I attended the Perfect Business Summit in Vegas recently. Co-founded by serial entrepreneurs Mark Verge and Dan Bliss, Perfect Business provides the tools to help entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams. The Summit was a great platform for aspiring and existing entrepreneurs to expand their network of investors/customers/vendors etc.
“Spirituality & Profitability”
The event had a great line-up of successful entrepreneurs and VCs as speakers to share their experiences. The topics discussed covered the whole spectrum of starting, building, and exiting a business, and the building blocks for success e.g. people, marketing, finance etc. The keynote speaker was the amazing Isaac Tigrett. He is the founder of two brands that you might have heard of: Hard Rock Café and House of Blues. It took Isaac 30hrs to get to the conference from the ashram he was living in India.
An amazing guy. A moment I will always remember. Which other business conference you go to that start with chanting/blessing from a rockstar like him?
“Don’t lose hope”
YAS Fitness Center‘s Kimberly Fowler and Lunch.com’s JR Johnson took the main stage and talked about bootstrapping when starting up their businesses. Kimberly was the only female entrepreneur on the main stage during the event. Her stories are always inspiring – from a high-flying lawyer, to becoming the COO of a big corporation, and then starting everything again from the ground-up at a very difficult time (post dot.com bust and following a near-fatal accident), to pursue her true passion in fitness and entrepreneurship. You should check out her DVD, Overcoming Obstacles.
“David & Goliath”
What I like most about attending conferences targeting start-ups and entrepreneurs, is meeting the younger, smaller enterprises/start-ups taking on the bigger, better-funded incumbents. Got to love the passion and “can-do” spirits that these entrepreneurs bring to make things happen!
1. mint.com vs. Intuit
Aaron Patzer started mint.com and sold it off to Intuit for $170 million 3 years later. In fact, in early 2009, mint.com was growing so fast that the legal department of Intuit sent a rather “intimidating” letter to mint.com. In less than a year, Intuit decide to acquire mint.com to integrate the services with its own.
I love the mint.com story, and I am a big fan of the product. All non-core excel work (read: consolidating different financial statements) should be simplified, and mint.com addresses that pain point for many like me. The word “mint” was chosen as the name of the company as “Mint is fresh, green, and it is where money is made,”. In exchange for the use of the domain name, the company gave stocks to the original owner, who happened to be the owner of a hedge fund in the east coast. Nothing beats meeting and hearing the story first hand, from Aaron Patzer, the very smart founder himself.
Update on Nov 26, 2010, a post by Marc Hedlund (Wesabe, Mint’s rival):
2. Ecowell vs. Coke
I get to meet some of the co-founders of Ecowell at the conference. I like what Ecowell is doing: providing a “green”, personalized drink solution. Ecowell provides a “green” solution because consumers have to use reusable containers at its vending kiosks. No single-use packages from this green machine! Drinks are personalized – you decide the combination of juices that goes into your drink. Check out this video:
Ecowell reminded me of articles I read on WSJ and Fast Company sometime back. Coke had started introducing its Coke Freestyle vending machines in a few test markets. The Coke Freestyle idea was a few years in the making, with many big designer names involved in developing the product. Hmmm. I don’t know. From this video it looked kinda complicated to operate. You decide.
Bonus of the day:
1. More pictures of PBS can be found here.
3. If you need new ideas for your wall: