Babson Entrepreneur Experience Lab

Elements of the Entrepreneur Experience

Stories

Entrepreneurship Inside

Voice of the Entrepreneur

Over 400 video, audio and narrative stories from new venture entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs inside. Use the controls in the right sidebar to sort by entrepreneur type or entrepreneur experience element; or, add demographic filters to refine your results.

Diane

Diane talks about having the ability to adjust and adapt business models and ideas as you go.

Diane

President & CEO, Communispace

Diane talks about having the ability to adjust and adapt business models and ideas as you go.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Laura

Laura talks about her strategy of de-risking.

Laura

Founder, OneForty

Laura talks about her strategy of de-risking.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Bijoy

Bijoy compares bootstrapping versus traditional funding models.

Bijoy

Founder, Bootstrap Austin

Bijoy compares bootstrapping versus traditional funding models.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Mike

Mike believes a business has to adapt and change relative with the market.

Mike

Mike believes a business has to adapt and change relative with the market.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Mark

Mark talks about the challenges of transitioning a company.

Mark

Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman, Hayneedle

Mark talks about the challenges of transitioning a company.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Matt

Matt constantly adapted his business model.

Matt

Founder and CEO, Ecolect

Matt constantly adapted his business model.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Doug

Doug revisited starting his second business after having to settle other things in his life.

Doug

Founder, Medletters

Doug revisited starting his second business after having to settle other things in his life.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Jessica

Jessica talks about navigating ideas from other people.

Jessica

VP of Strategy, Planning, & Special Projects, Non-profit

Jessica talks about navigating ideas from other people.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Mark

Mark's current successful venture came from a lot of previous failures.

Mark

Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman, Hayneedle

Mark's current successful venture came from a lot of previous failures.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Mike

Mike sees his business as a lab to explore a portfolio of opportunities.

Mike

Founder and Chairman, Front Seat

Mike sees his business as a lab to explore a portfolio of opportunities.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Janis

Janis talks about a young software engineer she is mentoring.

Janis

Founder and Managing Partner, Paladin Partners

Janis talks about a young software engineer she is mentoring.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Jessica

Jess discusses the thought of being indispensable to an organization.

Jessica

Digital Storyteller, Nonprofit

Jess discusses the thought of being indispensable to an organization, and the uncertainty it brings.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Doug

While trying to get his first company moving, Doug started another completely unrelated venture.

Doug

Founder, Medletters

While trying to get his first company moving, Doug started another completely unrelated venture.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Rich

Rich and his team actively experimented with different business models.

Rich

Co-founder, BigStove

Rich and his team actively experimented with different business models early on.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Jacob and Susan

Jacob and Susan talk about their approach to growth.

Jacob and Susan

Founders, Office Nomads

Jacob and Susan talk about their bootstrapped approach to growth.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Jeff

Jeff describes his process of overcoming uncertainty.

Jeff

Reverend

Jeff describes his process of overcoming uncertainty.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Matt

Matt talks about roadmaps not being accurate for him, and how the business climate is always shifting.

Matt

Founder and CEO, Ecolect

Matt talks about roadmaps not being accurate for him, and how the business climate is always shifting.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Rajiv

Rajiv had a willingness to confront setbacks, and make decisions even if it was wrong.

Rajiv

Managing Partner, Shape Up the Nation

Rajiv had a willingness to confront setbacks, and make decisions even if it was wrong.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Danielle

Danielle talks about making big decisions early on by building a case on data.

Danielle

University President, Nonprofit

Danielle talks about making big decisions early on by building a case on data.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Rajiv

Rajiv talks about pivots that happened as a result of testing things with clients.

Rajiv

Managing Partner, Shape Up the Nation

Rajiv talks about setbacks and pivots that happened as a result of testing things with clients.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Danielle

Danielle talks about her initial decision to build a program within her organization, and being prepared for failure.

Danielle

University President, Nonprofit

Danielle talks about her initial decision to build a program within her organization, and being prepared for failure.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Jimmy

Jimmy believes it is important to get a product out to market quickly, and test in iterations.

Jimmy

Chief Architect, Rockdex

Jimmy believes it is important to get a product out to market quickly, and test in iterations.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Pam

Pam talks about risk and failure.

