Colin C. Campbell discussed lessons from his Amazon Best Seller “Start. Scale. Exit. Repeat.” and how entrepreneurs can apply them to make the most of the current AI revolution. Colin emphasized that now is an opportune time for entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on the AI wave, which he predicts will mint more millionaires than any previous technological shift.
“There will be more millionaires minted from the paradigm shift that is occurring because of AI than any other technological shift in our lifetime.”
Colin C. Campbell
Drawing on over 30 years of experience and insights from over 200 expert interviews, Colin outlined actionable tips entrepreneurs can apply when launching an AI venture, including laser-focusing on industry verticals and niche segments, rapid iteration using MVPs over perfection, securing distribution partnerships to maximize reach, leveraging free business incubation resources, and more. He cited real-world examples like Tesla and Coinbase which began as underdog startups, but through relentless innovation and focus were able to defeat incumbent competitors. By codifying these startup best practices, Colin aims to accelerate entrepreneurial success in what he sees as a historic time, with the rapid acceleration of AI spawning massive new business model opportunities.
- Read the Transcript
📍 📍 📍
Start, Scale, Exit, Repeat, Serial Entrepreneur, Secrets Revealed. That’s what we’re talking about today. The book just launched. Only 10 days ago and it launched as bestseller in three different categories on Amazon. So we were just so excited. You know, we’ve spent 10 years or I’ve spent 10 years writing the book, a team of six people at startup club here.
We’ve spent. Two years doing over 200 interviews to put this book together, start, scale, exit, repeat. And today’s topic is going to be about catching the wave. And that is chapter three in the book, Catching the Wave. And this is what I think of, sorry, chapter 3, it is chapter 3. Catching the next wave is critical is chapter 3.
And I actually think that this topic, Michele, is probably one of the most important chapters in the book. Because we talk about AI and how to capitalize on a wave. And the tornado that the wave creates, and that tornado term comes from a former guest of ours on this podcast or on this show, this live show on Clubhouse.
And that former podcast guest was Jeffrey Moore, who wrote Crossing the Chasm. You might not know this, Michele, but he’s actually got a new edition, which launches… In January, so I think that one’s going to really be updated to include probably a lot of the new AI stuff that’s coming out and the opportunities around AI.
It’s really, really interesting to see how businesses start. And then Catch the Wave expands, and in my case, generally, we try to sell them when things are going really well. And hence the, the name of the book, Start, Scale, Exit, Repeat. Michele, you’re our moderator today, I know that. And we got, oh, I see we got Augustine down there as well.
It’d be great to bring him up if you want, uh, to be a joint moderator there, Augustine. I don’t know, is it Augustine or Augustin? You’re gonna have to tell us that. What is it, Augustine? You could say Augustin or Augustin. It’s okay. That doesn’t matter. Augustin. What do you prefer? Augustin. Augustin, right?
Augustin. You could say Augustin or you could say it in Spanish, Agustin. It doesn’t matter. I respond to anything. Agustin. Agustin. Agustin. Agustin. That’s just better. Well, we love it. Well, today’s show is all about catching the next wave. Thank you. And, uh, we’re just going to make you a moderator there. So if, you know, if you see people in the audience who seem interested, uh, it’d be great if you invite them up on the stage.
Uh, we like to make this an interactive session, uh, in fact, I just got out of FAU, I was speaking to a group of, what, 125 students, and, uh, it was a great session, we talked about this particular topic, and it was very interactive, I can tell you, There’s a lot of interest amongst people now to get involved in A.
I. and somehow use A. I. to help them catch their next wave. And that’s the chapter three of the book. Michele is our lead moderator, so I’ll let you moderate and interview Michele, and we’ll open it up for questions from the audience after about 10 to 15 minutes. Yeah, I love this topic, especially with everything that’s happening today, but let’s talk a little bit about this week and the book.
It’s been an amazing week. We’re so honored that the book actually made the Amazon bestseller list. On the first week that it was live and you’re talking about, uh, someone here, Colin, who actually is a debut author. So we’re super thrilled. The book, actually, the hard copy is about to sell out and it’s, it’s just been an amazing start.
And we thank all the members at Startup Club and Clubhouse for supporting us. So let’s hop over to our topic of the day. And yeah, this is one of my favorite chapters. Um, I also have been a fan of Geoffrey Moore for a long time. You know, Colin, I think what’s interesting, I know we’re going to delve into AI, but something that’s interesting is kind of, you know, talking about how timing is essential.
Which really leads us to, you know, that adoption curve. I think with AI, it’s dramatically different or maybe very speed it up. So I’d like your thoughts on AI as it pertains to. You know tech enthusiasts the early adopters like who’s using it and how can we leverage it to? Our advantage and to doing well colin.
Yeah, and I don’t you know, I don’t know We want to focus 100 on ai the interesting thing about Catching the next wave is that it applies to? Many different waves. It doesn’t just apply to AI. We are going to focus a little bit more on AI today. I, I, I personally believe that AI will be what the internet was in the 1990s, what broadband was in 2000s.
Uh, and we know what social and e commerce was in 2010s. This is going to be larger, in my opinion. That even the advent of the internet, we are talking about one of the best times in history to launch a startup because we’re dealing with a massive paradigm shift. Now, I’m going to take you back a few years, uh, to the early 90s, and that’s when I graduated from college, 93.
