by Marco Nicita (Singapore)
Looking back at my life, I had the first taste of being an entrepreneur when I was 9 years old. At that time in school a lot of child were collecting and exchanging cards (the one with the pictures of various football players), I thought that I could exchange all my cards as the other children or rather organize mine and sell them to earn something and maybe buy something I really wanted. I didn’t earn much money but at the end I was able to buy a toy that I wanted ( a Ferrari car).
After some years, when I was 18, I realized that there was a lack in the offer of New Year’s parties. The one offered were for young guys (up to 14-15 years old) and for older guys (from 20-21). Basically all the people of my age were having their private party at home because that was the only option. I spoke with one owner of a big recreational center, and I asked him how much would it cost to rent that place for the 31st of December night. I discovered that the place was going to be closed anyway and so the price was not so high. I rented the place with one friend of mine, marketed the event in the right places (high schools, bars, clubs) and the 31st night the place was so crowded that we even had to refuse some people. I made a good amount of money with that idea without putting in much effort.
Then university came and during this period, it’s like my entrepreneurial spirit fell a sleep. I have no idea why. Maybe it is because all the courses were centered on theoretical aspects and it was required just to study and memorize.
Luckily I decided to come to Singapore as exchange student during the fall semester of 2009. Here I had the opportunity to follow Pamela Lim’s course on Technological Entrepreneurship. During this course we had to come up with an idea for a business, refine it and implement it. Basically we had to do what in the other courses was not even imaginable: Get our hands dirty!!! We didn’t have to spend most of our time studying theoretical concepts on books, but rather we had to apply those concepts and tailor them around our business.
One of the basic concepts that I am glad I learnt during this course is to never be afraid of failure. People usually perceive failure as a bad thing that should be avoided. The truth is that even the most successful business people failed at least once in their life. For those successful people, failure is just one step closer to success. The crucial point is the reaction to failure and its interpretation. Thomas Alva Edison said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” I would like to end this journal with two videos that explain the concept of failure and why we should not be discouraged by it but rather motivated.