Serial Entrepreneur Andrew Weinreich Is Predicting Our Future

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We spoke to the inventor of the world's first social network, Andrew Weinreich, to find out what it takes to build a startup nowadays & how predicting our future really works.

Andrew, how would you describe yourself in a few words?

I’m a 7-time serial entrepreneur and inventor of the world’s first social network, sixdegrees. I’m currently the Chairman of data analytics startup Indicative and Founder of Andrew’s Roadmaps, the premier educational platform for startup founders. I also lead the podcast Predicting Our Future where I interview entrepreneurs and experts to predict massive opportunities for the next generation of startup founders to change the world.

You’ve built 7 tech startups in NYC, among those sixdegrees, the first social network. As you said, you’re currently the Chairman of Indicative and also an advisor to ClassPass. How did it all start? What set you on this entrepreneurial journey?

I was a general counsel at a PC clone manufacturer and determined to be the CEO of my own startup. I came up with the idea of getting people to index their relationships in a single database to enable each person to see the people they didn’t know through the people they did know. I quit my job just prior to the the PC clone manufacturer’s IPO and formed sixdegrees. I’ve been working on startups ever since.

Serial Entrepreneur Andrew Weinreich Is Predicting Our Future

Andrew Weinreich’s new podcast series

Why did you start Predicting Our Future and what are you most excited about regarding it?

I’m a big believer that there are macro trends in technology which, when properly identified, can allow you to see the coming disruptions in a space. The goal of the podcast is to speak to the smartest people I can find in different verticals and understand whether their collective voice lends itself to a shared and compelling vision of the future. When it doesn’t, my goal is to try to interpret the different things I’m hearing and to make my own predictions about how an industry might change.

What do you think are the next disruptive trends we’ll face?

The first podcast series is about the future of factory-built construction for residential housing. In an era where everything from paperclips to phones to cars is built in factories, why is it that a majority of homes aren’t? It turns out that in some countries, a majority of homes are being built in factories. Sweden is one such example. The United States are significantly behind in this field, relative to other advanced economies around the world. The podcast explores who is working on what in factory-built construction, both for single-family homes and multi-family apartment buildings, and how rapidly we might expect to see their efforts grow.

You’ve been active in the American startup scene for years now and know it inside out. Talking about the European scene: How would you say the two differentiate? What do you think the US can learn from Europe and vice versa?

I have had some experience with European startups and have found that, in the United States, there is a culture whereby failure is not frowned upon but can be viewed as a valuable experience. This contributes to an increased willingness for American founders to take risks early on, compared to European-based entrepreneurs.

As we mentioned before, you’ve been an entrepreneur for about two decades now, what has changed since you began this journey? Would you say it’s easier to build startups now?

It’s significantly cheaper to start a business today than it was 20 years ago. When I started sixdegrees, we needed Sun Microsystems servers and Oracle licenses. Today, you can do for 50k Euros to 100k Euros what it used to cost millions to accomplish back in the 1990’s.

Handling multiple projects is one thing every entrepreneur has in common. How do you do it and where does the energy for it come from?

I’m only able to work on things I’m passionate about. When I get attached to a vision, it’s significantly easier to devote time to a project.

What’s one piece of advice first-time entrepreneurs need to know?

Set your time frame to achieve success at 7 to 10 years. If you don’t think you have the passion to continue on a venture for that time frame, it’s probably the wrong venture for you to start.



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