And we launched and we started a company called Internet Direct, which became the largest ISP in Canada. Uh, we also launched a company called 2COWS, which was software download. Believe it or not, back then, everyone was, uh, buying their software on diskettes. Or CD ROM, uh, at the time. And this was the way you’d consume software.
So… When the internet came out, we launched a website called 2CAS where you could download the software. I know, what an innovation. Obviously, we know in the 2000s, uh, software itself became obsolete in a way and it became software as a service or cloud computing. We launched, um, In 2000, or sorry, 1999, we launched a company called Hostopia, which, which was a cloud computing software as a service on demand web hosting and email platform that sold to telecoms like AT& T, Vodafone, British Telecom, all the biggest telecoms in the world bought our services.
And we took that company public as well and 500 company in 2006. Worked for three years at this big company. And then in 2012, we launched a company called dot club. And that was a GTLD and Michele actually was president the last couple of years of the company. And we sold that company to go daddy registry.
A GTLD is an alternative to. com. net. org. We also did a number of other companies, e commerce companies in the, uh, 2002, we did a, uh, IT services company out of Ukraine with. Today, over 800 people were still involved with that company. Um, and, and that, that is interesting because there, there we were able to harness the power of labor in a distant region better than they had done in the prior decades.
The reason why I’m sharing these stories, Michele, of these companies that we launched and started is that every single one of them took advantage of a paradigm shift. There was a wave. In the early 90s, that wave was the information superhighway. It was connecting to the internet, the dial up internet.
In 2000s, uh, so we launched Internet Direct, an internet access service company. In, in 2000s, we saw the rise of, of cloud based computing, and that’s where 2COWS took off, as well as… Hostopia are hosting an email platform in 2012. We saw dot club. That company was actually a technological shift. The I can Internet Corporation for assigned names and numbers actually deregulated the marketplace and by deregulating the marketplace, this was an opportunity for individual entrepreneurs like myself to apply for and actually Uh, when a new domain extension, so.
club an alternative to. com. net. org. Uh, it became quite popular, did up to a million registrations we had before we sold that company to GoDaddy Registry. Every single company that we’ve been focused on was connected to this paradigm shift, to this big wave. And we did very successfully in the way, we’re going to talk about that in a few minutes, but I just want everyone to think for a second.
What are the next big waves coming now? Some of the waves, uh, and I’m trying to look. I’m actually at the book in front of me right now, and I’m looking for the, uh, I’m looking for. It’s actually the end of the chapter of here. Hold on some of the waves that are occurring. Are in what Geoffrey Moore calls a chasm, and we see that particularly, I would definitely say NFTs are deep in a chasm.
Uh, the metaverse is another one that’s example that’s deep in the chasm. Uh, Mark Zuckerberg saw that after he invested billions of dollars in this whole space of VR. The fact is, it could be in a chasm for another six months, could be in a chasm for another 60 years. We don’t know when that’s going to come out.
Of the chasm. And the reason why I’m bringing this up is a startup. If you’re thinking about launching your startup and you’re want to position around a wave and that wave gets stuck into a chasm, you could go down with that wave. You know, an example, quite frankly, this might hit home a little bit for some here on clubhouse, but social audio is in a, in, is in a deep chasm.
And if you built your whole business just around clubhouse, you may have found that It in itself is just not hitting the early majority and because of that you’re, um, you have a difficulty making a career being a creator on Clubhouse. And that’s, that’s an example. Uh, virtual reality is another example.
So we want to try to pick and choose waves that we think are going to be there for the long run. That they’re not just a flash in the pan like NFTs were, uh, but they’re actually going to be there and it’s going to be game changing. And so this book, uh, was actually submitted to Forbes for publishing last November.
And at that time we made a call. We made a call that AI will become the biggest paradigm shift in the 2020s. It will be something incredible for startups. And I don’t think in the history. Of innovations, we will see as big a technology shift as a I A. I will mint more millionaires than any other technology shift, and the opportunity exists, uh, in catching these waves.
There’s a reason for this. Now I’ve seen a lot of big companies jumping on AI really fast. So that makes me a little bit questioned some of our own methodologies and what Jeffrey Moore worked on. But the fact is this AI has been around for a long time and it’s been sort of festering through a chasm.
Now that majority is coming. The majority is absolutely on it now. It’s in a, it’s in a full blown tornado and the opportunities to succeed and win in a tornado will be for those who apply and are able to. And here are the two, sort of, two secret ingredients. They’re able to create easy to use products, make it very simple for people to use, and then seconds, and this comes from Jeffrey Moore, they deliver the fastest.
I don’t know if you remember back in the early days of Internet in the late 90s, AOL was dumping CD ROMs, diskettes, everywhere. I mean, it was everywhere. And AOL trounced CompuServe. These totally blew them away. CompuServe, you know, was successful in the early majority amongst the geeks. But AOL came in, saw the opportunity, and delivered faster than anyone else.
In fact, that’s what we did in Canada as well. We delivered into the marketplace a product that could get people on the internet. And we had more distribution than even AOL. Uh, but we were in Canada, obviously, but they did have AOL Canada, and we became larger than AOL Canada. Um, that’s an example of delivery.
So in the AI world, how does delivery look? What is it that we can do to get the fastest distribution out there? I think first you have to think about your idea. And maybe we’ll talk a little bit about that, and then we’ll talk more about delivery. I’d like to get some thoughts from those on the stage as well.
