This article is written by Jeremiah Uke, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.
Derek is the co-founder and CEO of Bevy, a SaaS (Software as a Service) product that helps companies build community in real life. Bevy powers event communities for Salesforce, Atlassian, Asana, Duolingo, and others. Derek co-founded Startup Grind, a community of over 600 Chapters in 120 countries designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. Currently, since 2012 Startup Grind has hosted 7,000 events for more than 250,000 people.
Startup Grind employed the use of chapters to help reach out to as many cities and people as possible, so people from several parts of the world partner with Startup Grind to bring the event to their locality, Michael Cayley is a good example, he has hosted 50 events for Startup Grind in Toronto Canada. Between the 1st quarter of 2014 and the 2nd quarter of 2016, data shows that the rate of investment by venture capitalists dropped, Derek talked to one of the top 3 venture capitalists in Silicon Valley asking what changed, he said 2 years ago we did 12 investments in the 1st quarter, last year we did 8, this year we have done 1, everyone seems to be clinching, if you give revenue everything else solves itself.
In his book “the third wave”, Steve Case talks about the next wave of entrepreneurship, he talks about policy and the need to work within the right channels, concepts like Uber, self-driving cars, artificial intelligence are all going to be regulated and entrepreneurs need to be thinking of navigating them, and doing partnerships to help grow, for example working with a Google, an IBM, an Oracle, it’s a great thing to think about who will buy your startup, because you need to start cultivating the relationships with the people that are going to buy you, these processes take time, figure out who can buy you and start building relationships with them.
Derek also advises entrepreneurs on the need to build a great team, he describes a startup as a dead body in a medical operation, and the need to get out that operation and leave the intensive care unit, start making steps and eventually leaving the hospital, great ideas have unnatural momentum, startups are the most selfish jobs to have because it is always about you, but it’s better to help other people solve their problems, Derek talks about the importance of being able to take care of family being the most important thing, and once you are able to take care of your family, you can take care of every other thing. I work very hard to have dinner with my kids, when your startup fails, and it will surely fail, and you feel like it’s not going to work, hope that you have not screwed up your life too, because if you have, you have nothing when your startup fails, so make sure you’ve built your life.