Pam

Executive Director, Rural Community Development, Nonprofit

Pam talks about risk and failure.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Matt

Matt used one of his ventures to support the other.

Matt

Founder and CEO, Ecolect

Matt used one of his ventures to support the other.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Jessica

Jess discusses the justification of her role within the organization.

Jessica

Digital Storyteller, Nonprofit

Jess discusses the justification of her role within the organization.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Jessica

Jess talks about knowing when it's time to do something.

Jessica

Digital Storyteller, Nonprofit

Jess talks about knowing when it's time to do something.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Mike

Mike created negative screens to test if things could work or not.

Mike

Founder and Chairman, Front Seat

Mike created negative screens to test if things could work or not, as a way to de-risk his strategy.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Pete

Pete lost an important contract, and was crushed. He then got more aggressive with his marketing and pitching.

Pete

Founder, Peak Performance Coaching

Pete lost an important contract, and was crushed. He then got more aggressive with his marketing and pitching. He reframed that failure as a learning opportunity.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Kevin

Kevin talks about the mistake of going non-profit at the start.

Kevin

Co-founder, Global L.E.A.D.

Kevin talks about the mistake of going non-profit at the start.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Jeff

Jeff describes the transition of mindset within the church, and how it has lead him to become more inclusive of new ideas.

Jeff

Reverend

Jeff describes the transition of mindset within the church, and how it has lead him to become more inclusive of new ideas.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Jessica

Jessica describes negotiating with herself.

Jessica

VP of Strategy, Planning, & Special Projects, Non-profit

Jessica describes negotiating with herself.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Jessica

Jessica discusses failure and her organization having to support that.

Jessica

VP of Strategy, Planning, & Special Projects, Non-profit

Jessica discusses failure and her organization having to support that.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

RISE Week Expo, Austin

Has an idea like groupon, but will incorporate his own relevant skills.

RISE Week Expo, Austin

Has an idea like groupon, but will incorporate his own relevant skills.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Rajiv

Rajiv initially believed he would have a pilot program, and didn't expect the level of growth through participation.

Rajiv

Managing Partner, Shape Up the Nation

Rajiv initially believed he would have a pilot program, and didn't expect the level of growth through participation.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Nathaniel

Nathaniel describes his experience with experimentation.

I believe in lots of experimentation. Iterate, iterate, iterate. Run test and run them fast. Work with partial data. Real world experimentation is much more useful than endless conversation about what might happen. I want to get out there and try it. As I often say, “Fail fast.” I’m good a failing and I try to make it happen as fast as possible.

Nathaniel

Ind. Consultant/Strategist, Self-organizing

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Doug

After spending months trying to find funding, Doug had to switch gears.

Doug

Founder, Medletters

After spending months trying to find funding, Doug had to switch gears.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Rob

Rob talks about the importance of opposition.

Creative conflict, opposing views, and healthy questioning have all been valuable parts of the Intra process for me. By definition, if there’s not opposition, it’d be difficult to say a project is truly intrapreneurial.

Rob

Founder/CEO, Bike manufacturing co.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Pam

Pam speaks on overcoming roadblocks to move projects forward.

Pam

Executive Director, Rural Community Development, Nonprofit

Pam speaks on overcoming roadblocks to move projects forward.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Christine

Christine on knowing when the time is right.

I've also put ideas on the backburner for long periods of time and brought them back when the timing seemed more favorable. One idea I'm working on now is something that a colleague proposed in 2009. It's been off and on for a long time, but the idea is too important to drop. And now we're getting some critical mass of support from outside of our team and now it's about making sure we don't lose momentum.

Christine

VP, Global Council Mgr., Corporation

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Kamal

For Kamal, not trying is worse than trying and failing.

Kamal

Owner, Sublime Donuts

For Kamal, not trying is worse than trying and failing.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

David

David shares what he wishes others to know.

For me, one of the things that has been hardest to develop, and my "wish" for others to know, is "confidence". I'm haunted by the thought that incompetent people don't know they are incompetent and worry that the things I'm focused on are bad ideas, been tried and didn't work, or are duplications of something I didn't understand. It takes both self-awareness and stick-to-itness to balance caution and crazy.

David

Chief Conspirator, Sustainable Biz Network, Self-organizing

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Christine

Christine describes the type of people who are vital to her process.

