I shot this video a couple weeks ago at SxSW, but I’m reposting it here as a test of the video transcription service called SpeakerText, a service created by Matt Mireless, who was a guest on John’s show earlier today.
We were about to build out a transcription team in-house at SiliconANGLE, but this looks to be of sufficient quality and price range to replace that plan. On top of that, the turnaround (which normally should be 24-48 hours, as promised by the website) was much quicker than that.
The only thing they got wrong was the spelling of my name (rizzn = risen in their transcription). That’s pretty understandable, all things considered.
Hi Mark, great to be with you.
Great to be with you, as well.
So just ran into Josh in the hallway here setting up his books at the book stand, you can see it behind me, and he has got an interesting story.
He like myself was a developer that fell into business.
So why don’t you tell me a little bit about that story.
That would really resonate with the kind of people that follow me around.
I got a developer-centric audience so your journey into being a business guy and how how you went about learning so.
I actually, right out of college worked a job at Proctor and Gamble doing hardcore web development stuff and in a couple months I found myself working in on marketing campaigns.
And as a result by the time I graduated I had a offered to be an assistant brand manager at Proctor and Gamble, so really hardcore marketing in the largest in the world.
And so that was intimidating.
It was really scary you know, coming from the engineering background, coming from a programming background.
Where you know what your talking about.
What’s the time.
Yeah, and you can really kind of understand what you’re doing and use fundamental ideas to make your job easier.
And, going into a business position and not having my MBA, that was very intimidating.
So it didn’t make sense to go to school to get a job I already had, and so, I basically decided to give up on the credentialing part but not the education.
And so I went to Barnes & Noble and the Cincinnati Public Library, and I started reading.
And six years later I read thousands of books and kind of taken that jumble of information and made sense of it which is the personal MBA.
Personal MBA, so, and you got a community that goes along with this.
Website right there on the front of the cover.
So your mission is not just about doling out information in static form, but you actually have a community of people that you help out actively and that helps each other out.
Yeah, so we have a community of thousands of people from all over the world who are in the same situation.
They may be a creative person or programmer or designer or an architect and they need the business knowledge but they don’t need the piece of paper that says they theoretically know something.
And so, the purpose of the personal MBA is to help people to understand the fundamentals of business, but then to connect people from all over the world who are trying to get a world class business education but on their terms.
So, do you deal with mostly like strappers or do you have advice for folks who want to seek funding?
Kind of like this, very common in the valley.
One of the beats that we cover, so…
So… So, what’s your advice, I guess, or what things do you have to say to people that are in this kind of bubbly atmosphere right now, where money’s getting handed out left and right?
What are some of the things you tell them to look out for in that kind of environment and that kind of business?
I really advocate that anyone who’s trying to start a business, whether they’re bootstrapping it or whether they’re trying to get funding for it, they really need to understand the fundamentals of what a business is and how it works.
If you’re trying to raise money, the clearer you are about how the business will come together and make money, the easier it will be to talk to a VC and show them a plan that make sense and actually get the funding.
So really, businesses have five parts: every business creates something of value.
They attract attention, which is marketing.
They close sales transactions right?
They deliver what they promise and they make more money than they spend and enough to keep going, right?
That’s a business.
And so, with a bootstrapper, I tell them basically start there.
That’s essentially the basic, the essentials of a very basic business plan.
And then if you’re trying to get funding you take those fundamentals and just add on another layer which is… This is going to be a solid business, but the people who are lending you money, or giving you money in investment, need to see a return.
And so you do the math for them.
And the clearer you can lay that out, the more effectively you can stand in front of the VC and say, “This is a plan that’s worth investing millions of dollars into”.
So, I imagine since you’ve got your finger on the pulse of this world, you know the bootstrap and the start-up guys.
So what are some of the new because the VC universe has really changed in the last year or so, really.
Maybe a couple of years.
Definitely in the last decade.
So what has been the biggest, new problems for folks that are trying to go that route, that didn’t exist before?
Yeah, I think it’s, the new problem is, a couple of decades ago, it’s like, anything that might hypothetically make sense, you know.
VCs were making very large bets on very tenuous ideas and making a lot of them and hoping just a couple of them worked.
We’re getting a little bit more bubbly now, but VCs really want to see a solid business model.
Where are you charging, or who are you selling to?
Where’s the money coming in?
What multiple can they expect on what they have given.
And so, the business fundamental stuff, it really never changes.
So, you’re You’re saying, basically, and this is what I’m hearing you say, is that business sense is more important now than it may have been.
You can’t just be a great hacker with a dream.
You have to have a plan to bring in revenue from real, paying customers.
And the clearer you can prove to a VC that you have those, the easier it will be to raise money.
And you’ve got a book reading?
Is it tomorrow?
What day is it?
Yeah, it’s tomorrow at 4 P.M. in Ballroom G. And I’ll be reading selections from the Personal MBA.
Tomorrow being Friday, we’re recording this on Thursday.
We’re not sure when this will air.
So, Friday at Ballroom G here at South by South West.
Thank you so much, Mark.
Take it easy.