Sramana Mitra: It’s a very interesting angle to entrepreneurship that you shared.
Colin Campbell: I have a unique perspective in that I’ve done company after company. I’ve worked at a larger company. The interesting thing is you begin to see patterns emerge. This is where I’ve been able to learn a bit of a formula around how to start a company, scale a company, exit a company, and repeat the whole process.
For instance, on the starting of those companies, I talked about the technological shift and being able to move very quickly before the risk-averse companies move and take advantage of those shifts. The other thing that I’ve learned in business is coming up with an idea that’s scalable is absolutely critical. Technology is great for that because, obviously, you can scale technology in many different ways. The challenge with coming up with ideas that are scalable is you have a lot of competition. You have a global marketplace. The competition can be very intense.
I started a company with my brother a few years back called Brick Mobile. It took advantage of the whole shift towards mobile. We think we started it six or seven years ago. We couldn’t figure out a way to scale that company. I don’t know why we keep it around but it’s not losing money. The point is to get an idea initially that has that scalability and also defensibility. Google did try to go for .app. They’ve gone for some other domain extensions.
If they did want to go and compete with .club, even with their billions of dollars, there is only one .club. Of course, they can offer alternative domain extensions. There’s always competition in different forms, but having a little bit of defensibility in your idea is important as well.
Sramana Mitra: It’s very important. The thing that we see in our program is there is so many entrepreneurs who are so concerned about IP protection. I’m like, “If your idea is that easy to copy, then why bother?”
Colin Campbell: You don’t have the defensibility.
Sramana Mitra: If you can’t grit out there and have some reason why you have an unfair advantage, then there’s no point doing that business.
Colin Campbell: I agree. Last thing I’ll say is I also launched entrepreneur.wiki, which I thought was interesting. You talk about a million people doing a million dollars in revenue and more. I set up Entrepreneur Wiki to promote successful entrepreneurs who are often not documented. Wikipedia has very high notability standards. There are so many great stories out there and I feel that information isn’t being captured because they can’t get on Wikipedia.
Today, people look at celebrities and sports stars as heroes. I decided to launch Entrepreneur Wiki. The requirement to get on Entrepreneur Wiki is you have to have sold a company for $10 million in the past or you have a current company that has a million dollars in revenue. We are setting that up as a 501C. I have an editor and staff over the last two years. That has been my way of trying to give back and share with others. There are hundreds of entrepreneurs out there and they can share their ideas. It’s just fascinating to hear about your website and what you’re doing. The more I poke around, the more I find it fascinating.
Sramana Mitra: Given your interest in entrepreneurship and because you’re a serial entrepreneur, you will find what we are doing absolutely fascinating. I am sure about that. Nice meeting you. Thank you for your time.