I seek out people who can think critically. It's tricky -- complaining is easy, but finding people who can both love your idea but tell you all the ways it's a mess AND what to do to fix it are a real gift. I have people like that at work who are close friends and hugely valuable collaborators.

Christine

VP, Global Council Mgr., Corporation

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Jessica

Jessica talks about skills required to create change within an organization.

Jessica

VP of Strategy, Planning, & Special Projects, Non-profit

Jessica talks about skills required to create change within an organization.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Danielle

Danielle discusses being prepared for pushback on ideas.

Danielle

University President, Nonprofit

Danielle discusses being prepared for pushback on ideas.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Rajiv

Rajiv talks about not having a real plan and letting the idea pull you along.

Rajiv

Rajiv talks about not having a real plan and letting the idea pull you along.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Bijoy

Bijoy talks about bootstrapping enabling the ability to "go at your own pace."

Bijoy

Founder, Bootstrap Austin

Bijoy talks about bootstrapping enabling the ability to "go at your own pace."

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Danielle

Danielle talks about navigating decision making.

Danielle

University President, Nonprofit

Danielle talks about navigating decision making.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Startup Chicks

Pivoting is an inevitable part of entrepreneurship and you need to be ready for it.

Startup Chicks

Pivoting is an inevitable part of entrepreneurship and you need to be ready for it.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Laura

Laura talks about getting hung up on setbacks.

Laura

Laura talks about getting hung up on setbacks.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Jessica

Jessica talks about success and failure.

Jessica

VP of Strategy, Planning, & Special Projects, Non-profit

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Danielle

Danielle talks about her team helping her realize when the timing is right.

Danielle

University President, Nonprofit

Danielle talks about her team helping her realize when the timing is right.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Mike

Mike uses his business as a way to incubate and develop their own new ideas.

Mike

Founder and Chairman, Front Seat

Mike uses his business as a way to incubate and develop their own new ideas.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Jonah

Jonah discusses being patient with executing ideas.

Jonah

Founder & Worker-Owner, Cooperative

Jonah discusses being patient with executing ideas.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Mike and Seth

Mike and Seth talk about entrepreneurs having the ability to make quick, tactical decisions every day.

Mike and Seth

CEO and CFO, CustomMade

Mike and Seth talk about entrepreneurs having the ability to make quick, tactical decisions every day.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Doug

Doug feels that you shouldn't failures as failures, but as experiences to learn from.

Doug

Founder, Medletters

Doug feels that you shouldn't failures as failures, but as experiences to learn from.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Joe

Joe writes about balancing uncertainty with certainty.

It's wearying. I think I try to manage by balancing certainty with uncertainty. For instance, having predictable income (or at least economic security) for a period enables some risk-taking during the everyday work. I find it is helpful to reflect upon the knowns, especially the high quality of my co-workers, when pushing the edges into the unknowns.

Joe

Co-op organizer/Tech. assistant, Worker Co-op network

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Rajiv

Learning by doing, and putting something out there is a strategy Rajiv deployed in his business.

Rajiv

Managing Partner, Shape Up the Nation

Learning by doing, and putting something out there is a strategy Rajiv deployed in his business.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Matt

Matt's experiences have always followed a complex path.

Matt

Founder and CEO, Ecolect

Matt's experiences have always followed a complex path.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Mike

Mike believes a major challenge is to know when your founders and early employees are maxed out

Mike

Founder and Chairman, Front Seat

Mike believes a major challenge is to know when your founders and early employees are maxed out

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Bijoy

Bijoy talks about the pressure of having money.

Bijoy

Founder, Bootstrap Austin

Bijoy talks about the pressure of having money.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Rich

Rich had to change his initial business model because of legal and regulation hurdles.

Rich

Co-founder, BigStove

Rich had to change his initial business model because of legal and regulation hurdles.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Pam

Pam talks about failure and success.

Pam

Executive Director, Rural Community Development, Nonprofit

Pam talks about failure and success.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.

Jimmy

Jimmy had to put his second product through many versions to determine it was a success.

Jimmy

Chief Architect, Rockdex

Jimmy had to put his second product through many versions to determine it was a success.

Javascript is required to play this audio/video. Listen/view this content on our blip.tv channel.