Welcome to the School of Hard Knocks, where real-life entrepreneurs teach you the lessons they learned the hard way. This week’s course will be taught by ‘Professor’ Sam Pardue, CEO & Founder of Indow Windows.
Sam Pardue is a serial entrepreneur who left the Intel mother ship to form start-up ventures in Portland, Oregon. Upon graduating from Carnegie Mellon’s MBA program in 1998, Sam first worked at Intel Corporation as a marketing manager. After several years he left Intel to co-found Lensbaby, a celebrated Portland-based manufacturer of award-winning special effects SLR camera lenses.
In August 2010 Sam stepped down as Lensbaby’s CEO to found Indow Windows, a company that manufactures and markets Pardue’s patented, award-winning invention, a thermal window insert that presses inside of a window frame to deliver double pane window performance at a fraction of the cost.
Sam will be speaking at our upcoming Entrepreneurial Summit on the tough lessons he’s learned in the entrepreneur’s School of Hard Knocks. Here, he shares the course he wishes he’d taken in school:
The CEO’s Progress: Things you’ll want to know along the way
Key lessons the course will teach:
- How to develop and iterate your business model continuously until you find a track to success. This requires testing your theories by getting feedback from mentors, experts, suppliers, partners, service providers and above all, potential customers.
- How to build a great team that complements your own strengths and weaknesses — because there are limits to your knowledge.
- How to build a compelling mission and embed your core values in your company culture, keeping your team together and on track through the journey ahead.
Key skills the course will develop:
- How to develop and iterate a Business Model Canvas, a tool that allows entrepreneurs to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot their business model.
- How to define and understand their Beachhead Customer
- How to craft an effective go-to-market strategy
A tour of local startups, including one that grew and successfully exited, like Simple, one that’s still climbing the mountain, like Indow Windows, and then an incubator like Portland Seed Fund or PIE, to see other groups just starting out.
- Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business by Matt Blumberg
- The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
- The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank
- The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
Ready to register? OEN invites you to come and be schooled at The Kennedy School on June 6, where Sam Pardue and 14 other successful entrepreneurs will share their stories. Appropriately themed The School of Hard Knocks, our Entrepreneurial Summit is a chance for you to learn what they didn’t learn in school. Learn more and register here.