Entrepreneur Week 2011: GoECart CEO Talks about Entrepreneurship at “Lessons in Excellence Event”

GoECart’s CEO Manish Chowdhary was one of three panelists invited to speak at the “Lessons in Excellence Event” at the Housatonic University in Bridgeport, CT on February 22nd.

    The event, sponsored by the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc. and Housatonic Community College, was organized to celebrate National Entrepreneur Week.The panelists were asked questions about the emergence and growth of their business before an audience of students enrolled in business and entrepreneurial programs at the college.

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        Chowdhary spoke about his early successes and failures leading startups and offered a ton of great advice and wisdom to the audience of budding entrepreneurs.

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            Highlights from Chowdhary’s comments are below:

              On Focus:“What I’ve learned is focus, focus, focus. Your focus can never be narrow enough. Never ever think, ‘Oh, I only have X number of customers to sell to in that market.’ Everything is moving towards fragmentation.”

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                  On Partnership:“Research shows that multi-founder companies far out-succeed single-founder companies. When you’re looking for a partner, what’s really critical is that you’ve got to have complementary skills. You can’t both be doing the same thing. And one person has got to be the boss. You can’t have two people calling the shots at the same time. There has to be mutual understanding that one person is the CEO, and the other person is not. Otherwise, the relationship is destined to fail.”

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                      On Marketing:“I’m a marketer at heart; I don’t think you should restrict yourself to one form of marketing. In fact, I was speaking with my colleague just the other day and I said, ‘I predict SEO will be dead in ten years.’ This is because search engines are getting too smart. and results are going to be personalized. So I suggest that you market using a variety of techniques. Today, SEO is the closest place I would turn to, combined with some PPC, Pay Per Click marketing, that kind of stuff.”

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                          On Failure:“Even if you fail, that’s okay, because if you don’t do it, you’re not going to learn.”

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                              On Strategy:: “I’ll recommend The E-myth by Michael Gerber. I think it’s a bible for small business. E stands for Entrepreneur. The biggest lesson that Gerber wants to impart is (actually, I’ll quote it), “The fatal assumption that an individual who understands the technical work of a business can successfully run a business that does that technical work.” Meaning, if you are a good carpenter, it does not mean you could be a good, successful furniture company. You may be a great cook, but it does not mean you would be a successful restaurant owner. I think that’s a key differentiation.”

                                On Decision-Making:“You can’t delay decision-making. Follow your good instincts. Every time I delay making a decision, I ended up making the same decision much later after losing more money, more time, and more effort. And another thing: entrepreneurs often think a problem is going to go away – no problem ever goes away; you have to put them away.”

                                  On Competency:“You’ve got to be in the business that aligns with your core competency. What I mean by that is, if you’re a customer service-oriented person, your differentiator in your business ought to be customer service, because that’s aligned with your core competency.”

                                    On Feedback:“It takes a lot of courage to give bold and honest feedback. Feedback is not coercive. When you have a chat with the person, you’re helping them get better. They may not like you, but they will respect you. As a CEO, your job is not to be the most popular. Your job is to be respected. You’ve got to earn the trust of your employees, and they should know where you stand.”

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