Lessons From Entrepreneurs

HBS Working Knowledge has this interesting post that contains lots of advice from successful entrepreneurs.

Successful businessmen told a roomful of students that ultimately, the world outside the classroom will be their best teacher in entrepreneurship.

"If you are taking an entrepreneurship class, you want to be a venture capitalist," said Andrew J. "Flip" Filipowski, chairman and CEO of Silk Road Technologies. For the true entrepreneur, he continued, reality is the superior teacher; and school is an excuse to delay failure.

Although their topic was "Post Boom Internet Opportunities," panelists spent most of the time at the 2005 Entrepreneurship Conference, held March 3rd at Harvard Business School, discussing their successes and failures as entrepreneurs.

The common themes: Jump in, take risks, challenge yourself, trust your instincts, and learn from both experience and the experienced.

Entrepreneurship is difficult to teach because there is no standard mold for it. Every entrepreneur follows a different path with different challenges. But I think entrepreneurship courses help by teaching what questions to ask and what kinds of things to be thinking about when you start something. Ultimately though, I agree that experience is almost always the best teacher.

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