This class was my opportunity to step outside of the corporate world and really get an appreciation for what the rest of the business world is like. I have acquired a new appreciation for how difficult it is for the little guy to get noticed in a world full other little guys jumping and screaming similar messages. I learned that you really have to define that differentiation you bring to the space, exactly who will pay for that and really go after your target market to get those initial customers. After that, it becomes a game of execution and growth to continue to differentiate yourself and become successful. I also think I really benefited from my interview of an entrepreneur because I got some real insights into the kinds of things they have to consider on a day to day basis. These people are truly amazing and have to be completely self motivating to succeed.
My most highly regarded takeaway has to be web marketing tactics and how the internet has completely changed the business landscape. It is amazing anyone who knows how to code can up with an idea, make a website and an app for that, optimize how they are found through SEO, and hype themselves up though social media to the point where they go viral. The internet truly is the new land of opportunity for entrepreneurs who have the willingness and the skill set to succeed. It honestly makes me want to lock myself in a room and learn to code…well, maybe after I finish my MBA.
This journey has also introduced me to so many new companies. I focused mostly in the clean teach arena but also drifted into the service industry and online retail. I was fascinated by all the approaches that these companies used for customer acquisition and retention. I also, from time to time, wanted to jump in there and help these companies better develop their PR campaign due to some text book shortcomings, but I learned that being an entrepreneur means you get to wear many hats, even those you may not be very familiar with. That is the beauty and the appeal and the freshness of being an entrepreneur but also means you may fumble from time to time.
Of all the companies I have researched, I think I will follow two for very specific reasons. First, I will follow MyEnergy.com. This is mainly because I believe in what they are doing. They allow you to track your energy consumption, gamify it by comparing you against your peers and reward improvements or reductions in consumption. I believe that MyEnergy is taking a fun approach to bringing awareness to people’s energy consumption, and it would be rad if they were able to achieve critical mass across the US to truly reduce this country’s energy consumption and dependence on fossil fuels. Next and lastly, I will follow ApplePieUSA.com and founding partner Brant Williams. My main motivation is that Apple Pie is a brand new company that is sent to launch April 1st. Apple Pie plans to sell American made products that compete with their overseas counterpart in price and meet or beat them in quality. I believe in what they are planning to do and the jobs they will support with their made in USA products. By following them, I hope to see how they position themselves in the market and how they develop a following. It will also be beneficial to see if they have to change course along the way.