My name is Rob Adams. I'm currently on the faculty of the MBA program at the University of Texas at Austin, where I teach entrepreneurship courses and run the Global Moot Corp program. Prior to doing this I ran several early stage venture funds after starting and building several software companies. I've been active in the founding, financing or acquisition of more than 40 companies representing more than a billion dollars of capital, and involved in the launching of at least 100 products.
My current position in the world gives me a front row seat of entrepreneurial activities in the incredibly vibrant city of Austin, Texas. I get to deal with a city full of entrepreneurs I've worked with before as well as work closely with the up-and-comers making their way through the various MBA programs available at the McCombs School of Business. Add to this running the Global Moot Corp program, dubbed the "Super Bowl of Business Plan Competitions," where I get to see plans from the top business school entrepreneurs from around the world, and I consider myself a very lucky start-up kind of guy.
One of the great things my current position lets me do is spend a lot of time helping people get their businesses off the ground. Sometimes you never really know how much you know until you start helping others do something. I figured out I really did learn a lot by launching and funding all those companies; some of which were incredibly successful and some that were big smoking holes in the ground. I now do my best to get the entrepreneurs I help through all the risks that come with getting a start-up off the ground, which are things time, experience and spending lots of money teach you. Fortunately I've done all of these and have a wealth of knowledge to draw from—drawn from both successes and failures.
Over the last decade I've also found once you get out of start-up land, start-up experience translates to established companies when they launch new products. Same sets of issues, except instead of trying to get that first product or service to sing and dance in the market, you're trying to get a follow on one to do so. Experience has shown me much as it's hard to get the first product to work in the market, it's usually a lot harder getting a follow on to do so. Interestingly, the strategy I used and refined to get initial products to work translates directly to any company launching follow on products.
So this is where I'm investing my time these days and it's what I'll be blogging about here. I've got tons of start-up and new product experience and I'll be addressing your issues on that front. I'll also be writing about developing new products for both start-up and established companies. The process I use here I've termed "Market Validation" and look for lots of talk on the topic here over the coming weeks.