Propeller, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting social innovation in New Orleans in collaboration with 52 Businesses will host an evening celebrating entrepreneurship’s highs and lows with a panel discussion of six hugely successful entrepreneurs that will discuss their most haunting failures. The evening will provide an opportunity to mingle with panel members and network with the NOLATech community over free food and drinks. The event will take place this evening, Thursday October 11th at 7:00pm at Propeller. Register to participate in this free event at: A Celebration of Failure.
This evening’s panel is composed of John Clarke of Tulane University, James “Jim” DuBos of Transformyx, Kerry W. Kirby of 365 Connect, Lisa LLoyd of Lloyd Marketing Group, Gerard Ramos of Revelry Labs, and Andrew Yang of Venture for America. And, in preparation of this compelling discussion, Colin Grussing, Owner of 52 Businesses, asked a few of our panel members the following question: “What is an idea you’ve had but didn’t act on (for whatever reason) that you then saw someone else make a fortune on?”
Here’s what some of the panel members had to say:
Lisa Lloyd of Lloyd Marketing group said “Years ago I thought of putting the teeth on headbands horizontally but had just invented my second product and was knee deep in it, so I tabled it. A year later it flooded the market. Coincidently I didn’t make nearly as much on the product I pursued versus what I could have made on the headband. Live and learn!”
Gerard Ramos of Revelry Labs reflected saying “This is a tough one. So many. Ideas run through my head on the daily and I don’t dwell when someone else executes. Unawkward is probably the idea that sticks out the most. Usually, I’m in the fail hard and fail fast camp. I’ve been failing consistently for almost three years with unawkward while similar companies launching during this time have been wildly successful. For those that don’t know, Unawkward is all about meeting new people around local experiences.On the experience side – SideTour raised $4 million and was recently acquired by Groupon. Sosh.com recently closed a series B round for 10 mil and is prime for growth or acquisition. Local New Orleans company Dinner Lab is also doing very well and recently announced expansion into other markets. MeetMe (90m users), Badoo (193m users), Tinder (50m+ users), and Twoo (29m users) are more on the dating side of meeting new people and they are going gangbusters”.
John Clarke, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs at Tulane University, described a business model he put together in the late 1990s when file sharing sites were costing recording studios and film production companies millions. His idea was to overwhelm the sites with impostor files that the user wouldn’t realize were fake until after they downloaded. He had the business plan all worked out with customers in mind but failed to pull the trigger. Several years later, he was on an airplane and saw a segment on the in-flight “news” about a company doing the exact same thing. Grussing asked, “so it seems like they were making a lot of money?” He replied “Well, they were on the news, so there must have been something going on.” He admits, “I never followed up to see how they were doing, because I didn’t want to know.”
Colin Grussing, Owner of 52 Businesses also shared his idea, “Mine is Groupon. I had that idea probably ten years ago. Around the same time that Groupon started. I spent a whole five hour bus ride in Spain planning out the business model. Obviously, having an idea and executing an idea are completely different, and I’m not saying that I could have built Groupon. But, I do kick myself a little.”
Don’t miss out on this evening’s “A Celebration of Failures” and come learn more about entrepreneurship, the panelists and enjoy great food and drinks with Propeller and 52 Businesses. They will be roasting a WHOLE PIG! There will also be hors d’oeuvres from Chiba Sushi, Good Eggs, and treats from Aunt Sally’s Pralines. Beverages provided by Old New Orleans Rum, 21st Amendment Bar, and Alex Ramirez Real Estate Agent. And, don’t forget to bring some questions as you’ll have an opportunity to mingle with the panel and Moderator, Adriana Lopez, contributor to Silicon Bayou News, NolaVie, and Forbes.com.
To find out more about NOLATech Week visit: http://www.nolatechweek.org/.