Ken Krogue was a keynote at the 2016 Innovator Summit in Salt Lake City. Ken is the president and founder of insidesales. He previously worked at Franklin Covey, and Infobases, where he worked with Paul and Dan, the founders of Ancestry.com. Ken shared some business sense for entrepreneurs. A couple of points rang especially true from my history.
Ken advised that entrepreneurs “go sell something.” That is to say, get out there and get revenues coming in. Don’t wait for a product to be perfect. Start selling it as soon as it gives value to consumers.
Raise money only when you don’t need it. In my experience, investors demand, and usually get, significant ownership in a company in exchange for money. This occurs because companies don’t seek money until they are desperate. If you ask for money only when you don’t need it, investors have to settle for less or you can walk away.
Ken made a point that is tough for a weekend blogger to utilize. Orin Hatch, a senator from Utah, once shared the 2,500 rule. Orin had figured out that for each letter he gets from a constituent, there are 2,500 others who feel the exact same way. The takeaway for entrepreneurs: every comment on your blog or social media outlet is important. Respond to each one. And do so quickly. The average company response time to a web-based lead is 39 hours! People don’t come to the web to wait that long. If you don’t respond quickly enough, they are going to go somewhere else. If you can respond within five minutes or less, you’ll be able to reach 92% of those people.
After sharing many other points of advice, he shared a couple of genealogy experiences. He had been working on his Krogue line for about two years and had hit a brick wall in Denmark in the 1700s. (See the arrow on the left in the pedigree, below.) He decided to work on one of the wife’s line instead and worked his way back to a Sode family (the arrow on the right). An exchange student from Denmark was staying in his neighborhood and her name was Sode. So he talked to her and she said that her grandmother was a big researcher in genealogy. She called her grandmother and her grandmother said, “Yes, we are related. In fact, I have 210 pages of family history and genealogy of your line!” And to think that this young lady was just two blocks away.
“How does that happen?” Ken asked. “Well, those are the kinds of adventures that happen when you get involved in family history.”