I often take inspiration from entrepreneurs who have made it. I call these my entrepreneurial heroes. These men are masters of their craft and persistent until successful.
I present them to you in the order of influence on my life:
- Jeff Atwood: Jeff created blog called Coding Horror. Since, I’m a software developer by trade, Jeff’s blog has influenced me in a number of positive ways. Most importantly though, is convincing me on the importance of design in software and how it affects the users. My favorite posts: Peanut Butter Theory of User Interface Design, The Sesame Street Presentation Rule, and Fail Early, Fail Often. He’s also responsible for creating StackOverflow.com - probably my favorite programming Q&A site. If you’re a software developer, you owe it to yourself to go back and dig in the CodingHorror’s archive. I promise it will change the way you think about your design.
- Trent Hamm: Trent created a blog called The Simple Dollar. There was a time when I thought that using a credit card willy nilly was acceptable. Then I hit financial armageddon. I knew that I had to cut back on spending money that I didn’t have. I searched and searched online until I hit The Simple Dollar. Trent often writes about personal improvement, focusing on your passion, and frugality. A must read for any aspiring entrepreneur. Some of my favorite posts: The Path of Least Resistance is the Path Without Opportunities, Find and Work Towards Your Passion, and 10 Financial Reasons to Turn Off the TV.
- Mark Cuban: Let’s see here… you probably know who Mark Cuban is. If you don’t, well he started out a small PC business repairing PCs, selling software, and focusing on small businesses. He sold that business. He then went on to found Broadcast.com. He sold Broadcast.com to Yahoo for a little over 4 billion dollars. He is now the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks (NBA). Mark has a lot of great advice that any entrepreneur should heed. He often writes on his blog Blog Maverick. My favorite posts: How to Get Rich, Success & Motivation 1,2,3,4, and You Only Have to Be Right Once.
- 37 Signals (Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson): These two guys own 37 Signals, a software company in Chicago that focuses on creating simple products that underdo their competition. They have a great blog called Signals vs Noise. The blog focuses on design of software, business of software, and other misc. silliness in the contemporary corporate business world. But, if you must read one piece of literature from them, then “Getting Real” is what it needs to be. Do yourself a favor and read it now. In fact, stop reading this, and just read the damn book. I promise you’ll be glad you did.
- Gary Vaynerchuk: This post would not be complete without mentioning Gary. Gary took over his family’s wine business and took it from just a few million dollars in a revenue a year to over 50 million. He frequently posts small, easily digestible inspirational videos on his website. I first heard of him when I went to Big Omaha last year. Here is the video. His messages are simple: internet is killing traditional media, care and you’ll win, anyone can make a living off of their passion.
Who is your entrepreneurial hero?
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