Not defined by a degree.

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VEN·TURE CA·PI·TA·LIST (VC)
An investor who either provides capital to startup ventures or supports small companies that wish to expand but do not have access to equities markets.

Called the "most powerful woman in startups", VC Ann Miura-Ko is the co-founder and partner of Silicon Valley VC firm Floodgate. 

She was an early spotter of ride-hailing unicorn Lyft and also invested in machine intelligence software maker Ayasdi and Xamarin, which Microsoft acquired in February 2016 for a reported more than $400 million. 

While Ann's story isn't exactly a "f*ck-up", it should definitely be shared. We're talking about a bigger story here: the massive gender gap in tech, and how Ann Miura-Ko overcame it

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"If anything, I've changed career paths probably more times than most people ever will in a lifetime." Ann thought she was going to be a doctor (she took the MCAT), a lawyer (she also took the LSAT), or a graduate from business school (and then she took the GMAT). 

However, an unlikely event happened. While giving tours of her campus at Yale, she ended up showing Lewit Platt, the CEO of Hewlett Packard around campus. 

During the tour, he offered her the opportunity to shadow him during her spring break. She took him up on the offer. 

When she returned back to her college campus, Lewis sent her two photos: One was a picture of herself, sitting next to Lew, talking to him. The second picture was Bill Gates, who had visited that week. He was sitting exactly where she had sat.

After that moment, not through words but through photographs, someone suggested to her that maybe she should dream a bigger dream. 

In the earliest stage of her career, the term "investor" was lacking a diverse mix of people. There simply weren't women Ann Miura-Ko could look up to. 

"There isn't a multitude of people where you could just point to that person and say, 'That's the person I am going to be in 10, 20, 30 years.' And I think that's what's tough."  - Ann Miura-Ko.

While things are changing for women in the startup and VC world, the percentage of women-founded venture-backed companies globally has plateaued at approximately 17 percent since 2012

However, Ann soon became one of the top VCs in the industry. Some of Ann’s investments include Lyft, Ayasdi, Xamarin, Refinery29, JoyRun, TaskRabbit, and Modcloth.

Now, in addition to serving at FLOODGATE, Ann serves on the Yale Corporation Investment Committee and is a lecturer in the School of Engineering at Stanford University. 

Moral of the story? Stop stressing and start enjoying the journey of discovery. 

"I used to always try to have a 10-year plan, which was totally excessive... What I discovered along the way was that my career was emergent. I actually only knew the next step, and I only knew it when I found it." - Ann Miura-Ko.

Time to pick up the slack.

Enron, WorldCom and the dotcom bubble. It definitely wasn't a time to be betting money in the online world. 

Moving from a remote northern BC community to Vancouver and raised by hippie parents (his birthname was Dharma before he changed it), Stewart Butterfield had a vision: he wanted to bring together all of the early virtual communities to collaborate in the form of play. He wanted to evolve the world.

That's why he created Ludicorp, to build a world-changing, revolutionary game. 

Called Game Neverending, it turned out to be hard to explain and not commercially viable. Also, no one wanted to invest in a tech company because of all the accounting scandals and the recent dotcom bubble burst.

Game Neverending was ironically coming to an end. 

But there was hope. The game's embedded photo-uploading tool was popular among players. So popular that the tool, called Flickr, got bought by Yahoo in 2005 for well over $20 million. 

After working in Yahoo for four years, Stewart and three employees left Flickr. 

"Now's the time we'll succeed", they thought. Servers were cheaper, there were tons of open-sourced software, the network had spread and ubiquitous broadband gave them the ability to spend time building a new game, called Glitch. 

His company raised over $5 million in Series A funding, and another $10.7 million in the next year. Glitch was growing fast. 

While building Glitch, Stewart had a largely diverse staff consisting of artists, developers and marketing teams. With such a massive, cross-disciplinary team, sending individual emails weren't the best way to communicate. 

So his team created an internal communication system that had a concept of a "channel", instead of sending individual messages via email. Channels can exist before and after a team member leaves, and link to other systems as well.

The great thing was that all of the information was archived into those channels, and as the game began to crumble at the end of 2012, Stewart realized he still had to justify the $17 million of money raised.

