I had the chance to interact with Sam my freshman year of College. Sam played for the Women’s Varsity Soccer team and I play for the Men’s team. Grove City College worked with her in a competition for Inc Magazine’s Coolest College Start Ups and so she was well known around the school. I went through the college soccer recruiting process for about two years in high school and her product, ProfilePasser, really intrigued me when I heard about it. I was recruited by a number of schools, but experienced difficulty in finding the right match. While I do believe that talent will be found and that using an app will not make you a better soccer player, I believe that Sam’s product is creating a more efficient way for college coaches to spend their time recruiting student athletes who are sincerely interested in their school. I am confident that I would have used her app if it had been around a few years ago when I went through the recruiting process.
Sam encouraged students in college to not talk about what they want to do in the future but rather to act now. As a student, I sometimes fall into the trap that my business ideas should wait until I graduate with my degree. Sam doesn’t want students to fall into this mindset. I have been reading a book called Built to Last by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras. The book focuses in on successful habits of visionary companies. The authors researched the beginnings of these companies and found something very interesting. Only three of the twenty companies researched began with a “great idea” or “cutting edge product.” The authors sought to dispel the myth that a great business needs to be founded upon a great idea. So why do I tell you this? Well, I think it connects with what Sam encouraged her audience to do. Instead of thinking about the business I want to create in the future with the future skills I will acquire, I can identify services I can offer currently and start now. I don’t think Sam or the authors of Built to Last are suggesting starting a business with little thought is a good idea, but I think they both would agree that starting and adapting is better than planning and thinking without ever beginning. My roommates and I have discussed many business ideas and more than once someone has exclaimed, “we just need an amazing idea.” I think instead of focusing on the amazing idea, I will spend more of time now focusing on what I can do with the resources I have been blessed with.
I really appreciated Sam’s presentation and I am excited to see ProfilePasser succeed!
-Dale Reese ’17