Note to Self: On Entrepreneurship

I originally wrote this article for Volume 122, Issue 4 of mathNEWS.

  • Entrepreneurship is about more than just start-ups. Think about the girl in Civil Engineering selling organic fruits and vegetables.
  • Most businesses fail. A "Calling and Copy Center"? Seriously?
  • Hackathon funding is almost completely driven by externalities. Recruiters. Venture Capitalists. For-profit hackathons.
  • Your master plan should never include "Win $HACKATHON" as a step. n-1 of you will fail.
  • Use hackathons correctly to achieve your goals. Use it as a chance to spend the weekend working yourself to near-death with your significant other, or to motivate you to just start.
  • Money isn't enough. You need [customers](http://mikekirkup.com/2013/06/10/what-it-really-means-for-a-community-to-support-startups/).
  • Find your [tennis ball](http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2013/commencement-address-houston-0607.html). If you really want to build a business to solve X, you'll take that 10% hit to your GPA.
  • Hurray for Policy 73.

!able

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