Learning to Start a Company the Right Way
By Nate friedman
March 08, 2016
If this post title appealed to you, you’re among the applicants or admits (or parents or teachers) who has asked whether or not Launch is worth the cost, time, and giving up other opportunities of what else you might do during the summer. I almost turned down my offer to attend Launch, and want to share with you my story.
My Background: Before attending Launch, I was working on a company that I was passionate about, and considered turning down the offer to attend Launch. My dad, who is also an entrepreneur, challenged the idea of attending Launch. “Maybe you really don’t need this program; you can get a desk at an innovation center and really start working.” The combination of making progress with a business that I was passionate about plus following the advice of my father made the alternative to Launch tempting.
Starting A Company “The Right Way”: My oldest brother, who was about to graduate from Harvard Business School, offered a different perspective, even in light of my exciting alternative. He told me, “you need to go to this program. You need to learn how to start a company the right way. You have been trying for years to get a real company off the ground and Launch will help you with a real framework, an abridged version of what I learned in business school, plus give you a network and community of like-minded peers – best friends – for life.” In the past, I have started companies by drafting up a business plan and designing a logo. Starting a company is an impressive thing to do in high school, but starting it the right way and really fixing a problem – that’s special – and people in the startup world, colleges, and especially you will know the difference. This is the significance of Launch. You may hear about young people starting companies in high school, but Launch alumni know how to use a specific framework to launch (hehe) their ideas and really solve the problem that their company is addressing, plus will be able to do it repeatably over time.
Why My Brother Was Right: It was really hard to turn down my father’s advice, but I’m grateful that I was guided and supported in making the choice that I did. I talk to my friends from Launch, at least one, every single day. We spent a month together and that was enough time to guarantee best friends for life. You may not believe that now, but Launchies have each others’ backs and that’s what my brother alluded to. He also mentioned what might seem like the obvious, but a resume boost. Attending MIT Launch and starting a company – not bad for a month’s time. Let me finish this section with this, my brother knew I could do all that and have fun. We all will get different things out of Launch, make different mistakes, experience different success, but we will all grow as entrepreneurs and people, and have an unforgettable summer that bonds us for life.