Mentor in the Room: Jordan Schaffel, Co-Founder of Say It Visually! and Fast Forward Stories


Today we speak with Women Innovate Mobile mentor, Jordan Schaffel


Jordan is the co-founder of Say It Visually!  Jordan led the business development efforts of numerous startups over a 29-year career, mostly in the technology sector.  Explaining complex concepts in simple terms was the key to his success.  Jordan heads up the marketing and business development for Say It Visually!


Jordan Schaffel

What’s the worst mistake a founder can make?

Not being willing to change things midstream.  The phrase, “Don’t change horses in midstream,” is attributed to a speech made by Lincoln in 1864.  While the horse part probably doesn’t apply to today, the sentiment remains true.

What’s the most common startup error?

Getting rich on a calculator.

What does “fail fast” mean to you?

We’ve seen it a thousand times.  People are petrified to put things out into the market until they think it’s perfect.  Get it out there, warts and all.

If you could fix one thing in the startup ecosystem right now, what would it be?

Have a story that others would want to share.  Not just a commercial for your startup.

What should startups be focusing on right now?

Spreading their story.  Have it ready for all screens too.  By screens, I mean mobile of course.

When’s the right time to seek funding?

Never a great time if you can avoid it.  Funding saps the energy out of the founders and redirects them from what got them interested in doing their business in the first place.  I always say funding is a last resort in early stages.

Thoughts on crowdfunding?

Obviously, it’s the hot thing right now.  If you have the right product for that vehicle, I say try it.  (See “fail fast” response above.)

Best advice you’ve ever gotten?

Someone said these exact words to me over 15 years ago: “Things have worked out in your life so far, correct?  I guarantee they will in the future.”

Guess who’s coming for dinner.  Who would be your dream dinner guest(s) and why?

Robin Williams, Martin Short and Jon Stewart.  Life is short.  Laugh a lot.

Reprinted by permission.

About the author: Women Innovate Mobile

Women Innovate Mobile (WIM) is the first startup accelerator focused exclusively on launching and accelerating the growth of women-founded companies in mobile technology. Through its network of mobile experts, mentors and investors, WIM provides women entrepreneurs with the tools, feedback and connections needed to launch and scale their mobile ventures.

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