CEO Take on Change and the Entrepreneurial Spirit
We may never answer the question of whether one is born an entrepreneur or one becomes an entrepreneur through life experiences. Frankly, I think it’s a complex combination of both–at least it was for me.
The entrepreneurial spirit is the thing that moves me to seek out change. In fact, instead of thinking of myself as an entrepreneur, I think of myself as a change artist. My mind is always actively searching for ways to make things better.
During my first year at the university, my friend and I started a sandwich delivery business. We noticed that students didn’t have much time in between classes to go get lunch, so we brought it to them. Every morning we got up at 5am and made sandwiches that we sold on campus. This business financed most of my university tuition fees.
Entrepreneurship requires one to be an optimist. You have to feel confident about the success of each new venture. That initial success paved the way for my next business. I saw an opportunity to capitalize on the enormous amount of photocopies that were made at the university. Some creative thinking led me to the idea of selling ad space on the back of the copied sheets. The business quickly spread and was in all of the local universities. I later sold the business to a large media company.
Entrepreneurs are fueled by a passion to build things. Much like an artist, I enjoy the process of bringing my vision to life. After I sold the copy ad space business and while I was still in the education mode, I started an e-learning company. This was significantly more complex than anything I’d done before, but I thrive on living on the edge. I knew there would be difficulties, but also knew I would find a way to overcome them. I later took my e-learning company public.
Some might think entrepreneurs are inherently lucky or perhaps are fortunate to have wealthy friends and relatives that take the burden of risk. I’m sure there are some who are but, I feel a true entrepreneur makes something from nothing, capitalizing on an opportunity in a way no one else has before. The opportunity I saw next was in the mobile payment space. I developed a micro payment and mobile wallet system for mobile phones.
The creative ideas and the desire to find solutions and to make things better never dies in someone who has the entrepreneurial spirit. I saw a common theme underlying all of these previous businesses, and in every business. It was the need to understand how that business is performing. The obvious answer was data and analytics—Pyramid Analytics.
When I built Pyramid, I wasn’t looking to create yet another data tool. It had to be something that was easy enough for anyone to use and based on an infrastructure common in almost every company. True to my vision, Pyramid Analytics does just that.
The one thing a successful entrepreneur does is surround him or herself with people who also share the entrepreneurial spirit, and, I have done that at Pyramid. We have a great team that isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo with their ideas and that has a strong drive to get things done.
I am looking forward to great things with Pyramid Analytics and, like any true entrepreneur, will continue to invest in its future, finding ways to solve the challenges of our business and the businesses of our customers.