In a recent presentation, How to Start a Company While Still in School, I said it was important to be open, take risks and be strategic. That’s absolutely true.
In the presentation I said, “I’m seeking startup people.” Originally I had written on the presentation slide, “I’m seeking smart people” but I changed it for a very specific reason:
It’s not about how smart you are, it’s about how opportunistic you are.
You can watch the video here if you’d like:
Please note: I got a couple minor facts wrong, Fred Ngo instigated the first BarCamp, not DemoCamp.
So brains don’t matter?
Of course they matter, but being ultra-smart isn’t enough to be a successful entrepreneur. You have to be ultra-opportunistic. A super genius geek won’t make it without the awareness needed to capture opportunity. And a less-than-brilliant person can succeed in a big way if he’s creating opportunities and capturing opportunities when they come his way.
Opportunistic people tend to be hungrier. More aggressive. More vigilant. More perseverant. They’re startup people. They’ve got what it takes to be founders. Smart people can be opportunistic too, but smarts alone isn’t enough.