But at their core, entrepreneurs are inventors. Amidst a void, they see opportunity, and they create something to improve the lives of others — sometimes, without any kind of prior industry knowledge or authority.
They just have a hunch — and sometimes, that’s enough.
Take this week’s live chat host (RSVP here) Adam Goldstein. An MIT grad and debate champion, Adam fielded headache after headache while booking travel accommodations for his debate team at MIT. He then expressed his frustrations to his good friend Steve Huffman, a Reddit co-founder.
With just a kernel of an idea, Adam began to create a business in an industry he knew absolutely nothing about. After co-founding BookTour with Wired’s Chris Anderson and becoming the youngest author ever at O’Reilly by writing AppleScript: The Missing Manual at the age of 16, Adam was confident in his approach.
“Build something you would want to use,” he told The Startup Project. “Improve it until you can imagine yourself, a year or two prior, using what you’ve built over the competition. Then see if other people like it, and if they do, work on that. Otherwise, work on something else.”
By putting a new spin on an outdated method of booking vacations — one that truly prioritized user experience and visual data — he was able to launch just a week after graduating college!
Going into a new field with blind eyes may not sound ideal, but the biggest industry disruptors are the ones who enter from the outside. Adam’s angle was so refreshing that his competitor, Orbitz, actually helped Hipmunk launch. And the $5 million raised from multiple angel rounds sure didn’t hurt — if anything, it shows how valuable the right idea can really be.
This Thursday, October 11th at 3 PM EST is your chance to talk to Adam about turning an idea into reality, cashing in on a user-based revenue model, getting friendly with the competition and brainstorming a business name (a campaign around Hipmunk’s “chipmunk” mascot multiplied their Facebook following by 500 percent!). No need to pack your bags — just bring your best questions to our hour-long #StartupLab live chat, presented by Citi.
Book your spot in Thursday’s live chat!