A few lessons from this program
Here’s some of what I learned about his post-sale journey:
“Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”
Isn’t this the part most people dream of: throwing great parties, buying fun toys, hobnobbing with celebrities? Ryan got to enjoy it all. There was a part of him that did that to overcome some lingering insecurities from when he was a nerdy kid.
Eventually, he says, the “Rich and Famous” lifestyle wasn’t for him because most of the people it attracted were either after something or just wanted to be around that environment.
Igniting the entrepreneurial need
After being disenchanted with the easy life, Ryan refocused on what got him started: the need to build something. I think there are two kinds of entrepreneurs: The “wannabes,” who try to build companies so they never have to work again. And the “real” entrepreneurs, who build companies even when they don’t have to work.
If you download my interview with Ryan to learn how to build your own success, notice how many times he repeats that he wants to build something that lasts.
He also started investing in companies like Tesla Motors, Mahalo, and Intent.com.
I asked Ryan how he made his investment decisions. He said he looked for ideas that have legs and can leave an impact on the world.
H also said that he considers the personality and reputation of the entrepreneur behind the company. Will s/he crumble in a crisis? Do people think s/he is a jerk? Is s/he someone Ryan would want to work with? (Peter Pham has more on that.)
The power of celebrities
The “aha moment” that led Ryan to create his newest startup, Causecast, came when he realized that celebrities are powerful attention magnets. They make it easier to draw traffic to a web site. I always forget about the power of celebrities because I’m much more interested in business stars than movie stars, but the rest of the world doesn’t think that way. Ryan realized that there was an opportunity to work with celebrities to pull together a big community that supports causes.