My favorite speaker at LessConf this year was Peldi Guilizzoni, the founder of Balsamiq. I’m not really sure what Balsamiq does. I know that its something that I don’t need. However, his presentation was compelling.
Since I’ve started my video production company, I have been bombarded with the idea that I need to work hard, work fast, get stuff accomplished, and waste no time. I’ve been taught that killing yourself with work and stress will ultimately pay off. I have always struggled with that because I don’t naturally have the confidence in myself to make a brand out of my business. I deal with the fear that people will judge me for my weak efforts or that I will ultimately fail. Peldi had a message for people like me.
Peldi moved to the United State after college to begin his career as a software developer. He worked for both Macromedia and Adobe. He spent something like 10 years learning, training, growing, and saving before he started his company. In that time, he got really freaking good at writing code and developing software. It was only then that he took his next step.
He talked about how people need to focus on “doing the work” before they start a company. They need to take the time to work jobs that will teach them things, read books, and grow as a person before they jump head first into a company that may or may not sustain them. He compared it to parenting…
You want to learn about being a parent before you have a child. You want to read the books, take the classes, and ask the opinions of people before your kids arrive. Likewise, we need to fully prepare ourselves to be business owners before we jump right into it.
He said that Balsamiq spends very little money on traditional advertising and very little time trying to sell the Balsamiq brand. He just has an awesome product and a passion for his customers.
That sounds like something that even I could do.