April 19th, 2012


Event recap: Business Innovation in Technology at MIT Media Lab

Event recap: Business Innovation in Technology at MIT Media Lab

One of the many great things about working in Kendall Square is the proximity to MIT. We are, quite literally, a stone’s throw from one of the most innovative and inventive communities in the world, and while MIT may be most known for its work in technology, its business and media resources are also impressive.

Last week, we were lucky to attend MIT Sloan’s ‘Business Innovation in Technology’ event at the MIT Media Lab. The event featured notable entrepreneurs, from businesses both large and small, who provided insight into the innovation we see, and expect to see, in the web, mobile, media and entertainment markets. For example, Stephanie Tilenius, VP of Commerce and Payments at Google, discussed and demonstrated how Google Wallet works, and shared some interesting statistics about mobile phone use. (I now know that, on average, a person’s smartphone is never more than 3 feet away from them – says the girl whose phone doesn’t leave her peripheral vision.)

And while all of the speakers were informative, insightful and funny, our favorite speech of the day came from Clarence Wooten, a self-proclaimed “serial entrepreneur” and Silicon Valley heavy hitter. His presentation was simple and to the point: ‘12 Lessons in Entrepreneurship’

  1. A paycheck is an addiction: “Much like heroin or crack cocaine”, as explained by Clarence. Entrepreneurs have to possess a different type of drive, as their paycheck isn’t simply determined by hours clocked, but by company success and hard revenue.
  2. Beware of Naysayers: Where would Instagram be if they had listened to everyone who said their idea was stupid? 1 billion dollars poorer, that’s where
  3. Just do it: This goes hand in hand with #2. If you have an idea, act now. Because someone else will if you don’t
  4. Fail fast. Fail cheap: It’s very rare that your first idea will be a success, so live lean where you can
  5. Partner Pitfalls: You will almost always have a co-founders dilemma, so contribute 50/50 and set up reverse investing
  6. Be naïve: Try to unlearn the rules of corporate America
  7. Business is a team sport: So always try to recruit A players
  8. Challenge your comfort zone
  9. Image matters: If you’re uncomfortable with or lack artistic creativity, hire design people
  10. Shadow a leader: learn from the best because they’ve already figured out what it takes to succeed
  11. Investors expect their money back: You may only get a couple chances to lose VC money, and you definitely only get one chance to lose an angel investor’s money
  12. Cash and customers: These are two things that you must learn how to manage properly to succeed as an entrepreneur

And as a Maryland native, Clarence closed his speech with a quote from football great, Ray Lewis. “You need to be pissed off for greatness. Otherwise you’re okay with being mediocre.”

To learn more about the MIT Media Lab, MIT Sloan, or the ‘Business Innovation in Technology’ event, visit We’re already gearing up for next year!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Boston, Events, Prompt locations, Technology | Comments Off

Comments are closed.