When dissolving the team, Stewart and his employees realized they would never want to work without a system like this and thought, "maybe that's what the world will want".

By accidentally discovering that there is a lot of demand, Slack came to be. 

Now, Slack has over $200 million in revenue, and a rumoured acquisition by Amazon for over $8 - $10 billion. 

Turns out, all you have to do is pivot a f*ck-up into something more. 

From Hot Dogs to Breaking the 9-5 Mould

From selling hot dogs, to starting an online liquor store, to founding one of America's fastest growing media companies. 

Sam Parr has worked his way up to become America's king of content. How did he do it?

 
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Being fired is not always a bad thing, right..?

After high school, the next "rational" step was to get a job, but...

"I used to be a smart ass, so everyone would fire me. Now I’m still kind of a smart ass but I’m not mean."
- Sam

After getting fired from over 6 to 7 jobs, he decided that he wanted to start a business. A profitable one that had to do with the Internet, because he knew that was where the smart money was. After some serious Googling, he found out that San Francisco was the place to live. 

And so he went on his way.

Even though he got hired at Airbnb, Sam never showed up. Instead, he started a company called "Bunk" with his friend - John Havel. Shortly enough, the business got acquired by Apartment List, which led to Sam saying "I quit because I wanna start something else".

Because he was lacking inspiration on creating the next best thing, he wanted to listen to a bunch of creative geniuses talk, but was immediately put off by the cost of a TED talk.

He wanted to make a conference bada*s, and not cost $10,000 per ticket.

Introducing HustleCon, that aims to empower the non-techies with startup tactics.

He read every book on copy writing, so that he could "learn to use words to convince people to do things". 

He leveraged on existing email addresses to market the sh*t out of the "last-minute" conference.

 

 
 And then this happened.

And then this happened.

 

In 7 weeks, (that's like, less than two months) he hosted the 400 people conference with 15 top speakers. 

And it became very profitable.

(P.S. Register now to attend Hustle Con 2018 on June 22 in Oakland CA. It's the perfect summer getaway.)

"You gotta have balls of steel to run a profitable event... While I don't have steel balls, I have gotten used to the pressure." 

As Steve Jobs said, real artists ship. "You gotta have balls of steel to run a profitable event... While I don't have steel balls, I have gotten used to the pressure."  

After the mayhem of organizing a huge conference, he took a trip across America for sixty days to discover what America has to offer beyond business and innovation. For many, vacations have always been directly correlated to happiness. But Sam realized that all he wanted to do was be competitive.

 
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"I wanted to work my ass off. I don't want to just chill". - Sam

After his well-deserved vacay, Sam realized that people loved his promotional content for Hustle Con just as much as the conference itself. And that's how The Hustle, America's fastest growing media company, was born.

The email newsletter sends out a daily email for millennials - talking about the important business and tech news, without political jargon. 

 
 

Soon enough, he was able to grow his email list from 0 to 100,000 people in less than a year. 

Not only that, but twelve companies that spoke at the conference (including General Assembly, Amazon, and Nerd Wallet) invested half a million dollars to show their support for the Hustle. 

"We’re going to be the brand that 20-something wanna-be entrepreneurs say 'I’m going to take down The Hustle' when they’re trying to raise money for their idea." - Sam

And Sam's not afraid to tell you how he did it. 

He's an active writer on The Hustle despite his busy lifestyle, and spills valuable insights as much as he can. Like this article about why Steve Jobs was an a-hole.

Last year, Hustle Con got big names like Casey Neistat and Miguel McKelvey. And the Hustle's only getting bigger.

This year, the service-oriented media brand is not just with more ticketed events, but is gearing towards being a software and product recommendation service.

LAST BUT NOT NOT NOT LEAST...

"If you’re reading this (a blog about starting companies), you most likely cross the intelligence threshold of having what it takes. So, when you see someone big, think that you and them are the same and use that to push away any fear." - Sam Parr on his Launch Summit Interview.

Meet the king of content, and get that one-to-one chat with him. (Yep, he's mentoring at Legacy this year.)

Hustle Con 2018 is happening on June 22, 2018.

How We Got Steli Efti to Speak

 
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"You're either building sh*t, or selling sh*t. Everything else is wasteful."