Yeah, um, Augustine. Do you want to go? Sure. Uh, thank you. Um, first of all, I just want to say, Colin, uh, I did get your book. I’m somewhere past page 43 that you were making reference to right now. So amazing read. Um, and it makes me think a lot about. I have gone through in the past and still what’s to come and leading into AI.
I think AI is critical. Uh, yes, many companies are using AI, uh, even large corporations. So I’m still in touch with my former employer and I know that they’re building AI capabilities to the products and services. In different areas, uh, in the company I’m working for right now, um, the trigger is mainly more from a customer support perspective in streamlining, streamlining the process, uh, and then converting our engagement activities.
More into, um, self service environment. So we’re, we’re going away from actually having reps speaking on the phone, but more trying to support. And using tools, and when I say the word tools, yes, you have chatbot, you have different tools out there, but a shift on how do you gather and present the information in a timely manner.
And I’m going back to the point that you mentioned, delivery is critical and it may vary in different industries and may vary in different products. Um. You know, A. I. Right now could be virtual information that is provided via textual response. You can generate, um, image with voice simulation in the background.
Um, all that is great. Then again, we have to make sure the information is factual as well. So there’s going to be a couple of loopholes in the process. We have done a leap based on how technology is today. So that’s where I’m at right now, trying to understand and see the opportunities depending in the industry or the product and service that individuals want to put out in the marketplace.
Yeah. And I, I, I like, um, I like your points there. Um, it may be thinking about, you know, different ideas around AI. You, you know, you don’t have to come out with an idea that is going to be in competition with ChatGPT. I’ll just throw that out there here for a second. You can go highly niche and try to own a particular market segment.
Like for instance, I’m going to tell you one that we’re doing. It’s going to launch this week. We spent almost a year now on this project. It’s called Pensilla. Michele and I are shareholders. They’re in our incubator. They’re actually a Canadian company, but we invested in them. And, uh, it’s a company that only focuses on marketing personnel at e commerce companies.
See, we run a number of e commerce companies in our incubator. And this is essentially, you know, we were talking about this. We were talking this through, you know, on the website. What do we say? And it’s really Your AI marketing staff, it’s, it’s literally a hundred thousand dollars in, in marketing staff for 99 a year.
A month, sorry, it’s 99 a month. And what this does for you is it manages all your ads, it manages social, uh, it’s all integrated with Klaviyo and your email marketing, and it’s all connected. And it’s using the AI, it’s using QAI, different AI sources and whatnot to do this. Uh, and it’s, it’s coming out, but we’re very focused on one particular industry, one niche.
What is it that the industry that you love? And I’m telling you, if you just look at that industry, you will see so many applications that AI can be applied to, right now, if you’re thinking about, you know, doing a customer service management tool that uses AI, well, you know, there’s a lot of companies out there that do that already.
And they might be way ahead of you. We use that. For PAW. com, but there are other opportunities. There are other technologies or, or things that you can do or design that you can launch your business based on this tornado. We know that businesses are flocking to AI because they want the operational savings.
They want to be able to save money. Now, any, any business has got to solve a problem. If you can save money or time for businesses, that’s huge. And this is the opportunity with AI. I just can’t tell you how excited I am. And by the way, thank you for, uh, Augustin for the start scale exit repeat for purchasing it.
I would love an Amazon review. I won’t be shameless and asking for that. Uh, and I know that you’ve participated a lot on, on this show, uh, which is actually a live show on clubhouse. So if you’re listening to this and podcast, You can join us live, uh, on Clubhouse. They’re small groups. We don’t have large, large rooms.
If you want to just raise your hand, come on stage and join the conversation. You can ask questions, um, and also share your experiences and your expertise. Michele. Yeah. So, um, before we go to our next guest story, I just want to pull out a few of the call outs for this chapter that I think are really, um, interesting for our conversation.
And then story we’ll come right to you. So one was timing isn’t about being the first one in the market, but about being in position to deliver the quickest when the wave swells. Yeah. So let me, let me talk to the bit about that, Michele, we touched upon that. And it’s, what’s interesting about that statement there is you don’t have to be the first, right?
You don’t have to necessarily be the first. You don’t have to necessarily invent the service or product. There can be others in your space, but whoever can deliver the fastest. So let’s talk about what delivery means. You know, let’s, uh, let’s think about this company, this, uh, Pencilla that’s launching. And, you know, it’s a software platform that allows.
e commerce, you know, could be an owner of an e commerce business and you can utilize it. It replaces the marketing staff. Um, it’s freaking insane to be quite frank. Um, how does that company compete? How does it win? How does it deliver faster than all the other competitors, competitors in the marketplace?
You know, one of the techniques that I like to use, um, I think Michele does as well. And she’s You know, involved heavily with paw. com and she also runs meowingtons to e commerce companies, cats and dogs. Unbelievable. Anyway, I’m joking. Uh, but it’s distribution, distribution, distribution, distribution. I cannot express how important this is.
If you can get. Tag on to other companies user basis. You know, for example, so for Pencilla, we know it’s gonna want to be on the Shopify apps. It’s gonna be one. I want to be. You’re gonna want to be one of the Shopify apps because that’s where you’re gonna get a lot more distribution. If we can find other partnerships where we can partner with companies that serve the e commerce market, we can connect with their customers and then we can get distribution through that.
Yes, we can go to trade shows, and I think that’s a great idea, we should hit them, but again, if you can, it’s all about who delivers the fastest, and they become the winners in a marketplace like this. So, think about that. Distributions one way, any, you know, Michele, or, uh, Any other thoughts on, you know, if, if you’re in an AI product, you have an AI product, how do you distribute it faster?
