Socialize, PointAbout, AppMakr
GE (ok not exactly a startup!), NetWhistle, AcceleratedServers
Dropbox, Socialcam, Rapportive, Envolve, CloudApp, Evernote
I always say that being an entrepreneur is like getting punched in the face every day, then jumping up the next day to do it again.
You have to absolutely love what you're doing to take the abuse. Creating something out of nothing is hard work. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it.
Creating something people want is hard work and emotionally draining. The emotional impact of a startup is a taboo subjet to discuss in the Valley, but every entrepreneur I know talks about it privately. Just believe in yourself, because you've chosen a different path than the superstars at large companies. It might be lonely now, but people will be in awe of your accomplishments later.
Spending money too quickly. It's really easy to feel like you need to make a hire, or you need to spend money to have a first-mover advantage. Sometimes, it's true. But often, until you've really achieved product/market fit, you need to be especially frugal, because you can't unspend the money. I wrote a detailed post about this and related topics here: http://go.danielodio.com/evolution
1) You are not smarter than your users. They may not know what they want, but they definitely know what they don't want, and trying to convince them otherwise is time wasted. Simplify so you can release & test quickly, then iterate and repeat. It's a main point of our company manifesto: http://go.GetSocialize.com/manifesto
2) Use data, not emotions, to make decisions. Examples include A/B testing through Optimizely (http://go.DanielOdio.com/optimizely), ghetto testing, and fast release cycles via agile scrum methodology (http://go.DanielOdio.com/scrum). Having said all that, if you're at a crossroads and you don't have data to support one choice over another, always trust your gut.
3) Most importantly: Don't give up. Success often comes right on the heels of failure, or just after everyone else has given up.
I write a lot on my tech blog for entrepreneurs about what I've learned. Some of my favorite posts on the topic are my fundraising manifesto (http://go.DanielOdio.com/manifesto), my Hierarchy of Speed (http://go.DanielOdio.com/hierarchy-of-speed) and how to create a strong personal brand (http://go.DanielOdio.com/brand).
I'm 100% sure it's something everyone can learn. They just have to want to badly enough. Most people don't. Most people are too comfortable and risk averse to be entrepreneurs.
I have a great blog on this at http://www.danielodio.com/2012/03/14/high-school-students-vs-mbas/
Daniel R. Odio is CEO and co-founder of Socialize, Inc.
An app’s users are its best marketers. Socialize puts them to work boosting downloads and user re-engagement in an app by turning their social actions into new user installs. Apps that integrate Socialize experience up to a 316% increase in installs & impressions.
Previously, Socialize created AppMakr, the largest Do It Yourself mobile app creation platform for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone apps. AppMakr is used by brands like PBS, Newsweek, PGA TOUR, Harvard Business Review, US Congress, MacLife, Accenture and thousands of others. Over 1% of all apps in the world were created using AppMakr.
Before Socialize, Daniel leveraged technology in other industries, earning his Series 22 & 63 securities licenses and real estate broker’s license to start Cardéa Commercial Real Estate Advisors, a commercial real estate brokerage specializing in using technology to execute tax-efficient real estate investments, and DROdio Real Estate, Inc, a progressive residential real estate brokerage. Daniel also served on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Association of REALTORS. His technology and real estate endeavors were featured on the cover of the The Wall Street Journal’s Marketplace section in July 2004.
Prior to real estate, Daniel was the VP, Sales of AcceleratedServers, a Beowulf supercomputing cluster company whose customers included the Department of Defense and Paramount Pictures.
Daniel has been featured on CNN, CNBC, TLC, Forbes, BBC and many other publications for his innovative use of technology in industries ranging from real estate to computer servers and mobile phones.
Daniel was a member of General Electric’s Technical Leadership Program. Daniel worked for GE in Latin America, including Brazil and Argentina. Daniel graduated from the University of Virginia with a BS in Commerce, speaks Spanish and Portuguese, and resides in San Francisco, CA with his wife.