Students on the Silicon Valley Immersion trip spent Monday afternoon with at Shyp, a startup that’s seen great success early. CTO Dan Rummel, a native Minnesotan shared how a small business can have success when the right systems are put in place. CNN named Shyp one of the top 10 startups of the year.

Starting off the final week in our 14-day trip, we had one of our more “leisurely” days today. We sat down and discussed where we are at in our project process, where we plan on going, and what types of people we are getting feedback from on our prototypes. Most of our crew zipped down to Fisherman’s Warf in order to meet some new people and learn about our prototype, but mostly relearn our problem we are trying to solve. We met back up at our 12-person van in order to make our 2:00 meeting with our new friend Dan Rummel from Shyp.

I assumed Shyp was a competitor of FedEx or UPS, but it’s in fact partners with both companies. Shyp picks up and packages items, then uses its partnership with FedEx and UPS to give customers a lower shipping rate. Shyp is focused on the customer and maintaining a good relationship with them. One thing Dan said that stuck out to me was how good ideas do not stem from one person, but a collaboration of ideas that eventually form this good idea. We as entrepreneurs always think that we have to guard our secrets when in reality we could further our ideas through collaboration.

More onto this collaboration rant, we also discussed how our egos can get in the way of innovation/change. None of us know how to take the idea, from just that an idea, to a full-fledged business. It is through collaboration that we start to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Another interesting topic of ours during our time over at Shyp was about weekly meetings and how even if you don’t have anything to talk about just do it. We might not think there will be something to discuss, but with any idea or business everything can be discussed. One thing that should always be discussed in these meetings should be how to grow the business and when you should end it.

Throughout our whole time here we have heard the saying “Fail fast and fail often.” What is interesting about this is the Bay Area way of failing and the way we think of failing are completely different. The way people of the Bay Area think of failure is when something you tried doesn’t work you just rework it or re-tweak it until it does. The way we think of failing is when something you try doesn’t work and we just leave it at that, a failure. If we take anything away from this trip it will be to start thinking more like the entrepreneurs, business professionals, and all the other people working towards innovation and change in the Bay Area.

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About The Author

Clark Gregor has more than a decade of business marketing, communication and public relations experience, primarily in higher education, with shorter stints in corporate public relations and the federal government. At the University of St. Thomas he manages communications at the Opus College of Business and edits the university blog for graduate business programs, Opus Magnum along with other marketing efforts.

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