Hunter Hawley, a junior at IU Bloomington, is founder of Blueprint Stats LLC. The company uses artificial intelligence and other technologies to make athletes, coaches and teams better at what they do — it analyzes game film of high school basketball teams and presents data for users to convert into improved performance.
Crimson Catalyst: If a person has an idea for a business, what are the first three actions they should take to make it a reality?
Hunter Hawley: First, they should seek out as many people as they can who face the problem they are looking to solve. Starting with the solution, not the problem, greatly decreases the odds of success. Next, build something at the most basic level of what will solve the problem. Finally, try to sell the solution to those who have the problem. Giving it away and asking “How much would you pay for this?” rarely gets real answers from users. It is much easier for a person to say they would pay a given amount than it is to actually pay it.
CC: What has surprised you during the course of your day-to-day entrepreneurial journey?
HH: I’ve been most surprised by the number of people who are willing to hear about the business. Just the fact that I am a student working on this startup in a time when entrepreneurship is too rare has opened a lot of doors for me.
CC: How do you define success?
HH: I believe success, like happiness, can’t be thought of as a destination. Success is growth; it’s a process.
CC: What is dangerous or scary about being an entrepreneur?
HH: You are constantly putting yourself out there, and sometimes that means getting rejected. If you have the right attitude, though — a growth mindset, you are able to overcome that pretty easily. Though, sure, it can be scary and dangerous, it is rewarding in every way.
CC: What is the best advice you’ve received?
HH: I was really fortunate growing up — my parents, grandparents and older siblings were all very involved in my life and were incredible role models for me. So, while there was a lot of advice given, I’d say the most valuable thing I took from all of it was the idea that you’ve always got to keep growing and changing. If you stop looking for ways to grow as a person, life becomes boring.
CC: What is the best advice you can offer?
HH: Listen to as many people as you can to try to gain their perspectives on not just what you’re working on, but also on the world at large. But never forget to listen to yourself. Too many entrepreneurs forget that last part.