Inspiration is what get things started. It’s the spark you see, it’s the moment when you think you need to start something. There are many ways to get inspired. As Jack Dorsey recalls, he used to walk into Stanford’s campus just to see things from a different point of view. Most people get inspiration just by reading a book or watching a TV program. There isn’t a general rule to start thinking you can make the difference, but there are several things that you can do in order to get into the right mindset.
You can start by following the right people on Twitter or watching what the best Entrepreneurs out there say about the world. We think “The Startup Kids” is a documentary you should watch if you want to get into that mindset. It’s not about seeing different things, it’s more about watching normal and common people that have made a difference without realising it. They didn’t plan to become millionaires or even billionaires, they were just cracking code and building stuff just for the sake of doing it.
In the documentary you’ll find several different interviews with investors, entrepreneurs and journalists. The main focus is on young kids that have been able to build their own companies with a simple idea. For this reason, Brian Wong plays a big role in the whole movie. This guy is still the youngest Entrepreneur to have received an investment in Silicon Valley. He was able to raise $200,000 when he was 19 years old from True Ventures. Brian is the Founder and CEO of Kiip, a rewards network, that has more than 30 employees and about $15 million in funding.
Another big focus is on Jessica Mah, a young Entrepreneur, who founded her first company at the age of 13. Jessica started inDinero in college with a friend of her. She later received more than $1 million in funding. As she says, “the first version of inDinero was really bad”, but that didn’t stop them to improve the product quality and pitch an investor.
Drew Houston is also featured in The Startup Kids, but his interview is quite short. Soundcloud’s CEO and Founder, Alexander Ljung, gives the most relevant insights in the way he started his company. They moved from Stockholm to Berlin, because they saw a raising startup scene and after a testing and building period they released Soundcloud in a club. As he recalls, it was just about partying on the weekends and programming during the week days.
What these guys show us is how crazy and mental the startup phase can be. You don’t know what you are doing, you are just doing it. In most of the cases, you are unexperienced and you are learning on the go. Recruiting and scaling your product are words that you would have never imagined you’d need to use, but at some point they start making sense. Your first office is your apartment, then you move into a bigger space, such as a conference room, and then, if you have financial availability, you try to get a real office.
From twelve hours of coding in pijamas, you are forced to wear something and go to work. The startup stage can be pretty long, but in particular cases can be that quick that you don’t even remember it. There are companies that have gone through many different investments and ended up in IPO in less than three years. You want to remember those times, because that’s where you build your first team, your first core and the values that your company will have in the next ten or maybe twenty years.
Funding is the hardest thing you can face, but when you are in your 20s and you don’t have experience, it feels like a joke full of responsibilities. If you want to see how that joke is, before starting something, watch The Startup Kids.