As I mentioned in the previous post, Jeff Fluhr (founder of StubHub) recently stopped by my Entrepreneurial Finance class to share his 4 Lessons of Entrepreneurship with the students. I was glad to see he didn't try and upstage Mr. Hogan by adding another one.
- Do you have the right make-up to be an entrepreneur? You need to be true to yourself and many people aren't cut out to take the personal and professional risk associated with being an entrepreneur. There are going to be a lot of tough times and perseverance is essential.
- Challenge the Status Quo - StubHub entered an industry dominated by a couple of large players who had a vested interest to block the legality of their business of providing a marketplace for the sale of tickets in the secondary market. In the early days, Jeff spent a lot of time with state legislators to get beyond the stigma of "ticket scalping" and change regulations. He definitely had a lot of people tell him that it couldn't be done.
- Go with Your Gut - This certainly goes hand in hand with challenging the status quo. Jeff founded StubHub during the dotcom bust and funding for consumer Internet companies was disappearing rapidly. His gut told him the opportunity might not be there in a year and he dropped out of business school to launch the venture. He raised less financing than originally planned but was able to launch the site and was running a business by the time his classmates graduated 9 months later.
- It's Ok to Exit a Little Early -StubHub was experiencing great growth and hitting it's metrics when Ebay acquired the company in early 2007 It is quite possible that Jeff could have gotten a higher price for the company by waiting, but felt there were a number of benefits to exiting when they did. Besides the natural fit with eBay, he wanted the buyer to feel good following the acquisition and certainly the investors in StubHub were happy. All of this only helps for the next venture.