Friday, February 29

Changing the world with Robin Chase - GoLoCo

It was great to hear from Robin Chase as she spoke so passionately about her past and future projects. She had a lot of useful insights into her ventures and ways in which we could apply some of her knowledge in our own entrepreneurial activities. I was amazed to hear about how bold and forward thinking Robin is in the way she looks to negotiate areas and fields that she doesn’t necessarily have a background in, but wishes to revolutionize those industries with disruptive thinking. I would definitely describe Robin as a serial entrepreneur, as not only has she started successful ventures such as ZipCar and GoLoCo but also hitting out into Mesh Networking and congestion charging.

Robin talked openly about different aspects of entrepreneurship and touched on a number of areas. She mentioned that you need to know how to satisfy the small amount of new users in a beta test when working with networks of people. Her approach is to satisfy the small, before organically growing to the large. This approach has been proved a success from the monster his such as Google and Facebook, so she can’t be too far wrong.

She also made it clear that if you are working at the intersection of two industries, then you can quickly become an “industry expert”, which is where Robin has often found herself, working with hi-tech, automotive, environmental and networking solutions.

Her opinion on making sure mesh networking devices become successful and well accepted is to integrate them into other technologies that are well maintained and required. That way the mesh network will be kept running because it is necessary by another solution, such as within cities for use in congestion charging.

A sound piece of advice is to try and hire people who have an “I can do that attitude”, this generally means a team of entrepreneurs. I can see issues with this, if there isn’t a common focus of the company, and everyone is working towards the same goals. Along with this attitude another thing that you usually can group entrepreneurs under is the thinking of, “It’s always looking up”, a great way to think about things, obviously as long as it’s actually looking up!

When asked how to go about asking people for advice, and to be on your board as a new entrepreneur, Robin suggested that successful people generally come from a place where they feel people have helped them, so are will to help others be successful too. A great way of thinking about things, and from my experience this is commonly true.

Robin was a great speaker, and we had an interesting discussion with her. It was also good to be able to debate some of the issues that she arose, and hear how she defended her position. I think Robin is doing a great job, and wish her all the success in the future. She really is changing the way people think about transportation and the environment at both the highest and lowest levels in the world.

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