Marksmen Academy, Contur
Marksmen Academy, Contur
I want to change the world.
The most frustrating thing is often tackling a problem that no one has before. If you’re truly creating an innovative product, you’ll be facing challenges that previous teams couldn’t solve, whether it’s limitation in knowledge or technology. The hard times are often when you hit dead ends, and no one can really help you overcome that hurdle.
That moment then also becomes one of the most rewarding moments. When you are able to dig down deep, continue pushing, and surmount that challenge, you get this euphoria that’s almost better than any other feeling.
Ideas are a dime a dozen. Many entrepreneurs get this idea that will “revolutionize X”, but they often fail because great companies are created through execution, not ideas.
Don’t be fooled by all the exciting stories featured on Techcrunch. The road to a successful venture is long, lonely, and difficult. The reality is most will fail, and that’s something you have to accept before going on and pursuing your venture.
If you build it, they won’t come. Having a strong product is key, but that is only one part of the puzzle. Acquiring customers can be a daunting challenge, so always check your assumptions. Is this a big problem? If so, are you creating a vitamin or a painkiller? Are you targeting the right audience? If you didn’t spend a significant amount of time on those questions, then you’ll probably be disillusioned when the product is out, and the customers aren’t coming.
Test, test, test all of your assumptions. Treat your startup like an experiment. Your projections and numbers won’t mean much on your go to market strategy or business plan unless you’ve validated in some way.
Stanford B.S. in Management Science and Engineering. At Stanford, I had originally planned to become a consultant, but found it much more rewarding to pursue problems that I had strong interests in. I eventually founded my own business, (marksmenacademy.com) which is a college essay consulting business for high school seniors. With Marksmen, I was able to pay for college, and help seniors get into top schools like Oxford, Harvard, Stanford, and other top 25 schools.
I then took part of a startup competition called Startup Bus, to which I became a finalist at SXSW, and pitched to Dave McClure.
That laid the groundwork for me to pursue Contur right out of college. With Contur we hope to make email more manageable, and make email overload a thing of the past.