I spent the evening networking and talking to UT Entrepreneur Nick Spiller and his friends at the W Hotel, where we encountered someone who looked suspiciously like Lady Gaga.
We discussed what it takes to build with discussed the fundamental elements of a makes a collegiate entrepreneurial community work. A few realizations about what makes the entrepreneurial community work at MIT included:
a) making apps has to be what people do for fun in afternoon.
b) the litmus test for whether a business is good or not is whether you’d still want to do it if you weren’t getting paid. This both filters out instances in which you’re deluding yourself through the allure of money, and it also guarantees that you’re be doing something you want to do anyway. This has led to, off the top of my head alone, http://www.instantnightlife.com, http://bitbills.com/, http://www.instadefine.com/, http://www.easydefine.com/, http://swyp.us/, http://nchoose2.com/, and, less directly perhaps, companies like http://dropbox.com/. For this sort of instantly adoptable technology, a pleasurable first 10 seconds of use is necessary, as Bing Gordon tells us in his gamification talk.
Of course, this is only a very limited subsets of the projects one can do. I also met, for instance, UT undergrad uberentrepreneur Richie Gill who started a major real estate business at 20, which you can find at http://mrwestcampus.com/. For more project ideas, check out Paul Graham’s notes form today.
I’m going to see if I can present my friends’ and my various projects over the next couple of days: BigKeyboard/Swyp, and maybe even see if I can network with some business owners relevant to CapitalSphere
Observation: SxSW has a high density drunk venture capitalists.