The University of Waterloo Entrepreneurship Society hosted the: “What’s Your Idea Week!” in the final days of September this year. Ideas were abound and students eagerly absorbed tried and tested methods from both, amateur and veteran entrepreneurs alike. Pretty much, a lot of hand shaking, back patting and an all-around feel good atmosphere. Whereas an entrepreneur could have spent those precious hours towards his project, a lot of time was wasted pandering in the SLC to the already inflated egos of startup wannabes.
The toxic “young genius” persona lingered in the air for several days after. I’m sure several busybodies were left with a taste of self-importance in their mouth and had a rejuvenating experience to dedicate the next few days to some productive outlet. However short lasted it was, good for them; the real talent can be seen in the long haul of dedication towards a calling. Those set vividly apart from the quick burst workers who constantly require praise and applause. Put on a suit, host a site, engage, maintain a presence, sell, sell, sell.
Canada’s next Silicon Valley doesn’t lack in flashy suits and arrogant gaits. It lacks in cooperation, team work and community centered business. Are you creating a social media platform that is way cool and totally revolutionary? Good for you. Do you have the next big idea in alternative energy? Fantastic. Have you figured out why kids love the taste of Cinnamon Toast Crunch? That’s actually pretty impressive. You should go on national television with that one. The point is: create something meaningful, don’t let yourself be fooled; don’t surround yourself with those unwilling to say words like, “no and you suck, you have a bad hair-cut, I don’t like the way you smell frankly”. It builds character, it builds integrity and sometimes you need to be brought back to earth.
Regardless, if you spend your time postulating your imminent wealth with others, rather than contributing some form of effort towards the greater good of innovation and scientific discovery then reevaluate your motivations. Money is a fantastic thing; it’s multi-coloured and has astronauts on it — the $20 bill at least. It’s an abundant resource unlike honesty and passion.
If you’re passionate about something, if you dearly wish to change the world, then you will be willing to dedicate your life towards it. If you’re just looking to make money, than you know what, an idea week is probably all you need if you’re smart. People have gotten wealthy in less time than that. If there’s passion in UW and if there’s any chance of some revolutionary discovery at this institution, it very likely won’t be found in Entrepreneurship studies.