“The time to fail is now.” Phil Marzolf, an EIR for student programs at Pitt, and Blake, a Pitt grad with an impressive start-up, visited our class today to explain the opportunities of entrepreneurship and promote innovation. Today, we discovered the various opportunities at the University of Pittsburgh that encourage and aid entrepreneurship. There are many pitch contests to enter with generous prizes, that either go towards the idea of the pitch or for personal spending. The idea behind this is to get thinking about new innovations and solving some of the problems that exist around the world. I was inspired to start thinking more about entrepreneurship after the emphasis on the importance of it and the fact that there is help for those who want to pursue an idea. It is also important to know that now is the time to chase an idea and see how far it can go. As students at this age, we have no ties, none of our own money is being used, and we have endless resources placed right at our feet. To fail is okay; it is a learning experience. And right now…is the time to fail.
Today, I failed. In class, my colleagues and I pitched each other our ideas, products, and services. I had not been originally confident with my own idea, but it was also the only idea I had to work with. As predicted, it was not voted to be in the finals. I was not surprised at all since my idea was excessive and unnecessary, but also because I just pitched the idea without any logistics or research, which makes it hard to jump onto the project. I found it hard to present today mostly for the reason that I was not as prepared as I should have been but also for my discomfort with public speaking. However, to be able to speak publicly and communicate properly, especially in business, is so important. Practicing those skills often will lead to noticeable improvements.
The most important realization I left with today was that I need to actually try new things to see if I am interested and to keep practicing important skills to make those improvements. I will not know unless I try, and I should never settle for “what if.”