All right. I’m jumping around here. Let’s let’s give story a chance story. We’d love to hear any of your experience, questions or comments. Hi guys. So, um, yes. So my experience zero, I actually came in here, um, because I had an idea and. the idea was a, an app to help create stories. And as I had the idea, well, look and behold, another person made the, made the, made the idea.
They had made the app already, or they had made the website already, plot. ai. And, um, now normally, like you said, you don’t have to be the first person. So I saw that and I started playing with it and I realized, okay, this is great, but it’s not exactly what I envisioned. And, you know, I started talking to the creators and a little bit, and.
Then I started talking to people on Clubhouse and everyone was like The creators were like, Hey man, if you’ve got some ideas, we’ll work with you. And then Clubhouse is like, Hey man, you should make your own app. And so today I had gotten the update for ChatGPT and everyone’s telling me, well, ChatGPT can make your app.
So I started making the workflow, kind of the diagrams for the app. And I realized I don’t know how to program, nor do I know how to make ChatGPT program. So with that being the case. I’d gone clubhouse and I was like, I need to find people who know how to make apps with AI. And here I am. Well, I think, I think that’s awesome.
And, you know, don’t be dissuaded. I mean, if, if others are in your space, there’s always, you know, different areas, uh, where you can go into as well. Um, you know, the world’s a big place. I will emphasize. It’s probably better to be a laser beam to own a smaller category, but own it and do better at it than anyone else in that space.
That can make a huge difference. I’m not a developer. I’m not. I’m not a geek. I only aspire to be one. I’ve managed to run technology companies for 30 years, and I pretty much, um, don’t know what the heck I’m doing when it came to, uh, when it came to this book, start, scale, exit, repeat. We actually trained. I don’t know.
I probably don’t even use the right language. Uh, we trained a module with the content in this book. Uh, and we put it on online at startupclubai. com. So you can now ask a specific question. It’ll pull from the book the answer. If it doesn’t find it, it’ll go out into ChatGPT or into the broader reach. And, uh, when we wanted to do this, I’m like…
Called my daughter. She’s taking in master’s in ai. And I says, Hey, can you do this for me? She said, sure. She did it in a weekend or two weekends and, and it’s up and running already. Uh, yeah, I do do recommend finding someone who can help you with get this off. Uh, you know, you wanna get this out there, you know, you, you don’t wanna spend a year doing this.
And, and by the way, it doesn’t have to be perfect. The perfection doesn’t win you in a tornado delivery wins you in a tornado. So if you were able to connect. And I’m just going to work on a couple things here. If you’re able to connect with an independent publishing club or society, um, you know, target the writers.
You know, I know there’s a lot of sort of sense or maybe fear. And here’s a perfect example of embracing versus hiding from it, but there’s a lot of fear that, you know, writers may have around AI, but if you’re able to connect, connect with the, with, uh, with the right, um, groups that the independent publishers, I know IPPY is, is a, um, if you look that one up, uh, you probably can Google it, you can figure it out, you can, and you know, you can, um, Offer it free to exclusive beta use for this, this group of people, you know, get a thousand out there and then, and then, and then, and then blow it up from there and offer a paid version and bring in a broader audience.
Uh, there’s a lot of different things. You’ll need to go through everything from picking a name, domain name to, to, uh, searching for the trademarks and that kind of stuff. And the good, the good, the one thing about this book, if you get a chance to look at it, it actually walks you through from the very point of your idea to taking actions on those ideas and all, you know, some of the things you need to do.
And we, we interviewed over 200 people and about 50 people, uh, Who we interviewed actually made the cut for the book, so we really got the best of the best advice, um, from a lot of people in the Clubhouse community as well. I like what you’re doing. You’re talking to people. I don’t think building the app is going to be a big problem for you.
I really don’t. I think it’s distribution. I think it’s delivery. I think it’s make it easy. Okay, that’s one thing you can do is you can make certain the developers, whoever does it. Make certain you do those wire, those, those, those wire frames that you design a very easy to use, simple, uh, design so that Non tech people can really interact with it.
That’s achievement. Number one, achievement. Number two will be delivery. You can succeed in making it easy and to deliver the fastest. You’ll blow away that plot dot AI or whatever you name that. Paul is the joke is, and you’re going to love this because originally I was building my YouTube brand. And it was the hallucination of ChatGPT, because I use, when I do marketing, I use, uh, ChatGPT now to, you know, help me do it faster.
And it was the hallucination of ChatGPT that turned my YouTube storytelling, uh, AI storytelling brand into an app. So I have the name, uh, and going on Discord, you know, joining the YouTube community, I found the audience. And so the funny thing is, when the app is ready, I have… The YouTubers who will review the app, as well as, uh, in Discord, um, there’s a population of AI writers who are ready to test the app and play with it.
And so that’s the funny part, is that all that is already done, the name is done, because all thanks to the hallucinations of the, of ChatGPT. Yeah, and I think that’s pretty funny, actually. And, uh, yeah, you’re there. You’re on the right track. Now, time, timing is essential. Don’t make it perfect, you know, get it out there.
Um, sometimes, you can spend too much time making something perfect. And, uh, I remember Kawasaki, Guy Kawasaki, who was at Apple in the early days. I saw him speak once, and he talked about how Apple really wasn’t perfect. When they put it out there, they put out the first versions. It was buggy, it was this, that, and the other, but you know what?
