Luck Matters When You’re an Ed-Tech Entrepreneur

PW-15-1.pngI know that as Americans, it’s a part of our national ethos to value hard work over luck. But don’t underestimate how much luck matters. Especially as an ed-tech entrepreneur.

Now don’t get me wrong. You’re not going to get anywhere without hard work, but sometimes you have to be in the right place at the right time.

For example, there are hundreds of ed-tech startups out there. So why were we picked to blog here at The Startup Blog for Education Week?

The truth? We were lucky. Here’s what happened:

In May of last year, we made it to the finals of the 2014 Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition, which in and of itself, was the result of a lot of hard work and a fair amount of good luck. There were hundreds of people at the event and scores of tables, but Ivan, my co-founder, happened to sit down next to an Education Week editor and got the chance to tell her about ProfessorWord. Talk about being lucky!

PW-15-2.pngNow, of course, I know that there is another way to look at this. You could say that our luck that day was “earned” because of all the hard work that enabled us to attend the event in the first place as a finalist. And that’s true in some respects. But there are plenty of other times at events, conferences, competitions, etc., where we worked just as hard, but we weren’t quite as lucky.

I think it’s important to recognize that luck matters, because it makes you really appreciate the times when the stars align and everything works out the way you want it to, and it helps to cushion the disappointment on the days when they just don’t. Recognizing that luck matters also reminds me to continue working hard, attending events, making calls, trying new things, even if it feels like I’m not getting anywhere, because you never know when your luck will change.

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” – Seneca

Until next time,


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Photo Credit: Flickr user Umberto Salvagnin, DaveBleasdale


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