From space and back entrepreneurship and innovation thoughts from a serial successful entrepreneur

Last week at the MIT Innovation symposium I had the pleasure of hearing Alexander Galintsky speak. Mr. Galintsky is a well known international entrepreneur and inventor. His career has included involvement in such day to day inventions like wi-fi and the vpn network, to space technology and software during the soviet years.


Having a varied background and an ability to succeed regardless of the government and its structure, Alexander has a unique view on entrepreneurship and innovation. In addition to being an entrepreneur and inventor, he also is an active venture capitalist running Almaz funds. Below are some of the key points one can take away from his talk.


Its not the prettiest plan that necessarily wins


While there is a lot of focus in business schools about creating the perfect business and execution plan, this can be of limited value in a true business environment. The keys to succeeding lie in the ability to take any plan ugly or pretty and execute it in a way that allows it to grow and succeed.


Even the least attractive business plans can morph to be successful depending on their execution and their will and motivation to adapt as needed.


Being a little crazy is a good thing


Friedrich Nietzsche stated that it takes chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.   Mr. Galintsky applies this idea directly when making hiring and funding decisions. In his opinion normal people are not the entrepreneurs and the innovators in the worldwide community. In order to succeed as an entrepreneur or innovator, you have to have a little bit of craziness in your heart and soul. This craziness can help guide and fuel an entrepreneur to greatness.


Ahead of the curve not always a good thing


We are always taught from a very young age to be ahead of the curve in our thinking and our actions. The one thing we are not taught is how far ahead of that curve we should be.  Alexander described how several times in his career, his ideas and their applications have come well before the market was ready to adopt them. This led to several ideas initial commercial failure.


It is always a needed key to understand what the market is ready to accept and adopt before launching your venture. Always understand what your customers are capable of adopting and structure your plans around this.


Company has to grow from every aspect


Many times a concept can catch on like wildfire and the resulting success is a positive boost to the company. Nonetheless, with this success, many times a subsequent lack of focus and uniform growth occurs.  Companies and startups can lose their balance and become uneven giants.


This happens more than most companies like to admit and can be a primary reason for a troubling future. Startups need to be very careful to grow accordingly from every aspect to avoid this potential pitfall.


Nothing beats blood, sweat and tears


It is always good to read case studies, understand risks and know the historic keys to a successful venture. This however, will never replace the actual learning you will get from starting your own venture and growing through your own mistakes.


Every founding team will make their share of mistakes. These mistakes are what give a company their depth of learning and their understanding of how to move forward. There is no substitute for personal experience.


It is Mr. Galintsky’s personal experience and resulting business acumen that has enabled him to remain a frontline global entrepreneur, from the soviet times till today.




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