They fixed it quick. Put it out there. Get it out there. Distribution. I like the, you used the Discord community. I thought that was brilliant, right? Also think about PR. If you’re unique and different. Look, there’s a lot of journalists looking for stories on AI right now. If you can get a sexy story out there, journalists can pick that up.
And they can begin to talk about your story, just a number of applications and how it can be applied. Um, and so on, but, uh, thank you for sharing that with us and keep us updated on the progress with your app. I really want to, if you’re able to say the name, that would be great. Not certain if you are story schematics, story schematics.
All right. Very good. So we’re going to keep an eye on that one. Story schematics. That’s right. I already have the domain, storyschematics. com, but there’s nothing there right now, so keep an eye out for that. We are good. We’ll definitely keep an eye out for that one. Thank you very much. Yes. Thank you guys.
All right. Well, let’s go on. I want to, you know, highlight a few other things as we continue our conversation. We’re about halfway through today’s session. We’re going through highlights. of a very cool chapter about catching the next big wave, not just AI, in the new book, Start, Scale, Exit, Repeat. And, um, this next thing I’m going to read here is especially relevant to this.
And basically, alright, let me find it again, I just lost it. Alright, hold on here.
It has to do… You don’t have to be the first person who wins, but we talked about that, but whoever can deliver the fastest and going along with that thought. When you do that, you are positioned to beat the big corporations and then actually sell to them. So that could be, you know, part of our motivation.
Yes, we don’t have massive, uh, you know, perhaps you don’t, maybe you do. Massive, um, tech development or marketing funds. But you know what? You can be more flexible. You can get to market faster. You could even develop a more, um, let’s just say sophisticated product. And then you have the opportunity where you can continue to grow and get funds if that’s the choice you make, or.
You could just sell it to the big corporation. So your thoughts on that, Colin. Like, is this something you’ve done? Which, of course, I know you have. But just, just tell us, like, how one goes about that. And, and is there an advantage to it? Is there a reason to do it? Is that a defeat that you gave up and sold to a big company?
Or is that a win? Like, what are your thoughts behind actually mastering this? Alright, so let’s talk a little bit about this concept. Why is it that, um, we didn’t actually get the gentleman’s name last night, but Story Schematics, why is it that they can do this, yet Simon Schuster or some other huge corporation doesn’t do it and just dominate the marketplace?
Why is it that, you know, we’re launching… a platform for e commerce companies and yet there are big companies out there that could do it. Why is it that when, in the 1993, we launched an ISP and became the largest in Canada, larger than the telecoms? Why is it that Tesla launched its company, a start up, by the way I still consider it a start up, I love the way he does that, Elon Musk, but launched in 2012.
And look at it today, worth more than the entire industry combined, and it’s just a startup. Why is it that Coinbase kicked Goldman Sachs ass when it came to Bitcoin and crypto? Why is it that we see startups, one after another, get out there and just explode and grow when they’ve got these big corporations with billions of dollars?
And I’ll tell you, there’s a few theories, and I base my theories anecdotally on my time spent working at the very top of a Fortune 500 company in the United States. After I’d sold my company in 2006, I worked for three years for a, a large company, and I was in charge of the acquisitions, uh, and running the, continuing to run the company that, uh, they had bought, uh, and we continued to grow that company quite substantially following post, uh, acquisition.
Uh, but one thing I did learn, and I was at the very top of the organization, about five people who would report directly to the CEO, I was one of them. And I was CEO of the Divi, this division, but I reported directly to this in this CEO and I, I met with him once a week and I, um, worked within the strategic planning session as well.
But I’ll tell you this, when you get near the top of a big corporation, there’s a lot of politics. It’s horrible. I mean, it’s an entrepreneur. It’s just very disheartening. And what I saw, those entrepreneurial minded individuals, and there were a number of them in the company because we had acquired a number of companies and a number of the entrepreneurs had come over to this company.
Those entrepreneurial minded, entrepreneurial minded individuals would launch their idea or their product or whatever is in the company and, you know, not every time it works out. In fact, if you understand how entrepreneurship works and startups work, the majority of startups fail. And what we want to do is mitigate those failures and try to accelerate the winners.
And that happens. It’s part of reality. But in a corporation, it’s deadly. So we created an environment where you don’t have a lot of competition. You don’t have people taking the kind of risks. They become very risk averse. Entrepreneurs leave those environments and they go start companies. Hence, enter the entrepreneur.
This is the opportunity. There are companies that will buy you because you’re the one that comes up with the innovation. You start it off and then they will pay you a, not, they will pay you a premium. To buy your business because they can take it to market right away. You’ve already tested it. You’ve already beaten it up and they can leverage it through their distribution channels.
So the, the, the acquisition becomes strategic. And this is key because when you sell to a strategic buyer, you’re going to substantially increase your valuation. Now, I know we’re jumping ahead to exit and Augustin, I know that you’re not there yet, uh, but you will get there. I know you’re, you’re almost through start, which is great.
The first section of the book is start. The second is scale. The third is exit and the fourth is repeat. Um, but, but fundamentally that’s why entrepreneurs do so well. There will be more. Millionaires minted from the paradigm shift that is occurring because of AI than any other technological shift in our lifetime.
