The Entrepreneurial Journey with Scott Magids
By Li Shen
October 13, 2018-- The Youth Entrepreneur Society hosted it’s 3rd meeting this Saturday, addressing a series of tips and advice for venturing into the business world with speaker Scott Magids, co-founder and CEO of Motista.
Often when people hear the word ‘entrepreneur’, they may think of someone who mindlessly throws themselves into an abyss of possibility just for a small chance at money or fame. This may be somewhat true, but in a real-world economy, the path of these “financial daredevils” are calculated and precise. Those who succeed in creating a lucrative business, like Mr. Magids, understand the inner workings of all aspects of entrepreneurship, from people to managing to goals
Guest Speaker, Scott Magids, discusses with a small group before the start of our meeting.
Mr. Magids began his journey at the age of 15 with the start of his first company, which by the time he was 18, had accumulated over 1 million dollars in revenue. At a young age, Magids realized that the internet would become a pervasive utility and began developing websites for companies. Later, this expanded into Motista, a company that provides data for the intersection of “emotions and motives” to people’s financial tendencies
“Creating a successful business is very hard. You’re much more likely to fail than to succeed.” He says. But that just part of the process. Although Motista is currently an acknowledged business, Magids has had more than his fair share of defeats. “Everything I have learned from all my shortcomings has made me who I am today. Tolerance of risk, tolerance for failure, making changes, and learning fast. That's what all companies look for.” And although he has created several businesses that did not flourish, the knowledge he obtained from the experience is priceless.
Magids makes sure to have our audience participate during his speech
No entrepreneur truly works alone.
“The people you work with matters a TON. A strong team with a mediocre idea will deliver more than a mediocre team with a strong idea.” The most important skill in a person is trust. Although most people chase after the most professional or intelligent members, what really matters is that a team is there in both good and bad times. Magids says that “If not everyone on a team can tell everyone else their deepest secrets, then it is not a good team”.
Our Leadership Team (from left to right): President Macy Su, VP Fiona Chen, Social Media Manager Kristina Fan, Business Development Manager Ken Chen, Journalism Manager Li Shen, Event Planning Manager Catherine Tong, and Treasurer Amy Tian. (not pictured: Community Involvement Manager Richard Luo and Business Development Manager Eric Lai.
The first of Mr. Magids’ three recommendations for entrepreneurship is to define a clear vision and stick with it. “A good idea can’t carry a company. For example,” he says, “Snapchat has lost its value in the last 2 years while Amazon has grown. Why? Because it brings unique worth to the table.” Likewise, Starbucks does significantly better than other coffee companies due to the fact that it is selling a “brand, a destination, a place” you can identify yourself to. An average Starbucks store attracts nearly 500 customers a day, not due to the drink quality, but because of the experience. All the actions you do must go through a test that shows you are committed to the vision. Anything and everything must adhere to your original goal.
Timing is a factor everyone must consider. Magids’ 2nd piece of advice is to keep in mind that “it is absolutely impossible to launch a new company at the right time, and it is impossible to predict market timing.” Google is today’s most well-known search engine, but why was it not prominent 20 years ago? Why were engines like Yahoo and Infoseek so popular back then, but aren’t now? The answer is simply timing and chance. Yahoo was so well known in the past that it nearly bought Google for $500 million. Later, Microsoft offered to buy the company for $55 billion but was rejected. Ultimately, Yahoo was sold to Verizon for a mere 4 billion dollars while Google would continue to grow to be worth nearly $54 billion. Content and trends change. “We are never done thinking about what is happened in the market.”
(left) Treasurer Amy Tian talks with our YES Advisory board Member, James Huang. Behind them is our Business Development Manager, Ken Chen, speaking with Mr. Suad Bejtoic
Repeatability and capital are Mr. Magids’ last topics. Repeatability is key to financial leverage. If a piece of software can be sold numerous times, it requires less manual work, therefore increasing profit. Businesses are all about profit, but Magids admits that he “hates raising money” and describes capital as a “necessary evil”. That is why he advises that to be extremely careful when acquiring funds because “an entrepreneur's goals and an investors goals will not always be aligned.”
Magid concludes that “Although entrepreneurship is really hard, it's incredibly exciting. I wouldn't ever trade being an entrepreneur for any old day job.”
YES Mentor, Jonathan Alpart speaks with a group of student members.
President Macy Su introduces our Special guests for the Oct. Meeting. (From left to right): Beth McGaw, Alexis Magids, Jennifer Bejtovic and Suad Bejtovic.
Special Guest Beth McGaw shares an anecdote with YES members.
Li Shen (left), Ken Chen, James Huang, and Jane Li share a candid discussion.
YES would like to thank our special guests: Beth McGaw, President of America Learning Disability Association; Jennifer Bejtovic, Vice President of BB&T Wealth and Suad Bejtovic from Frisco Chamber of Commerce. Along with them are the President of USCCC Jane Li, Co-Chair of YES Advisory Board, Ivy Sun, Tong Zang; Advisory Board member, James Huang and Jonathan Alpart. They also provided us their insight during the meeting and small group discussion.
We would also like to support and thank the leaders from 2019 Chinese New Year Celebration Gala for providing the opportunity for teens to volunteer as hosts, light and tech managers, and other positions at this one of the largest events at DFW area. It will be celebrating the 4th anniversary of its traditional show stopping performances next year. Event Chair Renee Zhang hopes that this event will shed light China’s vibrant culture and create a platform the aspiring youth of Texas.