Taking the Entrepreneurship course ME2603 of Serdar Temiz at the KTH University in Stockholm was one of the most influential decisions in my life so far. I am incredibly thankful to Serdar for forcing us to step outside our comfort zone and explore new territory. In this post, I will summarize the many things I have learned since the course started and I will mark the tasks actually given to us in class, to clarify how awesome this course is, but also, how much work is expected of you. Many of the lessons learned have already been covered more extensively in some of my other blog posts, so I will link to them in case you want to take a closer look at a specific topic.
First of all, I learned that hands-on experience beats everything else. This was impressively demonstrated in the coffee sale, one of our first assignments, where I also learned the importance of customer awareness, which eventually made its way into my first, yet most popular post on “the importance of beeing present“. (Also the 3rd most read article on the whole blog 😉 )
The Marketplace Simulation Game only reinforced that exact lesson: You can have the best product on the market, if you don’t advertise enough or not in the right way, you will not sell.
Next, I learned the immense power of networking, which we were primed to experience through the assignments to attend startup events and to collect feedback on our business ideas. Just exposing yourself to the environment of the startup scene will get you in a different headspace. Talking to a lot of people will force you to express yourself and will also improve your pitch and sharpen your business idea. What I found the most amazing was the fact that everyone whom I talked with immediately started thinking of who they could connect me with to help me with my project.
Furthermore, the elevator pitch, which we had to prepare for our second lecture proved to me that anyone can come up with a business idea. Not having a good idea is really not an excuse to not start your own business. Honestly, the idea is the easiest step of the journey. Just write down a list of problems you encounter in your everyday life, then find a solution for any of those problems, there’s your business idea. That’s how I came up with the Sound Hub project that I’m currently working on.
Also while testing the two startups, I realized, that a service really does not have to tremendously complicated, as long as it solves a specific need in the market.
Serdar’s prototype lecture and the guest lecturers speeches taught me that the first step in starting a startup is to get an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) going. This is supposed to prove that there is actually a demand for the thing you are planning to sell.
The assignment to use Twitter, LinkedIn and this blog to communicate our experiences made me realize the importance of social media for promoting your brand. Also, it helped me getting feedback and practice, which further improved my writing skills.
The presentations of our venture ideas made me realize how important it is to precisely specify what exactly your service or product is supposed to do and which value the customer will get out of it. Also, it taught me to present big shiny visions and not to talk about the nitty gritty prototyping work when talking to investors.
Now, I didn’t talk much about what has been covered in the actual lecture itself, because that can be looked up on Serdar’s Slideshare. What I found much more interesting are the things that make this course extraordinary. At some point we heard this quote in class:
I hear and I forget.
I see and I remember.
I do and I understand.
Well, this course makes you do stuff. It forces you to go out and get your hands dirty and I am very grateful for that because it made me realize how much enthusiasm is in me for the whole entrepreneurship subject. So much so, that I am now taking two more courses in the same direction: “Entrepreneurial Leadership in practice” and “From Idea to service Business”, which are both promising to be very interesting. So thank you Serdar for opening this path for me!
PS: I will most likely keep writing these blog posts, because I found it to be very useful to structure my thoughts and the lessons I learn during my time here, so stay tuned for more posts 😉