Now think about that. And that’s my opinion. Of course, there’s no opinion. Okay. I’m not some seer. I don’t want some evidence of this, right? But I just can see the impacts. That’s having the dramatic impact. There is a tornado and then there will be sub paradigm shifts, sort of like a earthquake, and then you have the, the sub earthquakes, the smaller earthquakes that can occur.
Those will begin to happen as well. Two or three years down the line. Someone’s going to come up with a new technology and you can ride the wave for that technology. So we want to be aware of it. Normally we want to try to catch the wave one or two, maybe three years before. It hits the early majority. So you’re positioned really well, your products ready, and you’re ready to deliver the fastest and make it easier than any of your competitors.
And, uh, Colin, that’s very interesting as you were making your points there. I wrote down a couple of things, uh, such as risk tolerant audiences, important time to market, and in my case, I love time to revenue. And then I wrote down a phrase that. I had said a long time ago, uh, when I was in my early days in banking and I said, do what the bank does the best and outsource the rest.
And then the word outsource the rest to me is, you know, buy a company if you can to ensure that you can provide products and services to the audience. I’ll give you an example. Back in 1995, the bank I was working with. Wanted to provide their FI banks in the Latin America region with a funds transfer, a letter of credit application, and then we developed internally a couple of other applications as well.
Um. It was Windows based. Nobody had Windows based. Our competitor banks were working on DOS based applications. And we went out and we bought a product that a small company had developed. We interfaced it to our AS 400 platform and we were able to provide a front end system to banks within the Latin America region.
They didn’t have Windows based applications. What did we do? We went ahead and we got them a Windows based laptop. Back then connectivity was, not laptop, sorry, a desktop. Connectivity was 1200 baud modems. And here I was carrying with 1200 baud modems, uh, ensuring that they were full duplex, not half duplex when we were installing and we were transmitting the files into, uh, a mailbox system and then downloading them.
So we were trying to be innovative to capture that market space in review and positioning ourselves with our compass competition. So the point that I’m trying to allude to is. What is the opportunity that you have out there, similar to what we’re looking at AI is that paradigm shift that you’re making reference to where do the ideas lie and how do we actually take advantage of that?
Uh, so really, as an entrepreneur, you have a lot of ideas. Many will fail, but if that idea you could position, you could market and within the industry that you’re at, you have the opportunity. Or someone finds that opportunity to give them a positioning of a product or service that will, in this case, provide delivery sooner, as you’ve made reference to, um, potentially it becomes a win win win situation in the long run.
Yeah, I, I, yeah, bang on. I love your 1200 baud and duplex and you’re bringing me back, uh, words I haven’t heard for some time. Um, yeah, it’s this technology. Where do you find the ideas for your AI business? Um, I’m actually going to ask you not to look at AI for those ideas. Okay. I won’t What? As long as you’re capable, right?
As long as you’re capable. Sorry. What’s that, Augustine? Yeah. I, I won’t look at AI for those ideas because maybe AI will throw me off in a different direction. But yeah, I, I, I see what, what you’re mentioning there. Um, and I was gonna say, when you said the 1200 bod. Uh, it was interesting because, um, the network that we worked with at the time was SIDA, and that’s actually the backbone of CompuServe, which eventually phased out.
So, very interesting parallels out there. Oh, yeah, we could probably talk a lot about the early days. We love those early days of the internet. It was a special time, a very special time. And, uh, but we’re, uh, don’t look towards AI for your business idea. First of all, find an industry you love. And by the way, it may even mean get a job.
I was talking about that with the university students today at, at FAU. I said, you know, This may not sound what you want to hear, but get a job, get a job in an industry you love, identify the bottlenecks or the challenges in that particular industry. We still want to solve a problem. That’s one of the number one things we want to do when we start a business is solve a problem.
After we solve the problem, uh, we want to take actions. To make that product a reality and it means, it means doing a series of things from registering domain names to trademarks and those kind of things. I mean, I wouldn’t jump on the legal expenses right away if you don’t have the budget, that’s okay.
You can always catch up later. I know in the case of patents, it can take up to a year before, I’m sorry, you can, you can patent your products up to a year in the United States before you have to, um, Before you lose the rights to patent those products. So, but definitely talk to a lawyer if you’re, you know, don’t take legal advice from me or anyone on this show or any podcast.
Um, but as an entrepreneur, I, I, we typically will launch product. If it works out, it’s successful. Then we’ll patent it cause it can be quite expensive. But you can take a number of actions, but look for those ideas. Look for those ideas in your life, your hobby, your work. Look for them. You know, so the idea of Pencilla came about because Michael Campbell, my nephew, uh, actually was running another company that we’re invested in, Hip Optical, uh, which is a sort of Warby Parker, you know, I’m not gonna say it’s a copycat.
It’s very similar to Warby Parker, but it’s a little more edgier, a little more design focused. Um, Transcribed And, uh, he had also run other e commerce businesses. We have about, I mentioned earlier, we have Meowingtons, we have paw. com. Uh, he had been involved in other e commerce businesses as well. You know, his brother runs an e commerce business.
So he’s really gotten to know e commerce and recognized that, You know, and even in paw. com right now, we have a full time person doing this, a full time person doing that, a full time person doing this, a full time person doing that. And even if you try to BPO, business process outsource by using foreign jurisdictions, uh, which often, you know, can be a challenge for marketing because of the language barriers.
Although AI is solving that problem too. Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t underestimate the, uh, the abilities of those people who are in India or Philippines or Ukraine. Now language is no longer an issue. That can be, that can be, uh, dealt with with the AI now. Um, even personalities, you can have a personality filter on an AI for customer service or whatever project they’re working on.
