We had the pleasure meet at lunch time Bert Tong who has many experiences in entrepreneurship. Indeed, he launched Crate Away, a storage start-up which failed one year ago. He came to share with us his experience and explain us how he overcame this failure. The key lesson of this meeting is that relationships between co-founders matter the most. He insisted on the need of complementarity between members of a team. Being a successful entrepreneur is not only about having a good idea but about having reliable and trustworthy relationships. The network is at stake above all.
Mr. Tong gave us two main pieces of advice that we should take into account if we intend to start our own company one day.
First of all, you need to be willing to help people if they ask. You have to give yourself up: this is how you build a valuable network. It is a way to transmit your knowledge and experience but above all you will be rewarded in return. Bert Tong proceeded like that in order to get back on his feet: he is indeed on the verge of creating a new business.
Secondly, you should not be afraid of failures. On the contrary, it remains the best way to learn what was wrong and how you can improve yourself. He also highlighted that even though it is a hard way to learn, you gain much more confidence and maturity. For example, Bert Tong is about to launch a second start-up…. mouth shut, it’s confidential!
This meeting occurred at the end of our business week and confirmed that earning money is not the first motivation in the entrepreneur’s mind. Having patience, maintaining close-knit human relationships and learning from your mistakes are the keys to success.
We appreciated this informal meeting and Bert Tong’s enthusiasm to share with us his experience!
Written by Sarah GOUETTA, Adeline DUPELOUX & Charline JACQUIER