“An entrepreneur,” President George W. Bush once observed, “is someone who will work 80 hours a week for themselves so they don’t have to work 40 hours a week for someone else.”
If that career sounds good to you then you need to spend some time with Neil Senturia.
Senturia has re-invented himself several times in his relentless pursuit of entrepreneurial success. Currently he is the CEO of Blackbird Ventures, an investor in high growth potential companies. He also serves as the chairman of the board of directors of Valore, an online marketplace for the sale and rental of used textbooks.
Senturia’s diverse endeavors range from writing sitcoms to technology with a stint as a real estate developer in the middle. He has been CEO of six technology companies, three in software, one in material science, one in media and most recently clean tech.
A great way to spend some time with Senturia is to read his excellent book: “I’m There for You Baby: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to the Galaxy.”
The book is a series of cautionary tales that Senturia learned during his quest from Tinsel Town to technology. “I’m there for you baby” is a movie business catchphrase he adopted that encapsulates the journey.
“It is because entrepreneurship is a little bit like Hollywood,” says Senturia. “I can teach the principles of entrepreneurship, but I cannot teach you to be an entrepreneur. The same is true in the movie business. There may be a map to the stars’ homes, but there is no map to being a star. It is opaque, it is impossible, it is unlikely, it is different every time.”
The book is funny and filled with hundreds of great tips – which Senturia calls his rules. For example:
RULE #302: More money is lost through neurotic behavior than through bad business decisions.
RULE #31: No good deed goes unpunished.
RULE #261: It’s not rocket science, it’s brain surgery.