So he identified that. There are a lot of these processes that you did as, as a marketing person, and it was very difficult to run a, an e commerce business as a one man band because, you know, it’s so many different things. So he designed to, he decided to build a product just for e commerce, laser focused on e commerce, and it does all of your, your advertising, you know, it designs the ads for you, it designs your emails for you, it designs your, you know, um, uh, I’m sorry, all the social media, all those, all those pieces and components.
And yes, you could do it yourself. You can go to Canva and you can sort of cobble it together, but this is focused on one particular industry. So he saw a need in the marketplace to do this. And that’s why he’s launched the company. And, uh, you know, we don’t know where it’s going to go, Pencilla. You know, that’s one we’ll have to give you an update on as well, but we’re doing our best to support him in that launch of that business and he’s identified a need in the marketplace.
So we got with you when you read the book and I know. Agustin, you’ve read the first chapters there, talked about some of the stories of, of some of the incredible people, uh, who were interviewed for the book, um, like, um, oh, uh, Hanson, Richard Hanson, who at 19 years old. Uh, had a car accident and they told him he had five years left to live and then using sound modulation it helped him heal and eventually he launched a company called Santa Health.
Um, Cindy launched, uh, a patch product for her mother who had incontinence and she was the one who won Michele the Procter and Gamble. Do you remember that? A year ago or two years ago when we had the Procter and Gamble competition, she had a product that, um, helped solve, uh, female incontinence, sorry, uh, I’m not explaining it right, but it’s a, it’s a product that, that addressed that because her mother had that problem.
You know, look for the problems everywhere. Everywhere you, everywhere you are in your life, there are problems. And if you can layer on this, this AI, if you can layer that onto your idea, then I think that. Can make all the difference. And sometimes your idea might utilize AI or AI may be the focus of the idea as well.
Like Pencilla, obviously it’s a, it’s really a full blown AI platform, or maybe you have a technology, uh, but it utilizes AI to help. Help complete that technology or product or service. Wow. If you’re in the audience, you’d like to come on stage. Just raise your hand, join us. I’m actually trying to follow as many of you as well down in the audience.
I know it’s with the new app. It’s very difficult right now to, uh, sort of find individuals. Uh, I know that if you do click on Michele or myself or, or Augustine, um, there are three dots that you can click on those three docs. Dots click on notifications and click on always so that when we do come on if you want to hear more from us You know, then you’ll know right away.
We’re on stage in a particular room and it’ll pull you into that room It can be a little bit confusing this app after the changes they made So, please feel free to follow us on notifications always on and also I am doing my best to follow as many members in the Startup club community and we’re almost a million members strong if you haven’t already joined it Please join it.
And if you’re listening to this in podcast on serial entrepreneur secrets revealed It is a live show. We love the format of a live show. We get so much more from interacting and, and, and not just having one guest that you talk to for an entire show. Don’t get me wrong. We have some Big authors coming on.
We have five or six authors and experts that we’ve booked for November and December. Uh, and I think January is booking up as well right now. So we’re, we’re booking those in. And if you want to know who’s coming on the show or when the shows are, then go to startup. club and sign up to that email list.
That’s probably the most important thing you can do. And then you’ll be in the know. We’re also going to be sending out, uh, tips from the book. We’re doing a series of about, I don’t know, a hundred videos, maybe 120 videos. Uh, we’ve already recorded 40 of them. They’re in production right now, and we’re going to send out those tips on that email list as well.
So please go to startup. club and sign up to the email list and hopefully you’ll get some benefit from that. All right, let’s talk a little bit. I just want to give a couple more resources. Um, as you know, we’ve been talking about riding the next wave. Not just AI, but any technology wave. Um, you know, we have hundreds of podcasts and blogs on our website, www.
startup. club. I would encourage you to go and listen to a session that we mentioned Jeffrey Moore. Jeffrey’s book is considered to be one of the best, all time, most read, revered business books ever, and it’s called Crossing the Chasm. He invented this concept of when, you know, this chasm in the early adopters, in the early majority, Laggards, et cetera.
So if you’ve enjoyed this session, um, you can look at that reference as well as the chapter that, um, we’ve just been going through, which is chapter three in the book, Start, Skill, Exit, Repeat. On that note, Colin, as we start to wrap up, I see we have one more person up on the stage and um, I hope I’m saying your name right, Axis.
Did you have anything you wanted to add or, um, any questions that you wanted to ask? Uh, I came in the room late, but I’m trying to launch an idea and I’m having trouble, like, starting out. It’s, uh, I have a patent for an autonomous laundry system that washes, dries, and folds clothes using AI and robotics to do it.
The most efficient way, so it uses the minimal amount of water, cleaning aid and energy required per load, saving the consumer time, money and resources. It’s just, I’m having trouble finding funding.
Well, actually, I think that might be interesting for Procter and Gamble and your timing might be good for there. Um, they have an innovation fund where they fund. Remember, I think they’re the ones who own Tide as well, right? So this might be a good one to check out. What’s it called? The Procter and Gamble innovation.
Yeah. And it’s also on the website. It’s, it’s like the innovation, um, startup something. Sorry. But if you look up Procter and Gamble on the website, I think you can find it. And I think there are probably, you know, a lot of, um, those kind of venture, you know, kind of like tech stars, but go ahead, Colin. Yeah.
