Tomorrow morning I will say goodbye to Gary Chou and Union Square Ventures. For several weeks now we have had our Entrepreneurial Design class in the conference room of one of the most influential venture capitol firms in the world of tech. It was dreamy. I’ve spent every Wednesday morning in their conference room on the 29th floor with windows on three sides, the main row looking south over Union Square. I felt like a king, even though it was a very proper classroom setting.
And I still can’t spell the word ‘Entrepreneurial’… no worries, I am convinced that I really don’t need to be able too. See, this course takes a hard and heavy approach to working your network and your personal skillset: on the first day you’re given the task of making 1,000 dollars a month, passively. I don’t think any of us made anything that brings in a passive income. But in the 16 weeks, many exceeded the 1k goal. For example, my classmate John made 22+ THOUSAND dollars to make business cards (as of today)… an idea we all thought was okay and then was released into the wild and immediately blew up! You can still get in on it: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/765756701/engraved
As for my personal experience with starting businesses, I was already perplexed by the idea of a passive income model long before this class started. In the years that I worked for a small business I always thought of ways that I might possibly start a ‘kitchen table’ venture. I knew a guy in Chicago that had made a ton of money ten years ago buying up misspelled products on Ebay, shipping them to a warehouse, and putting them back on ebay with the correct spelling. I wanted to start something that could exist without me having to do much. I’d built eCommerce sites for clients that had made their daily routines extremely relaxed. And I was/am envious. I thought: if I can do this for them why can’t I do this for myself…
And that thought changed everything for me. That’s when I jumped at the bait and came to grad school in the first place. It’s the reason I left a cushy job in Oklahoma to try my luck in a daunting yet charming new place. It’s allowing me time to work on the things that I personally want to focus on and receive some fantastic mentorship along the way. Those things led to a small venture (dejavubyyou.com) that is fun and in an area that my business partner and I feel strongly about, whether it works or not? Who knows. So far we’ve made a couple hundred dollars and we’ve done very little to market ourselves. If it doesn’t work: so what - we’ll make something else. If it does work, I’m living the dream by having made something that make me a passive income.
Either way, the class is a premier part of the SVAIxD program and I am honored to be a part of it. Thanks to Gary, my coaches, and my fellow classmates for the good times at USV!