Larry Chiang’s Startup Advice for MIT

by Larry Chiang

So at SXSW, I was annointed #1 in Entrepreneurship Education. I would like to credit MIT for a large part of that.

You see, your school recognized me way ahead of everyone else at LAST years SXSW. I met Douglas Hwang at Second Market’s bus trip to Salt Lick. Inside of 24 hours I had him wrangled into CNN Grill and he closed me on speaking at MIT about the stuff I was mentoring the MIT SXSW Tour 2011. My topic at MIT was the “Tom Chiang Engineer to Entrepreneur Transformation”.

Here are some specific techniques that will take you from theoretical to practical. They center around building a ‘Lemonade Stand Business’

-1- Lets start with a live-action case study.

My neighbor was a product manager for IP Infusion. I recommended that she start execute a lemonade stand business concept — She picked selling knock-off purses. Business boomed until you guessed it. The exercise of taking in money, getting something up and going, doing menial tasks, staying semi focused… all lead into her next business. Menlo Logic. Except this time, it was a legit business that did SSL-VPN. It solved ONE problem. One big problem.

Similar to my Ga Ga Guaranteed exits pattern that we will be replicating this summer at Stanford Engineering 145, solving the problem led to a quick exit. Menlo Logic was sold to Sonic Wall.

-2- Me and Mark Cuban Love College Entrepreneurs

Mr Mark wrote this genius post. “Making Money as a College Student” http://blogmaverick.com/2012/02/29/making-money-as-a-student/

It is an example of a lemonade stand business

-3- Easy to Do. Easier not to do it.

There is a cautionary tale for us MIT people. We don’t wanna get caught 30 years from now teaching college at UW-Platteville. Teaching there snuffs out your life energy as an MIT grad. I am Chinese. The people in my family that know someone not street smart all have a friend or friend of a friend that ends up having gone to MIT and then banished to UW Platteville. I wrote about “Ivy Hero, Life Zero”.

Entrepreneurship is at times, mind numbingly remedial. Do it anyway MIT. Do the stuff that is easy to do and rest assured that our MIT classmates will shun these entrepreneur tasks because they are way easier not to do it.

-4- Another Lemonade Stand is to Co-host a Dinner or Evening Session.

Read Jacob Cole’s “how to hack an afterparty at SXSW”. It will introduce you to the Minimum Viable Party’ street smart maneuver.

-5- Join me and Jacob for MIT Entrepreneur Week March 31-April 5, 2012.

It is on Plancast.

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