One Word Lessons

What word of advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting a company? Is there a story that reminds you of challenges faced, obstacles overcome, or important lessons learned?

When we ask these questions of the Silicon Valley founders and builders we encounter at the Computer History Museum, their faces light up as they recall the early days of their startups or the long course of their careers. They are eager to share.

Download a lesson plan or explore the exercises below to understand more about what it takes to take an idea from startup to IPO and beyond. Consider how to cultivate the mindset that can get you there and how to build a strong team with complementary skills.

Conflicting Advice



Humble and Bold? What do you do when you receive advice that seems to be contradictory?

In what situations, or in what stage of a startup, would each of these words of advice—”Humble” and “Bold”—be useful to you as an entrepreneur?

Can you think of a time in your own experience when you received very different advice from separate people? What did you do? How did you decide whose advice to take?

In Their Own Words

Entrepreneurs, company builders, and ecosystem leaders tell the story behind their word of advice.

Silicon Valley

Kansas City

Successful women venture investors in the male-dominated tech industry in Silicon Valley share their “one word.”

Alpha Girls One Words

Leaders from the Kansas City startup ecosystem and local entrepreneurs offer their advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

UpStart KC One Word 


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