Steve Collins on entrepreneurship.
Havok and Swrve founder and now Venture Partner at Frontline Ventures, Steve Collins is one of Ireland’s most successful serial entrepreneurs. Last Monday from the hallowed Whelan’s stage he spoke about entrepreneurship at a Founder Institute (link) exploratory event. Steve was there to inspire the audience to form their own companies and to use Founder Institute as a way to accelerate that. If there’s enough interest and Founder Institute comes to Dublin, Steve will be one of the forty mentors. He spoke from the heart as he shared stirring advice with the rapt audience.
“I think entrepreneur is more an expression of creativity than it is anything else. It’s the desire to build something out of nothing, it’s the desire to bring people together who agree with you and who disagree with you and to try and create something bigger than yourself.
It’s an inability to be happy with the status quo with things being handed to you and to actually want to break out of that and do something interesting and new. I don’t want anyone telling me what to do. It’s not a control thing, it just that, I have other ideas, there are things I want to do and I want to get them done.
If you’re entrepreneurial, you feel it at your core. Through this entrepreneurial journey, your self-belief is constantly challenged. Your sense of worth is constantly challenged. Talk to other entrepreneurs because it always feels worse from the inside. Build a support network around yourself.
Get a mentor. That can be one of the best, most challenging but also most fruitful thing you can do. Someone who has gone through it multiple times, who you can share those dark days.You need people who can help you realise that there will be a tomorrow.
No matter how bad today it feels. The very nature itself of going through the entrepreneurial process, makes it much more likely you’ll be successful in however you choose to define success. I certainly do not fall into the trap of defining success as a financial success.
I do feel both lucky and incredibly successful because I was involved in the opportunity to realise dreams, to realise the creation of something that had a tangible impact on the world.
I think back to Havok incredibly fondly and that’s a company that still going, it was bought by Intel and then bought by Microsoft, but the core team that we created is still there. They’re still developing new technology – that’s just amazing to me and I love that.
Everyone fails all the time. You could say that you know 95% of all startups fail, but then that opens up another avenue, which is another stepping stone to something else. Where you end up is very unlikely to be where you thought you were going to end up right from the start, because you change all along. So never let the fear of failure stop you. Never let the statistics confine you. Just do what you want to do. Focus on that goal and go for it, and see where it brings you.”
Neal O’Gorman and Donal Scannell are working to gather enough interested to bring Founder Institute to Dublin and are arranging a series of exploratory events aimed people who’d love structured mentored help in starting their tech business. More info here link: fi.co/dublin)