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.


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