The Entrepreneur Society at the McCombs School of Business.
A great day of speakers and panel sessions, well-planned and executed by MBA students interested in entrepreneurship.
Highlights of sessions I attended:
Robert Reeves, Chief Architect, Application Release Automation, Office of the CTO – BMC Software
Reeves serves as Chief Architect for BMC’s Application Release products. He was formerly the CTO and one of the original founders of Phurnace Software (acquired by BMC). Reeves was the Chief Architect of the Phurnace engine and the company’s first products. He has a B.A. in Economics with a mathematics minor from the University of Texas at Austin.
- “I was asked early on in our market validation process, ‘If this idea is so great, why hasn’t IBM done it?'”
- “Timing has a lot to do with this stuff, but you can do some things to increase your luck. Be ready to take advantage when that little blue bird lands on your window sill.”
- “We talked to our prospects and asked them, ‘What keeps you up at night?’ We found out that they didn’t want exactly what we had in mind. That saved us a tremendous amount of time and money.”
- “Rob Adams says to talk to 100 people about your idea as part of your market validation. He says, ‘If you can’t find 100 people now you’ll never be able to, and that is true.'”
- “If you want to make a lot of money, don’t start a company. Get a finance degree and head to NYC. If you want to change the world, start a company.”
- “If you want to make money in Q4, you’ve got to be selling to people in Q2. You’ve got to be flying around and meeting with customers, and where does the money come from for airline tickets?”
- “In a technology startup the engineers get treated better than Japanese cattle.”
- “When the economy went to crap we had to cut our workforce by 10%. We protested to the board, ‘But we’re only 10 people!’ But they insisted. So, it was last in first out, that was the only way to do it, because we only hired people we absolutely needed.”
- “When we made sales calls, I only wanted to talk to people who were really going to use our software. We could talk to decision-makers later. First we had to convince the user.”