Silicon Alley: Concrete Lessons from NYC
“This summer is going to be sticky. It will be messy. But you are going to grow so much.”
Lizzy’s initial words of encouragement could not be truer. New York City has been sticky from the heat and chaotic from balancing work and play. But I love it. I live with two fabulous roommates near Union Square. I am working in an entrepreneurial company that focuses on empowering women to become financially independent. I have gotten the opportunity to tour Google, eat dinner with the producer of Jersey Boys, and get lost on the subway only to discover another piece of the eternal puzzle that is NYC. What more could an aspiring entrepreneur ask for?
Silicon Alley is rife with startups: from ecommerce sites such as Birchbox to tech companies like Codeacademy to my own company, DailyWorth. DailyWorth.com is a community of women who talk money through a daily email model. Working with DailyWorth has allowed me to form relationships with a group of driven, intelligent women who know their worth and help other women discover theirs.
Most importantly, I have drawn concrete parallels between the theory and practice of entrepreneurship. Two particular lessons from the Entrepreneurship minor have been enforced by happenings at DailyWorth:
1) Be prepared to adapt and find ways to thrive in unexpected circumstances: Two weeks into m
y internship, I learned that we would be working remotely for the months of July and August in order to cut back on unnecessary expenses of a fancy office space.Though I initially panicked, I realized that working remotely for a month wouldn’t be such a bad thing. It would give me the opportunity to take on an independent project, work flexibly, and use extra time to network. While this may not be the most ideal circumstance, looking positively upon this situation has proven to be a transferable skill set that I will utilize in the future.
2) Opportunity exists within the pits of chaos. Exploit it: Recently, I learned that one of our editions might be cut from DailyWorth due to the editorial team being stretched in many different directions. When I heard this news, I felt devastated. CreateWorth, ouredition for female entrepreneurs, is one of my favorite DailyWorth products. I realized that I could leverage connections from the Entrepreneurship minor and Women in Entrepreneurship group to find content for CreateWorth. When I proposed this to upper management, they loved the idea. The ability to carve opportunity from chaos has served me well and will heighten my internship experience.
Startup culture doesn’t suit the faint of heart. It takes vision, critical discussion, andsacrifice. Often, startups are glamorized, but it’s easy to forget the tedious tasks and minute decisions that make innovation possible: the account manager who bears the bulk of criticism, the seemingly impossible transition from operational to strategic thinking, the quest to attract clients when everyone is vying for attention. Startups are sticky and chaotic, but so am I. It’s a match made in heaven.