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I started my college education in India, but soon realised that if I ever wanted to get serious about the startup scene I had to move somewhere else. The ideal place to move would’ve been Berkeley or Palo Alto, but I chose Melbourne. The reason is simple, Melbourne hasn’t yet made it as a startup capital, but still the entrepreneur community in Melbourne is very happening, atleast that’s what I think after staying here for almost a year and visiting some entrepreneur meetups. The thing is, for a 20 year old, it’s hard to start a startup anywhere on Earth. People don’t take you seriously, you’re just starting out and you have no mentors and hence, no contacts in the industry. 

 

I don’t care about people not people not taking me seriously, because at this point all I need for my code to do the talking. I also think that I’m not just starting out anymore, I’m 20 now, and I’ve got enough coding experience to venture out into the startup world. But the only point of concern is that I’ve not got a mentor. So far, everyone who I admire in the field of either programming or entrepreneurship, can’t stress the importance of having a mentor. But I think mentorship is overrated. Seriously, no one wants to waste their time mentoring young kids, and the ones that do, charge money for mentoring. The concept of mentorship is now seen as a business model. There have been instances when entrepreneurs have given me their business cards, and I have tried to contact them, but they’ve not even replied. I think the more time you waste trying to find a mentor, thats time you don’t spend developing your software/brand/company. And hence, I think mentorship is no more required. The only thing you need is contacts. And you can make contacts in your industry easily by just going to networking events. That’s where melbourne rocks. We’ve got Melbourne Twitter Underground Brigade, Silicon Beach Melbourne Drinks, Mobile Mondays, Social Media Breakfast, The Churchill Club, and many many more. So don’t feel low if you have no mentors, I think you can do just fine without them. What do you think?

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3 Comments

    • dailyearthnews
    • Posted January 28, 2009 at 6:20 pm
    • Permalink

    i think contacts are very important in the industry but not every one has a clear vision about their goal…that is where mentors are required to help you to see them…I went on a journey with 360 guys to explore 13 Indian cities in 18 days and learned a lot…you can learn about it in the blog given below…

    dailyearthnews.wordpress.com/2009/01/17/the-first-leg-of-jagritiyatra/

  1. Hey there,

    Yes you are correct, not everyone is clear about what they want, even established companies change their goals along the way, which is perfectly natural. As for contacts, you don’t need a mentor for that, I know 18 year old kids who go to networking events and get a lot of business cards. So, as you see, with the internet, more networking events and the decreased harm of little failures, the importance of mentors is slowly fading away.

    By the way, good luck during your journey, I’m sure it’ll be fun.

    • Lucas
    • Posted February 12, 2009 at 11:03 am
    • Permalink

    Mentors are important. Very important. For several reasons, firstly they open doors for you that would usually take months if not years to do so. Secondly, they provide valuable insight into something that you may have overlooked.

    Having said this, I went through a phase were all I did was look for one and had little luck. You will find that the more networking events you go to, the more contacts you’ll pick up and so on.

    I’ve had a couple of mentors (not officially though…) that I’ve kept in contact with. I find that not actually asking them to “be my mentor” and just talking on the same level as them works quite well. Trust me, if you show them or tell them something that will impress them other then your idea, they will see you as one of their contacts and not some young “kid”. Mention a deal that you’ve done or a ruthless decision that you had to made. Make the person you want help from think that they can trust you if they have a questions one day.

    Since entrepreneurs aren’t limited to just one idea, it’s useful to have several key contacts in different sectors that will help you. So over the years I’ve worked pretty hard at maintaining the relationships I’ve built with people since I worked so hard looking for them. I’ve got this one friend who seems to know everything. His idea to get into the “in” crowd was to start up a charity and it worked really well.

    If you’ve got an idea or concept find a person you want advice from and bring them into the deal. Bring something to the table before you speak to them though because otherwise, you’ll just be a pain to them and they will feel as though they need to do all the work. It worked for me. Know I’ve doing a JV with someone in the media business. Its not what they can do for you, rather what you can do for them.

    Another thing and I think that Pete Williams at the Hive on February 3, 2009 said it best “if you like someone’s thinking or idea, just pick up the phone and call them”. That’s someone I adhere quite rigorously. I just call them, touch base and say “lets get a coffee and chat”. Can’t hurt.


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