Why getting started is the hardest bit

Trying to launch a startup is a bit like waiting to cross Broadway during rush hour. I’m standing at the edge of the sidewalk, looking left and right, assessing my options. Do I take a calculated risk and step out before the white man appears, or do I wait for him to tell me it’s safe, but risk missing my train? When it comes to commuting, at least if I play it safe there will probably (hopefully) be another train not too far away. Entrepreneurship is a bit different. The longer I hang around waiting to be absolutely certain I’m not going to get hurt, the more opportunities whizz by. Of course – if you’ll entertain an extension of this rather flimsy metaphor – it’s not exactly wise to barrel head-first into oncoming traffic without a second thought. But I feel like I’ve spent enough time waiting. The past week at the Tow-Knight Center has been a blur of new business development tools: business model canvasses to draw up, audience personae and buyer journeys to be imagined (with the help of the consultants at RevSquare), and the intricacies of user experience-centred design to understand: “If a tree falls in the woods and no-one is there, it did not make a sound.” @younglucas on user experience #ej15 — Kim Choe (@kimchoe) February 6, 2015 It all makes perfect sense in theory, but actually filling in the blanks with specifics pertaining to my own project is hard when I still haven’t synthesised a hypothesis for it. Self-doubt is a cruel mistress, most commonly heard uttering things like: That idea’s been done...

What am I doing here?

There’s a snowstorm swirling outside. It’s not quite a blizzard – although one was forecast of such potentially catastrophic proportions it has pre-emptively shut down all of New York City. Still, when I step into the near-deserted streets of Harlem, the wind slices straight through my thick woollen hat. I inhale sharply in shock and snowflakes fly up my nostrils. Even though the cold is permeating further through the thick rubber soles of my boots with each step, I’m soaking it up – as it were. I have just four months to make the most of this incredible city and a little bit of snow isn’t going to get in my way! Invalid Displayed Gallery I’m a week-and-a-half into orientation at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism, where I’m a Fellow at the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism. Bit of a mouthful, huh. Classes begin in earnest next week. My 20 classmates and I are learning how to be both entrepreneurs and journalists – two things that don’t always sit comfortably together, but are becoming increasingly inseparable by necessity in a media landscape where digital rules, but doesn’t always pay. The amount of new information is daunting. Every day there are new content delivery platforms  and business models to grasp, as well as people to meet who are involved in media startups already doing great things. But what would New York be if not intense, inspiring, and full of possibilities? Follow the Tow-Knight 2015 Fellows’ journey on Twitter and...