Tim Tuttle, who co-founded the video search firm Truveo in 2004 and sold it to AOL less than two years later, has a firm opinion on what sets an entrepreneur apart from others.
While a lot of people have an idea for a business, those who have an actual business built on an idea weren't afraid "to step off the cliff," Tuttle says.
"People are hesitant to dive in," he says. Ultimately, though, an entrepreneur has to set those fears aside and "take the jump, take the plunge. Don't wait, just do it."
Tuttle and his co-founder, Adam Beguelin, ran into a lot of investor skittishness when they were trying to raise money for their idea in 2004. Memories of the dotcom implosion, which had torpedoed venture capital fund returns for three straight years, were fresh in VC minds.
The pair started the company because they didn't think any of the existing video search technology was very good, according to Tuttle. You can see the first part of his video interview with Bambi Francisco here and the Truveo video pitch here.
Even though Tuttle had patents to his credit form his work at Lucent's Bell Labs and had been named one of the top 100 innovators of 2002 by MIT Technology Review, his idea for video search was met with skepticism.
"People we would meet with would actually say 'people will never watch video on the Internet,'" Tuttle says.
The lesson he took from that experience? While he believes that skeptical advice can help improve your business, not all advice is created equal.
"When people say there's something wrong with your idea, it's a chance to improve it," he says. Still, "be careful about whose advice you take. The Internet changes so fast...advice that was good five years ago may not be relevant today."