Ben Yu describes himself as a Lover of Progress. He was a freshman at Harvard University in 2010 when he decided to get out and start his own journey to take on the world. He shared with Origin Society his reflections on the lessons he has learned being an entrepreneur.
Follow Ben on his blog: This is Ben, or contact us at email@example.com
read more on his interview by Fast Company Magazine:
与Ben 相识是先认识了Ben的父亲，他也是一位非常有活力的entrepreneur, 当时和他父亲交谈的两个小时中，他告诉我他对生物技术的执着，与对解决人类衰老这个迷题的热情，我们很自然的谈到了他的家庭，是否支持他在这个年纪还在创业的道路上摸索。他说他最幸福的地方就是有家庭的支持，而他有一个优秀的儿子，不仅优秀，而且与众不同，从哈佛辍学，游历世界喜欢登山，学习他真正热爱的东西，我想这正阐释了那句话，like father like son. 记录一些我与Ben对话的内容。
Hey Ben！ Harvard, Thiel Fellowship, On top of Kilimanjaro, you have achieved many “successes” as a 20- year-old young man, but what is your most significant failure in life? What have you learned from these lessons?
It could be one of two things. Most concretely, it could be the fact that I failed to bring my previous startup, Pricemash, into fruition. I took far too long to push our product to the public, and things fell apart between my two cofounders and me. It was an extremely lonely and gloomy time, and I learned a few very indelible lessons.
One, I definitely should have been a technical founder and the other aspects of building a business beyond the technical foundations didn’t satisfy me at all if I couldn’t build the product with my own hands and mind. The only reason I hadn’t taken a technical cofounding role in the company was because I didn’t have the necessary technical skills when I decided to start the company – and if I had, I most certainly would have been a technical contributor.
Two, to think long term. Rushing into the startup there’s the hope of rapid success, but that was quickly overshadowed by the realization that this was going to be no short process, and if I wanted to succeed I should prepare to position myself in the best place for the long term – where I wanted to be in ten, twenty years. As a result, this realization coupled with the first realization was what prompted me to take a step back and properly learn the technical skills I needed to pursue a tech startup before rushing in once more.
Three, I learned how important having the right cofounders is. Everyone says it, but until you have the experience, it doesn’t quite sink in – at least it didn’t for me. I took the wisdom that you *need* cofounders, but not the wisdom that you need the *right* cofounders – so I joined forces with two people who were enthusiastic for different reasons than myself about the project, and together we made quite a mess of things. I had completely failed in running the company, and it was a hard hit. Long story short, cofounders are extremely helpful, but it’s infinitely better to be alone than with the wrong cofounders – so wait until a true match. And the match needs to be very, very good.
And four, I learned how valuable mistakes and failure are. The bigger the failure, the more indelible and deep etching the lessons. And as long as it doesn’t push you away forever, it can help you change course to be on the right path for the future.