This month in our “Scale the Wall” video series we interviewed four CEOs to hear their personal experiences with entrepreneurship and building a business. They discussed the challenges they faced as entrepreneurs: learning to cope with failure, manage their time, and build a team.
Here are some of the highlights from this month’s “Scale the Wall” interviews:
Mogul CEO Tiffany Pham on Dealing with Failure:
“Don’t hesitate to create something because it’s not perfect yet. Just put it out there, rapidly proto-type and iterate towards perfection over time.”
A common mistake amongst first time entrepreneurs is the fear of failure. Tiffany Pham coded the first and very basic version of her technology platform, Mogul, herself. It certainly was not perfect, but within a week, the site had an astonishing 1 million users. Tiffany believes that the decision to dive into the deep end without fear of failure and iterate quickly was critical to the site’s success. Today, Mogul has over 18 million users across 196 countries.
Honor Co-founder and CEO Seth Sternberg on Time Efficiency
“The most precious resource you have is time. It doesn’t matter how much money you’ve raised, the clock is always ticking.”
When Seth Sternberg started Honor, a service modernizing the home care market, he learned the importance of time management. He says that the temptation to spend time going to conferences and meetings with people that want to connect is a constant battle but it’s crucial for an entrepreneur to learn how to manage their time. Seth also talks about the importance of hiring people that cover your weaknesses; as a CEO, if you aren’t an expert at something, hire someone that is!
CircleUp Founder and CEO, Ryan Caldbeck on Leaving Private Equity to Start a Business
“I did a lot of soul-searching for many months and realized that to have the impact I wanted to have, I wanted to help others to achieve their dreams.”
Ryan Caldbeck was working a great job in private equity when he decided to leave in pursuit of starting his own company. Leaving the comforts of a corporate job and diving into the unknown was not easy, but Caldbeck says it was the one thing that made him feel fulfilled. He admits that he made many mistakes as a first time entrepreneur, but leaning on the experience of other entrepreneurs and his team helped him to grow his business. Today, CircleUp has helped companies raise over $265 million in capital on their platform.
Kyle Wong, CEO of Pixlee on the Advantages of Being a Young CEO
“You don’t have to have the answers to everything but you need to find the answers to everything. And being open about what you don’t know can actually help you attract better talent to your company.”
Kyle Wong started Pixlee right of college with his high school friend and co-founder. While it’s often thought that an entrepreneur should have a lot of experience (and capital) to support themselves, Kyle believes his youth and inexperience was actually an asset. His company Pixlee uses photos and videos from real customers to help brands tell their story. He and his friend thought of the idea after identifying a lack of authenticity of brands he saw marketing to his generation. Kyle admits that securing the first round of funding is challenging as a young entrepreneur; when you have no track record of success, investors have little to judge you on. The important thing, says Kyle, is to believe in yourself and keep your burn rate low until you shift into growth mode.
Be sure to tune in every Friday at 1:00pm PST to watch “Scale the Wall” on businessrockstars.com