A young entrepreneur shows us how to avoid mediocrity and dare to be different without falling flat on your face. It is a question we may all ask when starting something new. Daring to be different and not following the crowd takes courage and is part of being an entrepreneur. My interview with Jack Smith from Vungle was inspirational on this very point. Okay so Jack started his first business at 15. He then started a business ideas competition at University, rather than business plans. He then got the last place in the Angelpad startup, over the other 2000 competitors. Then he went about attracting investment of £2 million.
What impressed me most was how he did it. You see in the interview a pattern emerges. Jack’s first desire was to work for himself. In Britain he discovered the Universities were more likely to push you towards working for someone, rather than starting your own business. What is that old saying ‘Be the change you want to see’. So Jack started a competition at University called Ideas Box, for business ideas. This was to help others get started in business. His point is, it is about the idea and acting upon it. He says he has learnt everything by doing, not from books. Then he focuses on what will bring you the results.
The main points from the interview were
- Go out and do it.
- Whether its your business or study, dont work for works sake. Focus on the core essentials
- Start your business with the resources you have, start small and build it up
Jack is a great example of working smart, not overly hard. This is illustrated by how they got into the incubator Angelpad. There was only one place left and 2000 applicants. Some people would stop right there. But Jack Smith is not ‘some people,’ Jack posted an ad asking “Do you know Thomas Korte?” Korte is the cofounder and heads the AngelPad program. It then had a link to Vungles video pitch. Of course Thomas’s inbox was inundated with emails from people who did know him. He contacted the Vungle chaps, asking them to take the adverts down. The rest is history.
Jack knows the power of ideas and acting on them. This is what has made him a top young entrepreneur. Another example of him stepping out from the crowd, and getting what he wanted was acquiring the investment for Vungle. One of the investors is Dave McClure. Knowing that McClure was planning to visit AngelPad HQ and that he was an investor in Twilio, on Dave’s arrival, Jack was wearing a Twilio T-shirt. He also made sure he was the first to greet him. Then Jack gave Vungles ‘elevator pitch’ to Thomas Korte while in the elevator. Now who wouldn’t see the genius in that.
For the full interview and to find out more about Vungle go to clairebulmantv