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Four Entrepreneurship Lessons from 4C Founder Alok Choudhary

Tech company 4C helps users plan, execute, and measure advertising campaigns

Professor Alok Choudhary discusses entrepreneurship with BizCastHQ.

To succeed as an entrepreneur, one, of course, needs an exciting new idea. But what other qualities help entrepreneurs thrive in competitive and crowded industries?

Northwestern Engineering’s Alok Choudhary sat down with BizCastHQ last week to discuss the lessons he learned while building his tech company, 4C Insights. Built on more than 30 years of research by Choudhary, 4C is a social intelligence and advertising platform that helps users plan, execute, and measure social media and television campaigns.

Since the company launched in 2011, 4C Insights has raised $26 million in Series C funding, hired 160 employees, and looks to expand from the United States to clients in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Here are four pieces of entrepreneurship advice from Choudhary, who is the Henry and Isabelle Dever Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science:

  1. Understand that the company is all about people. The idea behind the business might be a new technology, but it’s people — not the technology — who develop, sell, and use the product.
  2. Learn from customers. Because customers are the end users, they should be excited with the product. Choudhary recommends asking customers what makes, or could make, their daily lives easier.
  3. Stay focused. Don’t let distractions or setbacks derail your vision. “If you believe in what you are doing, don’t be disheartened by short-term failure or roadblocks,” Choudhary said.
  4. Take risks. If you believe in your company and are excited about your work, then don’t be afraid to take chances.