And, and, and you’re going to want to, Put together a, um, a plan and we have something called the four sticky note plan in the book, and I’m not saying this is the plan you’ll use for, um, investors. You can use chat GPT to help you write the plan. In fact, you could probably. Put the four sticky note plan into the chat GPT, and it will create an investor plan, or at least get you started on that path.
Uh, but I, but I would definitely, you know, try to figure out, uh, and you can, you can do this in a half an hour. It doesn’t take long. We do this with our cohorts all the time. Uh, we take four sticky notes, we put one sticky note, we put on there, we put the story. Okay, and in the story we put, what is it?
What’s the purpose? Why am I doing this? And that’s a question that you’ll, you have such an interesting products, uh, that you’ll get a lot of PR around this. Um, and you probably hate doing laundry. That’s my, yes, that’s probably why you invented it. And, uh, it sounds absolutely fascinating, but, uh, but, but following through with that, you know, if you just look at the four sticky notes or the, the four, the, uh, The, the items on the, on the, on the, on the plan, it’s the purpose, the story, the purpose, I’m doing this by memory here too, uh, but the story, the purpose, the space you want to own is very important, and when you think, talk about space you want to own, think about if I’m going on Google and I were to search for that space, what would those words be, and then you’re going to want to Uh, come up with an X factor, which I think you’ve already maybe already have there with something unique and different that no one else in your industry has and then come up with a stage gate.
Stage gate is okay. Here’s what I’ll do. Within 90 days, I’m going to deliver X, or I’m going to have an MVP, whatnot. Then, on the people sticky note, you’re going to identify the number of people or resources you need to get to that first stage gate. On the money sticky note, how much money do I need to raise?
And on the systems sticky note, we’re going to look at KPIs and track that. I would recommend… In your particular case, for you to join an incubator, they’re absolutely free. You can search for them in your local city or town. Most of them are connected to universities. You do not have to be a university student to go into an incubator.
We have one that’s absolutely free here called the Allen Levan Center. And ten experts come in. I’m usually the one who kicks it off at the first session. And we do that for Sticky Note Business Plan. But they take you through everything from pitching and everything. All that stuff. They take you through the whole process.
They, they even have free legal resources for startups. This is incredible. Like you have no idea how many people want to help you with your product, product, with your plan. You mean, especially something the way you described it. That’s absolutely amazing. What you’re talking about, and they could also connect you with government funding, they will, uh, and I know in the case of Alan Levin center, they have a pitch, uh, event at the end where they didn’t bring investors in and by the way, pitch competitions, you know, even if you don’t win them, you’re getting free exposure, you’re getting yourself out there.
I would highly recommend is once you get your You know, once you go through a process like that, and you get all your documents right, and you get all your messaging right, hit as many pitch competitions as you can. They’re free, and they often have 25, 000 or 50, 000 prizes to help you with your business, your idea.
Uh, and um, You know, there’s a few ideas. I mean, there’s a lot more in the book, Start, Scale, Exit, Repeat. It really does take you from the very beginning of picking an idea to all the way to exit, quite frankly, and repeating it over and over again. We’ve done that in our incubator. I’ve started about 20 companies.
I’ve had seven very significant exits, two publicly traded companies. Uh, and we’ve applied those theories. We spent… 10 years writing this book in the last two years, six people at startup club interviewed almost 200 people, experts and authors and serial entrepreneurs who are in this book. It’s really a guide to help you get there.
And, uh, I’m looking forward to hearing more about your story and how it evolves.
All right. Well, I believe that we are to the end of the hour here. Um, let’s just, um, remind everyone that we’re here every week, every Friday at 2 p. m. Eastern. And that’s on the Startup Club in this show. So please come back next week where we’re going to continue on discussing this book. Um, we are still in the Startup Club.
Section of start scale exit repeat and next week we’re going to hit chapter 4 and I think to call. Maybe we’ll hit chapter 5 and maybe move a little bit faster. So I think, yeah, that’s all. That’s all. If I remember correct, that’s, you know, scaling like scalability of your idea, you know, picking an idea that can scale and then and then.
It’s, you know, chapter, the next chapter is all about building or creating a moat, defending your idea. So, you know, with your products, with your clothing product that cleans, dries and folds, how do you defend that when it comes out from competitors? Trying to knock it off or do those type of things and you’re already on the right path by patenting, patenting the product.
Uh, so that’s the, that’s what we talked about in that chapter is the moat, how to create it. And there’s a lot of things you can do, uh, when you launch a startup to create a moat. So others don’t take that from you as well. Exactly. So those are the two chapters. And if we have time, I think we’ll also hit stage gates.
So three things, picking an idea that can scale, building that competitive moat, and then stage gates that will take us to the end of the first section here, which, sorry, the first section that’s in start, Which is all of revolving around specifically the story. So, you know, we have a lot of really great content as call set.
A lot of it was, um, developed from research interviews that were done right here on clubhouse, as well as our own personal experiences. So we’re so happy that everyone here. was able to join us. All the members were able to join and we’re really looking forward to hearing from you next week, Friday at 2 p.
m. Eastern. Thank you so much and have a wonderful Friday, the 13th. Thank you. Thank you very much. And I know a number of you’ve been emailing me and asking me what the audible because we’re all ADHD entrepreneurs. It’s coming out any day. I promise you check, you know, just keep checking back with the audible.
Uh, we submitted it three weeks ago. It should be at very, very, very soon. Thank you very much. And we’ll see you next week. Thank you.