Whether you’re trying to transform transportation in the tech industry or sling a new cocktail in the restaurant industry, the odds are stacked against you.
Nearly 80% of entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. Anyone crazy enough to be an entrepreneur has plenty they can teach you, which is why I always advise young entrepreneurs to speak with founders across multiple sectors. There is plenty to learn.
To give you some insight to my background, I talk with a lot of young people as a mentor at MIT. The vast majority believe tennis shoes and hoodies are the official uniform for any entrepreneur. Admittedly, having spent my career in the tech sector, I agreed with them at first.
Then I started Adored, a loyalty experience platform, and began selling to the food and beverage community. Suddenly, I realized that restaurant and bar owners radiate the same traits—hustle, determination, anxiety, passion, etc.—that I previously thought were reserved for the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world. It made me think about the common denominators across different industries and what they teach us about entrepreneurship.
Here are four connections I’ve made:
Nurture the Ecosystem
The tech community is obsessed with building ecosystems. It seems like every city from Charleston, South Carolina to Manchester, New Hampshire wants to be called “The Silicon Something” in homage to Silicon Valley.
Many of these ecosystems already have thriving food and beverage industries. Most cities have a few anchor establishments—a sports arena, a theater venue, etc.—with a bunch of restaurants, bars, and music venues surrounding them. Although these venues compete against each other, they can also contribute to your success as well. If the end goal of a night out is a good experience by the consumer, then a restaurant should be supportive of its competitors.
Cory von Wallenstein is the CEO at Adored, a loyalty experience platform that is strengthening the relationships users have with the businesses they visit and brands they love. The Adored app uses iBeacon indoor location technology to automatically reward customers and immerse them in experiences that enhance each visit. These remarkable experiences are what build brand loyalty and advocacy, and ultimately increase the lifetime value of each customer.
BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.