When you think of Steli Efti, you'll think The Sales God.

He's helped more than 200 venture-backed startups to build and scale their sales processes. He's also closed thousands of deals worth tens of millions of dollars.

HOW TO GET A FIRE SPEAKER LINEUP 2.0.

Getting speakers is a tricky one, especially when we are student-run and completely non-profit.

Last year we gave you a rundown on how we got Brian Wong to speak at The Legacy Conference 2017. 

This year, we're going to tell you how we got the top sales icon of Silicon Valley to speak. 

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If you don't know who Steli Efti is, here's a summary on why you should:

 

(Watch from 2:45 to 4:30)

 

With him speaking at top conferences like Pioneers Festival and Tedx, we knew he was going to be a tough cookie to get. 

But we decided to try anyway. 

THE COLD REACH OUT

"When you show up, magic f*king happens."

And "showing up" means taking that comfortable first step - sending that first email, making that first call, going to a conference like Legacy.

So we drafted an email, and "showed up" in his inbox. 

 
 

But we knew it wasn't enough.

Steli Efti is all about the "power of follow-ups".

So he said: "I am not always their number one priority, so I will follow up until that person has a chance to respond.

And so we did

After the third follow up, he finally responded:

 
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It wasn't an immediate yes, but we knew that we had to "always, always, always follow up". 

The CEO in his talk at PODIM Conference 2016 mentioned that "the beauty is that most humans - they show up once and they go silent. They never ever follow up or follow through."

 

So here's to you, hustler. For following up and following through. Join the community of like-minded doers.

Learn how to Close.io with Steli on March 24th, 2018.

the cookie cutter path

 
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Kloe Desrosiers, former uOttawa student, now leading marketing at Humi.

So… What’s your story?

I was a huge believer in following the cookie cutter path. I graduated high school as valedictorian, and was expecting to spend 4+ years in university to get the job I wanted.

After two years of university, I realized that things just aren’t as cookie cutter as they used to be. Years ago, people would have to get a degree to be hired at a good company, but I wanted to see if my experience that I gained throughout the two years was enough to further apply my knowledge.

So I started applying to jobs. I thought “I lose nothing by applying”. I lose nothing by testing the waters.

In August, I was offered an internship position at Humi, and I took it. I thought again: I lose nothing by taking this offer. If it doesn’t work out, I go back to school in four months.

It ended up working out really well. They offered me a full-time role, and I loved the personal growth I was gaining, so it was a no brainer to continue challenging myself.

I think I’ll end up continuing education part-time, but on my own wallet, and for a program that is practical and aligns with my career goals.

 
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“Testing the waters” … That takes lots of courage. Were you ever scared?

Oh yeah. When I first moved to Toronto, I started a new job, didn’t have a home for the first month, and didn’t know many people in the city.

But after a rough couple of months, I realized that if I kept being scared and doubting myself in this position, I’m not going to give it my all.

There are still times where I still doubt myself, but I think that’s normal. I realize that it is because I’m doing something that not many people have done before, which scares me because all I see is the thousands of people my age in school right now. It’s inevitable to think that I might be doing something wrong.

What would you tell your 2017 self?

Make a list of things that are most important to you and your personal growth, and work backwards and create ways to complete those things. It sounds simple in theory, but hard to apply in everyday life.  The things you do every day should align with what’s important to you.

 
 

If you had one thing to tell the attendees that will be attending the Legacy Conference 2018, what would it be?

For anything you do, think critically and objectively with the information you have, and make a decision that’s best for you. It’s just not so cookie cutter anymore. We’re all uncomfortable doing something different than everyone else, but we are all different so it just makes sense.

Analyze your situation. For me, I didn’t want to be in 40K+ debt without practical experience, in a field where I didn’t need need a degree right away, and I had  just enough experience to get a job.

But hey, Legacy attendee, this most likely isn’t your situation. We’re all in different situations with different goals in mind. So take the canvas and paint your career (and life) the way you want it.

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Meet like-minded attendees like Kloe on March 23 - 24, 2018, at the Legacy Conference 2018. 

Get your tickets at https://bruha.com/event/2651#buytickets