Start-up founders advocate entrepreneurship

Focus on your customers.

That was just one takeaway from start-up founders Laura Lorek and Robert Niles’ ONA session “Just-the-Right-Size Enterprise AMA” Thursday. The Q&A was moderated by Tom Davidson of PBS Digital.

Niles, who started, advocated for being an entrepreneur and told the audience not to fear entrepreneurship. Journalists have the skills to be entrepreneurs and publishers, he said, noting that reporter traits – such as asking people questions, figuring out what people want and making narratives – align with entrepreneurship.

The key is to look at what need you can fill for other people, Niles said.

He also emphasized the importance of having experience in whatever field you’re covering and said that within journalism, there is a “distorted” idea of what constitutes success. “Consumer advocacy” is news and journalism, he said.

Both speakers also touched on advertising for start-ups. Lorek, who founded Silicon Hills News, said she has turned down advertisers for her site that she didn’t believe fit with her readership.

“If it feels strange, I don’t do it,” Lorek said.

“Advertising is content,” Niles said.