Q&A Roundup with Bob Pritchett

Since launching his new book (Start Next Now), Bob Pritchett hosted two “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) sessions on Twitter and Reddit. In case you missed it, here are some of the highlights:

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immortalone23 (Reddit): “What tips can you give to an aspiring entrepreneur? I have some ideas but I'm looking for people to bring them to life!”

Bob

  • Start by doing everything you can yourself; don't assume you need a whole team (though at least one partner can be really helpful). Even some tech companies have been started by non-tech founders who learned to code.
  • Don't quit your day job until you are already working full-time on your new job. You can do 80 hours a week for a little while, and it's better than running out of cash while you ramp up.
  • Start with finding customers. Your friends and family will always encourage you; ask people to buy. That's the real test.

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@garrhetsampson (Twitter): “How do you manage the tension of serving the church while still being an entrepreneur?”

Bob
I think we serve the church by using talents God gave us. Acting entrepreneurially is simply a way of serving. 

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@danieldibartolo (Twitter): “What's the most interesting biography you've ever read? What *living* person or leader inspires you?”

Bob:
I really liked First Tycoon, about Vanderbilt. I think Sarah Blakely's business story is inspiring.

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mvartan (Reddit): “I'm a soon-to-be computer engineering graduate. I've already used your website to research and negotiate my internships, and now I'm using it to prepare for interviews for after I graduate. It really helps give me perspective on where I stand and where I should be. To some degree, thanks to you, I just found out I passed to the next round of interviews at a MAJOR company!

As CEO of a major website/app company, I'm sure you've dealt with tons of developers over the years. What advice would you give to someone beginning their professional careers?”

Bob:

  • Always be learning the next technology. It's great to be deep in one technology -- and very useful -- but it's easy to miss what's next.
  • Learn to write and speak well. There are lots of great technology people, but not as many great technology people who can also communicate well with non-technology people. That's a valuable skill that will set you apart and help you move ahead.

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@awesomebob_3 (Twitter): “Beyond work, the weather, and the weekend, what do you wish more people asked you about more often?”

Bob
I think we should all ask 'Why?' more often. Literally. We tend to complain from ignorance, when answers exist.

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@HeyItsWalter (Twitter): “What are steps to take towards turning your hobby/passion into a career? Or should they stay separate?”

Bob
Turning hobbies into careers can kill the joy. (Not always, but often.) Also, some hobbies have low income. You need to decide if you're willing to have your hobby become something you have to do some days, and decide if you'd be happy making the likely income your hobby can generate.

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just_do_stuff (Reddit): “What/how will people be reading stuff in 20 years?”

Bob
I think digital delivery tech will overcome all the objections people have now. Already it's hard to argue that a Kindle is significantly harder to read than a book, and it'll get better and the case for digital delivery will continue to improve.

I think paper books will survive as objects of art, mementos, gifts, etc. Like bands releasing vinyl albums today.

I think we'll also still be reading in all the various lengths we are today -- a good long book is still a special experience, and digital can't change that.

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@stabatt (Twitter): “If a person wants to move up or move out of their current job role, how can they begin creating momentum today?”

Bob
Taking on tasks that their supervisor was doing but doesn't have to. Taking initiative to help co-workers.

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@garrhetsampson (Twitter): “Are you a Marvel or a DC guy? Who would win in fight: Batman or Iron Man?”

Bob
I'm afraid I don't know enough about either to answer that... But I've liked the Batman movies better. :-)


For more answers and actionable advice on starting your next, pick up Start Next Now today!