Interview with Chris Gladden, Entrepreneur
Q: Have you written a business plan? If so, did it play a role in launching a company?
A: When launching a company or business or trying to get an idea of yours off the ground a business plan shouldn’t be the main focus of your idea. If you can get a prototype and get it on the market and begin testing it quickly then that is what you should do. From my personal experience though, a business plan becomes necessary when you are in the final stages of courting a large investor. Generally, they will want to see a complete business plan before deciding to invest in you and your idea. This was exactly how it worked for me.
Q: What three pieces of advice would you give to any entrepreneur or aspiring entrepreneur?
A: 1. A few rejections should be pushed through and ignored, but years worth of rejection and bad feedback should tell you to drop the idea and move on.
2. Make sure you are working on something you are passionate about or can become passionate about.
3. Get that elevator pitch down perfectly and know how to think on the spot.
Q: What are the necessary qualities, if any, for an entrepreneur to possess or develop?
A: An entrepreneur must be creative, enthusiastic, driven, and charismatic. As an entrepreneur you must be able to sell yourself. Its even more important than selling your product. People will invest in you.
Q: If you have created a company or product, how long did it take for you to see real growth?
A: I think it varies by product or idea. I started seeing fast growth about a year after I came up with the idea, some ideas can have a much quicker start up time
Q: What was the process like of bringing an idea into fruition?
A: Imagine you are driving on a road in the mountains and it starts to snow extremely hard and your windshield gets covered in snow so quickly that you cannot wipe it off. All you can see is one light in the distance down the road so as you drive you focus on heading blindly to that light. That crazy situation is a perfect metaphor for the flurry of things that happen all at once when an idea starts moving.
Interviewer: Jacob Stoner, Junior Advertising Major at SMU