Tell me if this sounds familiar: Airbnb has an interesting concept, I think if I build an Airbnb for Y, maybe I won’t reach their $31 billion valuation but with just half that, I’m going to be well off. Oh god, I can do the same with every successful model; Uber for X, Amazon for Z, Twitter for W, etc. Who do you know followed this logic and reached any level of success (small or big)? There actually have been some exceptions but 99% of the time, the most successful ideas are developed in stages, through observation and most importantly, through a conscious knowledge of one’s own motives and desires.
Here’s a living example of an entrepreneur whose background, passion and cause are the basis for her idea.
“What if tech companies invested more in underrepresented locals in need, and improved diversity in the process?”, this is how Michelle Glauser started her Tech Inclusion post about her latest venture, Techtonica, a nonprofit that works with tech companies to provide free tech training, living stipends, and job placement to local, low-income women and non-binary adults.
Michelle, who at some point in her career was wondering to pursue a PhD and become a professor of digital humanities, decided to finally make a career switch to become an engineer. A few years after graduating from Hackbright Academy, she decided to take her passion to another level. She had always been an advocate for women and other underrepresented people to join the tech industry. Issues like lack of diversity and inclusion, displacement and income inequality combined with existing training programs that didn’t guarantee job placement encouraged Michelle to act on her idea sooner than later.
The idea for Techtonica did not come out of brainstorming sessions. It’s a combination and accumulation of events that led Michelle to propose a model that has the potential to solve several problems and make a local and national impact.
It’s with patience, open mindedness and observation that the best ideas come at the right time.
Neither did Jeff Bezos or Steve Jobs ever thought their contributions would make such an economic and personal impact. Had they started backwards: I have the potential of becoming the richest man on earth if I build this software, their entrepreneurial career wouldn’t have reached its current outcome. And here is why.
Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle and not an assignment.
If your entrepreneurial motivation is based solely on money, you are driven by external events that most likely will motivate you for a short period only.
Imagine you’re given $50,000 every time you climb Everest but you have to do it within a month. My predictions are that you’ll sacrifice and resist the pain and obstacles for the first month or two but eventually give it all up; it’s not worth the pain you’ll most likely say. Although this analogy is physical, the most successful entrepreneurs have gone through countless events that can’t be overcome with money being the only motivator.
Michelle is an example of a promising future national success story who is building Techtonica out of a need to make a difference in her community, country and the world. Her passion and motivation are the drivers of her commitment and the reason for her compensation (personal objectives, recognition, money, etc.).
Spread the word, join and sponsor a student at Techtonica.org