I had the honor to ask Howard Lindzon few questions as part of his participation in Venture Day at IE Business school. Howard is an entrepreneur, investor, and business angel. Here is what Howard had to say about entrepreneurship, success and failure.
Describe your biggest challenges or mistakes as entrepreneur?
Recruiting and Hiring have always been the jobs I have struggled with as an entrepreneur. You have to be constantly thinking about growing the team and keeping a strong pipeline of candidates.
Describe your greatest achievement as an entrepreneur?
Biggest achievement is always making a return for investors. Our job as entrepreneurs is to create shareholder value. If you can create a product that people love and a work environment that people love to be a part of, the final ingredient is an outcome that is great for shareholders. If there is only one, than it must be return for shareholders and while that is not sexy to talk about, it is what entrepreneurs are judged on. For me, helping my limited partners invest in multiple billion dollar companies from the seed stage is my greatest entrepreneurial achievement.
What tips can you give to IE’s entrepreneurs?
The best tip is to focus on the structure of your business, legal, cap table, financial very early as mistakes made early compound as you add capital, people, and all the moving business complexities. Go slow while building that initial core to the structure. Be deliberate and extra careful. Also – get domain expertise early and by that I mean focus on a passion because companies take years to perfect and grow and survive the starts and sputters so if you don’t have a passion for the product/industry you lose a huge edge.
Howard is the founder of Stocktwits, the Facebook of the financial community and an active mentor to entrepreneurs. He is also the creator of Wallstrip, the successful business satire news video podcast, which was purchased by CBS. As a managing partner of Social Leverage seed fund, he invests in early stage web businesses..
Published originally at IE Entrepreneurship blog.