Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lessons learned at the Gym

People say, time goes by so quickly when you love what you are doing. Well, it seems to be true. A month spent at the Gym? No way, there must be a mistake! But the truth is these days went by really fast and indeed a month has gone.

At the farewell party, while eating the famous focaccia made by Vittorio Viarengo, we asked the startups which are the key lessons they learned during their time spent in Silicon Valley. Here a summary of their thoughts.

1. Timing: In Silicon Valley timing is key. In Italy we are not less smart than people here but we need to learn to keep their pace.

2. No understatement: Too often Italian entrepreneurs underestimate their own qualities and capabilities. In this month here, the startups achieved top posititions at international competitions as at the Plug and Play Internationa Expo. These great results gave them the concrete awareness of their potential in a highly competitive arena as the SV.

3. Networking: The density of people that can give you advices, suggestion, feedbacks and introductions to other people is enourmous in SV. Exploiting this unique SV potential is an essential ingredient for being successful.

4. Packaging: Italian entreprenuers often tend to focus on technical quality, functionalities of the product and competitive price, even too much. But a product need to be appealing for a customer also from an aesthetic standpoint. In SV entrepreneurs have a talent to present products in an appealing way for the customers.

5. Shipping: Feedbacks are very useful and in SV you can find them everywhere. However there's a point when you need to stop collecting feedbacks and start executing. You are the person that cares most about your business, you need to feel you are doing the right choice yourself.

6. Pitching: Pitching is like playing a comedy in a theatre, you need to practise a lot for a good pitch. However you can't be a good actor without the talent for improvisation - in SV there is always an opportunity to pitch and you need to be ready for 30 second pitch, 1 minute pitch, 2, 4, whatever time the other person gives to you.

These were the main lessons we collected but we are sure each startup has a full list of lessons that he/her will remember for a long time.
So, dear startups, wherever you will be in the next future we hope you will share with other aspiring entrepreneurs what you have learned here!

Good luck!

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