an LLC for my company Pixel Precise.

How Are You Getting Involved?

I am a firm believer that one of the most important things you can do is to build a network. Your work will only do as well as your network unless you get lucky and have a social power user resend you work to a massive audience.

I would love you hear what you are doing to get involved, i.e. what sites do you visit, conferences / meet-ups do you attend, social networks are you involved.

Some suggested topics I would love to hear about, but not limited too, are Boston, web design, entrepreneurship, small business / enterprise services, or just to get people with a passion for what they do to hang out.

Comment below and let’s share ideas!

Let’s Dream Again

A call to action for NASA, the United States Government and the rest of the world


Recently, I was watching an older episode of Top Gear UK, the episode where James May visited NASA and took the latest iteration of the moon buggy out for a spin (first half featured below).  Watching this segment, you can clearly see that here is a mature adult who made a career out of driving million dollar super cars, driving an incredibly awkward vehicle at a top speed of 10 miles an hour who has suddenly become a kid again with a dream that he too could someday be an astronaut again. This dream is nothing more than the sheer manifestation of immense inspiration obtained from pure technical and scientific achievement; only, to be met with the utter disappointment when he realizes that this vehicle will never actually be able to make it to the moon because the United States Government suspended funding for any future moon missions.

First Half of the Top Gear UK Moon Buggy Segment.

In an attempt to keep this very dream alive, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson has been trying very hard to breathe life back into the spirit of discovery and how it will help to fix the many economic issues society currently faces today but also, give the younger generations something to strive towards and dream about once again.  Dr. Tyson’s analysis of history shows that there is a direct correlation between scientific achievement, economic stimulation and revolutionary entrepreneurship through public missions like the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing.  These missions not only give us insight into how our species came to be so we can help to predict our fate and future and ensure our continued existence on earth but, they also pave way for generations of inspiration and technical/scientific advancement to come.

Video of “Neil deGrasse Tyson – We Stopped Dreaming”

Where am I going with this? Scientific discovery is not just a United States mission.  It is a mission that any person can feel empowered and make a difference.  James May of Top Gear in Britain shouldn’t feel let down because of the lack of priority by the US Government.  A child should not stop dreaming because he/she will not be able to experience the joy and excitement of watching another moon landing like my parents did about 40 years ago.

We live in a bureaucratic society.  By the very definition of bureaucracy (according to Merriam-Webster), is “a body of nonelective government officials.” After watching a TED Talk from Jennifer Pahlka, I realized that we are going about this all wrong. We, as citizens of the world, have an opportunity and an obligation to keep those dreams alive.  We shouldn’t be waiting for the government to properly prioritize NASA’s funding. If we waited, it would probably never happen.  Let’s do what the government is failing to do.

Jennifer Pahlka: Coding a better government

While Dr. Tyson’s awareness campaign have been very enlightening, a call to action is required if we really want to move forward.  I propose, we breathe life back into our dreams, stop waiting for the government, and let’s start awareness conferences and non-profit organizations’ where we can get the entire world to be able to donate and jumpstart another lunar mission and put NASA back in its rightful place of enabling us to dream again, and fulfilling our mission to send our society into the next unknown.