5/30/13 – Stories From the Field: This guest post is written by David Hunt, a student in the Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA program at Colorado State University, and co-founder of the Wild Gym Company™, which has “created an integrated solution to bring wilderness back to your community through exercise, the outdoors, and technology.”
In school we have dedicated a lot of time to making very complex ideas simple. For example, last semester we broke down the start-up process into thirteen relatively modest steps. The steps begin with age old teachings of forming a good founding team and knowing your customers, but at this stage in my exercise and fitness venture the last three steps are of the most interest to me:
11. Don’t get demoralized.
12. Don’t give up.
13. Deals fall through.
As we launch into our summer practicums, the realities of business are coming quickly. It is scary out there. It turns out that our professors’ critical feedback has been a lot kinder than what some investors, customers or partners say. Thankfully, by developing a strong foundation, honing our business models, and devising team charters, we’ve all developed the tools over the past two semesters to roll with the punches and to keep moving forward in the venture creation process.
Most importantly, we are now armed with strong business models. As we form new ideas and test them, as customers interact with our exercise and fitness products, and as we have advice, suggestions and criticisms volleyed into our court, having the model to lean on is paramount. As long as we keep our strong foundation, we will be prepared to face numbers 11, 12, and 13. The GSSE MBA has taught us well – now let’s apply what we’ve learned in the classroom and launch our businesses!