9 Things Noah (The Biblical One) Can Teach Entrepreneurs

On Saturday, October 25, Jews around the world (or at least those who actually go to services) heard the story of Noah’s Ark. And so, with apologies to every rabbi who ever tried to teach me anything, here are a few things that Noah can teach entrepreneurs:

  1. Plan ahead. Noah didn’t wait until it started raining.
  2. Be different. The big winners are the ones who zig when everyone else zags.
  3. Go big or go home. Would a row boat have cut it?
  4. When you find the right mentor, listen carefully.
  5. Expect critics. I’m sure Noah’s neighbors had a good laugh at his little hobby. (“Hey funny guys, how long can you tread water?”)
  6. Build a diverse team. That said, you can probably get away with fewer than two of everything.
  7. Speed isn’t everything. In the ark, the cheetahs bunked with the sloths.
  8. Bad times can be good for survivors. Be the low cost producer in a price war, or stay lean when others are splurging and you can be the last man standing in an open field.
  9. Timing matters – don’t miss the boat!

About Andrew Ackerman

Andrew is recovering consultant turned serial entrepreneur, startup mentor and angel investor. He is the Managing Director at Dreamit, currently in charge of the UrbanTech accelerator program. Andrew has also written for Fortune, Forbes, Propmodo, CREtech, Builders Online, Architech Magazine, Multifamily Executive, AlleyWatch, Edsurge, The 74 Million, et. al. Andrew began his career at Booz & Co consulting on strategy and operations for Fortune 100 clients. After a brief stint at Kaplan helping transition their traditional classroom test prep services into online products, he then joined Bunk1.com as COO/Head of Product where he spent eight years building it from scratch to the leading provider of web services to the summer camp industry. After being bought out of Bunk1 in 2008, Andrew managed a family office where he was responsible for both incubating new ventures and for managing over $50M of alternative assets including hedge, private equity, and venture capital funds as well as a number of direct investments in private companies. Andrew was also the founding CEO of Layercake.com and has a keen appreciation for how hard it is to build a successful startup, even under the best of circumstances. Andrew received his MBA in Operations & Marketing from Chicago Booth (Beta Gamma Sigma) and a BA in Economics & Political Science from Johns Hopkins University (Phi Beta Kappa). He speaks Hebrew fluently as well as some Spanish, French & Japanese and is working on JavaScript.

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