About Kilton Hopkins
I’ve been starting companies since before I was a teenager. I started programming computers when I was eight years old, so my first company was a software business. It released a program for the Commodore 64 platform that allowed other programmers to make graphics more easily. The software was not polished and I had no idea how to gain distribution for the product because the World Wide Web did not yet exist. I made a ton of mistakes and learned from them. That pattern continued through all of my other early ventures. Each time I built something I learned more and did things more efficiently.
I spent a fair amount of time working as a regular employee, too. I think it’s very important for both entrepreneurs and investors to gain real-world experience playing a role in an established company. As important as gaining experience in startups. I did some time inside a mid-size technology company, and plenty of time inside gigantic firms. I programmed computers, managed teams, managed products, and so on. All throughout I was still starting companies in my spare time. At one point I realized that I should go to business school (great idea!) and I attended the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
In early 2009 I founded Kilton Hopkins Advisors as a consulting firm to bring top-tier practices to smaller businesses. That was fun for a while, but I took it in a different direction when I realized that the company would not achieve the scale I wanted. It became a business that starts other businesses. After accumulating years and years of startup experience, I figured it would be a good idea to place that experience directly in new companies and find a way to institutionalize it. It’s fun so far, with plenty of surprises, life lessons, and good people.
I put up this blog because I like to write, and I like to teach. Startups have many elements in common, so there are plenty of opportunities to summarize and generalize. I’m hoping that the articles I write will give a bit of helpful perspective to entrepreneurs, investors, and the inquisitive.
Personally, I am very curious. I like to continually learn about the world around me. I also enjoy discovering my own shortcomings and figuring out whether I like them or want to improve them. I write, perform, and produce music when I get the chance. I’ve produced about 20 records over the years. I’ll be putting up a website for the music one of these days. I live in a flat in Chicago that I’ve customized to my liking, and I really like being there. I share it with a ficus tree named Benjamin. I enjoy meeting new people and welcome just about any discussion, so feel free to reach out.
Tagsarbitration breach business failure business management business mistakes business partnerships business plan contracts copyrights engineering mindset entrepreneurial mistakes equity share field of dreams Gamification gaming intellectual property investment preparation investor mistakes IP Jane McGonigal lawyers leadership litigation management techniques managing startups marketing market research motivating employees optimism partners patents people management personality provisional patents Reality Is Broken running a team startup goal startup investing startup mistakes startup strategy startup tips testing business ideas trademarks unit test useless product