nextNY Community Conversation – Startup 101

by mike on June 13, 2006

I attended nextNY’s first community conversation event (Startup 101) tonight at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips law firm in the city. About 50 or so people showed up along with several panelists including Jason McCabe Calacanis (Weblogs, Inc), Ian Landsman (Userscape Software – microISV), Jay Rand (Manatt – lawyer), Jackie Reed (Administaff – Business Consultant), David Rose (Angel Investor), Peter Semmelhack (Bug Labs), Michael Volpatt (Larkin/Volpatt Communications) and Albert Wenger (delicious).

I found the discussion to be very useful, but not for obvious reasons. There was a wide range of topics covered and opinions expressed. Everything from patent strategies to hiring sales people to war stories to legal issues. Honestly, a true entrepreneur does their homework and would have known most of this stuff already. Heck, I haven’t even started a company yet and have heard or read about almost all of the topics that were covered today. That’s what entrepreneurs do or, in my case, people who want to be entrepenurs. My takeway was more motivational than anything. Events like this make me want to get off the “sideline” and into the game. I talk about it all of the time and have tried a few times only to see the momentum eventually fizzle away. I love hearing about past successes and failures. No two paths are the same. Every person has a unique perspective that all others can learn from. The one speaker that I found most inspirational was Jason Calacanis. He started a few companies (Weblogs Inc, Sillicon Alley Reporter) and exited them very successfully financially. The reason he was so compelling was because of his upfront attitude and honesty. He stressed the fact that execution is everything and ideas are pretty much worthless.

Overall, this was a good event. Thanks to Philip Cotty and some of the other folks who helped out on this. Wish I could have stayed for a few drinks!

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