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October 1, 2012

My Summer as an (Entrepreneurial) Creep

By Brad Kelly, ‘13  |  october, 2012
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This summer I was a semi-professional creep. I suppose that deserves some clarification, I spent the summer fleshing out a business idea that I have been interested in for the last year.  My co-founders (fancy word for friends) and I are designing a kinetic energy charger to extend the battery life of consumer electronics. 

As anyone who has taken an entrepreneurial class has learned, the first step is to talk to people and figure out what they want.  The part that is often downplayed is how incredibly awkward and painful it is, not just for you, but for the people you interact with.  To stop people from fleeing, my most effective technique became cornering people in the elevator and asking their opinions. This is creepy in the base case and it was only compounded by my entrepreneurial mustache.  People used to think that by staring at their phone they could avoid awkward conversations but that reality has been shattered for many MPP residents.

Armed with some idea of what people wanted, I sat down and started doing broader market research.  With no other full-time employees, the majority of my daily social interactions revolved around the phrase “I’ll have a large coffee with cream and sugar please”.  This stage went on just long enough to diminish my already lacking social skills beyond any hope of repair, just in time to go back in public.

The final and most critical step in becoming a creep occurred after I entered the prototyping stage. I emerged from the shadows to go to the weird part of RadioShack that even the employees don’t go into. I am fairly certain that even looking in those bins of electronics instantly puts you on to some type of FBI watch list. We are still in this stage now, fighting against the pesky laws of science to build our product to meet our performance requirements.  Our goal is to have a working prototype by the end of the year to begin sourcing a manufacturer.

Overall, it was a great experience and I plan to continue on this path and hope to turn it into a career, something that I never envisioned when I started here a year ago.  If you are interested in becoming a creep and being a business plan away from unemployment this may be the route for you too.

Last Updated 10/8/12
Last Updated 10/8/12