1. What lessons about being a successful entrepreneur did you learn from Ryan and Aaron?
The key to becoming a successful entrepreneur is venturing into a field that one holds interests. Ryan and Aaron were extremely interested in technology and computers. They took their time in understanding the technology behind the internet and knowing that it could earn them profit one day. Secondly, it is significant for an entrepreneur to find the demand for a product/service in the market and aim at providing a solution for that need. Once the market understands that there is the need of such a product, the entrepreneur should provide then prompt a solution by developing such a product. In this case, iContact is simply an inexpensive means of promoting products online. Aaron and Ryan saw the need for entrepreneurs to communicate with their clients using minimum effort and costs; their response strategy was creation of the iContact, which served this purpose. Being a successful entrepreneur requires risk taking. One should calculate the benefit-investment ratio, and if the ratio is good, then the investment is likely to be a success. Aaron and Ryan investors carefully found out that by investing $300, they would make $2000, which was a reasonable trade-off, and they went into the business with little cash and assurances. A successful entrepreneur should also exploit available opportunities for business success. For instance, Aaron and Ryan perceived the American economic structure as an opportunity for a great economic base. In addition, they used the internet to enhance their global presence.
2. Who are the stakeholders of iContact and how are their needs balanced by the company?
The main stakeholders for iContact were the small businesses, because it provided them with a means of competing with large corporations using inexpensive promotions methods. The other stakeholder in the business was the community of North Carolina. In this case, iContact provided a means of product promotion that was environmentally perceptive. This approach to marketing saved lots of paper and ink, which was environment friendly.
3. What most impressed you about these two entrepreneurs? Did they seem very different from the typical college student? Did they inspire you to think about being an entrepreneur yourself?
The most impressing observation about these two entrepreneurs is the manner in which they share business responsibility. Aaron focused on technological aspects of the business and product development, while Ryan was focused on marketing the product. Therefore, each of them clearly understood the work assigned to them. The allocation of responsibility provides the business with a focused direction. Complimentary skills are a core requirement for business success.
The two entrepreneurs did not seem to be unique students. Many students spend nowadays a lot of time on hobbies that could make them extremely rich entrepreneurs without knowing. The only difference is that these two students took time to turn their hobby into a business. Both Ryan and Aaron are quite an inspiration. We all have talents that could lead to successful and innovative businesses.