Jenn Hyman is the CEO and co-founder of Rent the Runway. Before that she went to Harvard Business School (and Harvard for undergrad too, NBD). She’s writing a column for us that we’re calling Fashionpreneur. In it she’ll dole out advice and lessons learned on everything from raising funds, branding yourself, sales and generally managing a business. She’s also taking your questions.
Rule number one of entrepreneurship is that the second you tell someone that you are thinking about starting a company, the floodgates of advice will open. Suddenly, friends, distant relatives and colleagues will frame themselves as experts on just about anything to create the opportunity to give you their opinion. This all stems from rule number one about people which is that they love to hear themselves talk (in fact, in any negotiation or interview, the person that speaks most believes that she has the upper hand). Since I had the idea for Rent the Runway nearly three years ago, my co-founder Jenny Fleiss and I have solicited and received lots of advice. The trick is the ability to decipher good advice from bad. So, in the efforts of saving all of you the trouble, I thought it best to list some of the very best and very worst advice I’ve received.