HustleCon2016

Hustle Con is the anti TechCrunch Disrupt.  It’s not about crushing code in a dark room while you slurp down cup-0-noodles.  (Okay, maybe there are cup-o-noodles involved.)  Instead, it’s a conference designed for non-technical founders that are striving to build physical world businesses.  These are hungry entrepreneurs in the worlds of fashion, food, furniture, and beyond…all coming together in a 1-day sprint to learn from the best.  And go figure, there are actually a few entrepreneurs who built / are building massively successful business without using Sublime Text.

You can check out the full guest list for Hustle Con 2016 here, or just dive right into the recordings on their YouTube page.  In the meantime, here are my notes and three key takeaways that have kept me up for the last few weeks:

(1)

You are the guardians of simplicity in your organization.

David Bladow, BloomThat

Successful entrepreneurs build their businesses around one core idea, only expanding once they’ve validated a simple concept that appeals to an identifiable market.  New ventures can so easily spin out of control as founders attempt to pack on new products, designs, pitches, etc…but scaleability cannot be reached through complication.  If you think focus is challenging as a small company, the conditions only get more worse as you grow.

(2)

The evolution of mankind, starting with pants.

Andy Dunn, Bonobos

Even if your soon-to-be unicorn company is still an organization of one, have a mission.  A one sentence, no frills statement that characterizes your business and all it hopes to accomplish, that explains the “why”.  This is important not just for you, not just for maintaining focus (see takeaway 1), but also for attracting purpose-driven people as you scale.  For an entrepreneur, not having a sense of mission is crippling.  For a team, it’s fatal.

(3)

We set out because we believed in something…there’s no fear, nothing to lose when you’re passionate about something.

Andy Puddicombe, Headspace

Authenticity is a secret weapon of all successful entrepreneurs.  While it’s intoxicating to believe that a great idea can sustain you through the inevitable trials of an entrepreneurial venture, it’s a falsehood.  Without an authentic purpose, without a true meaning and momentum behind your venture, you’ll find that you’re faking it, that you’re operating without real passion.  And without passion, no success can there be.  Yoda said that, right?