Realized I’ve passed the one year mark as an entrepreneur, founding HealthShoppr in June of last year, and now preparing for launch by end of year (and I have a feeling it’ll be tough attracting alpha testers with free massages) . Its been a very different experience than either McKinsey or medicine, but the transition feels right.
I’m seeing an interesting growth in the tech scene in LA– not sure if its just faces becoming familiar and new ones in the pack, but there’s an energy that seems to be picking up, and groups of people starting to gravitate toward companies different than I would see in NY or hear about in the Valley.
Andrew Warner’s Mixergy has picked up the pace– events are happening often now and I’ve seen his energy and confidence pick up as he’s picked up (and increasingly grown comfortable highlighting) sponsors and speakers. TechZulu is everywhere– documenting the growing numbers of companies and entrepreneurs working in the space. Community has moved into bigger venues, blankspaces hosted an event tonight (seems like an interesting alternative workspace somewhere in between Business Technology Center and Regus). Rubicon Project has been hosting a number of late, with SummerMash coming soon.
Its been quite a change since my first early experiences pitching Tech Coast Angels (good to see Jason Nazar who I saw early in that process succeeding with DocStoc– and giving away schwag that the Schwaggon Wagon won’t be getting– I hear Sarah Lacy‘s book is a good read). Its been interesting to see people still remember my early pitch at StartupLA
I’ve learned that the art of the pitch is less in the pitch– and more in the introduction leading to it. I’ve learned that survival and extending the runway means more than falling just short with a terrific product. I’ve learned that technology development relies just as much on communication as everything else and a picture may speak 1000 words, but adding the next 100 to the spec makes it that much better (thank you Axure). I’ve now learned that open source works (this one in Joomla), but tends to be designed for engineers by engineers and isn’t made to make business-level changes quickly (I’m giving Liz’s catering site a facelift–will post the update next week).
Biggest thing I’ve learned is that to surf big waves, at some point you need to swim against the current. As I look into year two, I’m looking at launching a service taking on the big guys (insurance) in a $2.2 Trillion industry. My only advantage is that massive accumulated pain that I can help solve– it should be one hell of a ride!