Mentor Hot Seat – Alistair Croll

In this series of posts we’re “grilling” the mentors of the Startupify program with the hope of discovering who is best able to answer a standardized set of questions. Points for accuracy and un-originality will be assigned. Actually we’re just trying to learn more about them .. the kind of stuff that doesn’t appear in boilerplate bios.

Let’s get going and welcome our third contestant: Alistair Croll

What qualifies you to be a Startupify mentor?Alistair Croll

An almost obsessive desire to understand and instrument the business model; a startup accelerator (Year One Labs); launching and growing Coradiant; writing books on entrepreneurship (Lean Analytics).

What hurdles/failures/lessons have you encountered along your professional journey that early stage entrepreneurs could learn from?

Taking too long to find product/market fit at Coradiant; seeing the differences between B2B and enterprise environments; realizing that those who pursue truth should often abandon reason (as Jonathan Haidt says) and that people are most interesting when we rattle their cages (as Alain de Botton says).

What excites you most about the Startupify program?

Finding real solutions to longstanding problems based on the disruption technology is sowing on the world.

What characteristics have you seen in the startups you’ve mentored in the past that you feel are indicators for success?

An idea that’s obvious in hindsight, combined with a clear plan on how to get there. I wrote more about this here:

BONUS: Which Startupify mentor are you most excited to collaborate with and why?

Rob Hyndman. Because I like the rest of the Mesh guys, and I haven’t hung out with him, and if he’s as sardonic as his Twitter persona I need to buy him drinks.