Recently, I was lucky enough to listen to entrepreneur and billionaire Uri Levine. For those of you who do not know Uri, he is an application developer developed an app called Waze which was purchased by Google for over a billion dollars. We owe Uri for stopping the never-ending fights we all experience whilst trying to travel to an unknown destination. Thanks, Uri, you have definitely saved a few relationships.
Standing in a casual t-shirt and jeans a few metres from me I was immediately captured by his savvy foresight and also, by his general matey presence. You know, not the uptight business man in a suit type, more like someone you would want to sit down to have a beer on a Sunday afternoon with. For about an hour, Uri explained how to become a successful entrepreneur and these are the best bits I learnt from Uri that were too good not to share with you.
Advice from a Billionaire
- When you develop a new start-up be the solution to the problem. Which I guess in many cases seems rather trivial to anyone who has studied a marketing degree. But Uri stressed that if the general consumer is not sold on your story to the point where you have to tell them they have to listen, then your idea may need a vamp up.
- Another lesson is if you have an idea to get into a business, don’t wait, just start. He used the metaphor that starting a business is like a love affair. You are highly passionate and you put all your time into one thing. If you are not ‘in love’ with your concept, then you may not put up with the endless long nights and the petty arguments that will come in time.
- The third lesson is to make failures but do it quickly and learn from them. Once again, rather simple to anyone who is successful at what they do but the point I took away was this; if one mistake completely mucks up your business just change the name and take all the intellectual property with you. He also mentioned a quote from the famous hockey player, Wayne Gretzky, which I thought was particularly lovely, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”.
- A big message I took away from Uri is that the DNA of your company is very important. The people make all the difference within your start-up and if they do not fit from the start then you have a problem. Uri used the example of his son’s business, he mentioned that his son said to him that one employee did not fit in with the culture as he was lazy and did not have the passionate attitude the rest of the team brought to the business. Uri’s advice to his son was, “you can fire him now or wait until he has completely killed the vibe of the place”.
- The fifth lesson is about money. Uri stressed investors will put up funds 100% of the time for two key reasons. The first one is the person putting up the money likes you. I have seen this over and over again, if the funder thinks that you are a bit of a d!#k then chances are you are not going to land that sweet mullah. So, be likable and smile. The other one is the stockholder needs to be sold on your passionate idea.
After the presentation, I spoke to Uri. I wanted to know more about how to source funding for business ideas. His first bit of advice was to pitch to those who would say no. Seems like a waste of time right? Well, his point was you need to practice your pitch. Another good piece of advice was to find a mentor who will guide you. Lucky enough for me and DigiGround’s Team, we have a great leader. John Luhr is responsible for enlightening our team about business solutions. For me, I have learnt a lot about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and website development from John. He truly possesses the same qualities I saw in Uri.
I hope this advice from a billionaire helps you the way it helped me and if you are looking to start a business and need an application built then contact DigiGround, we’ll be sure to help you with all your marketing and digital needs.