About

About Inspired Startup

Have you been itching to leave your company for the past five years?  Do you have an idea that you’ve been passionate about but too lazy or chicken to get started?  Do you have a business now that is struggling to grow?  Have you been watching the late night commercials on how to get rich quick and maybe even bought a system or two?  Do you lack the confidence or knowledge to take the leap of faith and start your own dream company?  Then, you’ve come to the right place!  InspiredStartup will help you start and grow your company to as big as you can dream.

My name is Andy Liu and I’m the writer of InspiredStartup.  This is not about how to get rich quick nor is it an academic exercise in how to build a company.  This site is for people who dream and execute.  We’ll talk about how to start a business and how to grow it to the next level.  We’ll learn how to do hand-to-hand combat daily to build successful businesses together without the MBA mumbo-jumbo.  I want to see you succeed and to share your experiences here.  I want to learn from you.

My Story

Andy

As a kid, I learned the basics of entrepreneurship in my parents basement.  As soon as I would learn of guests coming over, I would find stuff around the house and put it up for sale.  I think my folks and the guests found it amusing, but I found out it wildly profitable since I never paid a cent and I made a lot of profit, it was fun and I was hooked!

At the age of 15, I started working at Godfather’s pizza.  I think that everyone should work at a restaurant at least once in their life - what an eye-opening experience as I learned about the good, bad, and ugly of running a restaurant business through the eyes of a cashier and pizza maker.  I think in one summer, I consumed on average a large pizza each day.  Those were the good ol’ days of being able to consume without worry of mushrooming…

Due to a variety of personal and family reasons, I started working full-time for AT&T at the age of 16 in the summer and then continued working for a variety of large companies including Boeing, Keane, Active Voice and other places including a failed startup while getting my bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering.   I learned quickly that I didn’t enjoy the engineering lifestyle and naively, I thought I learned enough from those experiences to jump into my first “real” startup with investors at the age of 23 while going to school for my MBA.  Nothing ever came real easy, but we were able to work hard hours to build a great, profitable company in 5 years and eventually sell the company.

Beyond my professional pursuits, I am just as passionate about using entrepreneurship to solve the problem of extreme poverty (defined as those who make less than $2/day).   After traveling and volunteering in developing countries as often as I can, I’ve been moved by our personal responsibility to human dignity and bridging the inequality between the rich and the extreme poor.  I’ve partnered with other tech folks to build a technology center for an impoverished community in Central America.  We have a teacher and social worker on staff and have graduated several students and committed to a 5-year plan.  It’s been a total blast to see real progress and awe-inspiring to see students embrace entrepreneurship in their own pursuits and dreams.  I’m looking forward to sharing more inspirational stories here.  I also want to hear about your passions and thoughts in this area as I think we can as entrepreneurs change the world.

About Me and Inspired Startup in a Nutshell

I’m a serial entrepreneur and angel investor.  I’m also a die-hard never-say-die Seattle sports fan. I’m now running a web company (BuddyTV.com) and sit on 3 boards as well as a non-profit and have invested in 42 companies (including four exits).  I feel very fortunate to have a great partner in my businesses and have been extremely lucky that despite my shortcomings, I’ve seen more successes than failures.  I could talk for hours with entrepreneurs about new ideas and I get energized hearing about other entrepreneurial successes.  We do not exist in a zero-sum world, where someone must fail in order for someone to win, if we can all help each other succeed, we’ll only be better for it!  Remember the saying, a rising tide raises all boats.  InspiredStartup is here to raise the tide for all entrepreneurs (including wanna-bes!).  If I can help you, let me know.

Here’s how to contact me:

inspiredstartup at gmail dot com

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63 Comments »

Comment by Harnish
2009-01-06 13:32:22

Very impressive notes about yourself.

Would love to talk to you if you find my work interesting on http://www.lotusboost.com

- Harnish

Comment by Andy
2009-01-06 20:36:56

harnish - happy to chat about your work - feel free to email me at inspiredstartup at gmail.com. thanks for visiting.

 
 
Comment by Karl Hadwen
2009-01-06 13:39:03

A very inspiring about me, hope the blog goes well. I’m 16 and looking to start a business in the future. Good luck with the blog!

Comment by Andy
2009-01-06 20:35:39

Karl - thanks for visiting, you’ve got a fantastic future ahead of you especially if you keep learning about business now. Keep shooting for the moon.

 
 
Comment by chiropractic
2009-01-06 14:14:47

Awesome to see you started this blog Andy. Added to my rss feed reader. Looking forward to your insights and wisdom.

Comment by Andy
2009-01-06 20:33:56

great to see you here!

 
 
Comment by Eric Tan
2009-01-06 14:35:08

Finally a building-a-business blog! Looking forward to your posts my man.

Comment by Andy
2009-01-06 20:32:18

eric, i appreciate it!

 
 
Comment by Sean
2009-01-06 15:00:50

Nice one Andy. Love this idea/blog/sharing and added to my RSS reader. See you soon I’m sure and Happy New Year.

Comment by Andy
2009-01-06 20:31:04

thanks sean!

 
 
Comment by Ruben Ricart
2009-01-06 15:11:06

Great Bio Andy! Thanks for sharing a bit about who you are! You come off to me as a very genuine and humble person and I know that I will be learning a lot at inspired start ups…I have an idea for a company i want to start very soon so finding this blog was a Godsend.

Thanks!
Ruben

Comment by Andy
2009-01-06 20:30:22

2009 is a great year to kick start your company! Good luck!

 
 
Comment by Logan
2009-01-06 17:20:17

Very interesting bio. I am excited to follow your blog in the future. I too am a die hard sports fan from Washington (hopefully next year will be better on us than 2008 was).

Comment by Andy
2009-01-06 20:28:52

2008 was a terrible year. 2009 is the year of new coaches, it can’t be any worse than ‘08.
thanks for checking out the site!

 
 
Comment by AJ Kumar
2009-01-06 17:25:22

Hey Andy, you have an amazing track record. I’ve heard some great things about you through Neil Patel. Hopefully I’ll be able to meet you one of the conferences this year. Good Luck my friend!

Comment by Andy
2009-01-06 20:29:27

AJ - absolutely, hope to connect with you live. Thanks for visiting and I’ll check out your blog as well.

 
 
Comment by HOBO(nickname)
2009-01-06 21:25:58

I want to learn from you.
( I love the said lines. Applause !!!)

Comment by Andy
2009-01-07 22:38:14

thanks hobo!

 
 
Comment by Vik Dulat
2009-01-06 21:36:53

So who is your favorite sports team? The Sonice have left. Mariners? Seahawks?

Comment by Andy
2009-01-07 22:38:48

it’s whoever is in season. now it’s the mariners turn, they can’t be worse than last year, or can they??

 
 
Comment by Paul D.
2009-01-06 23:26:51

Excited to see where this goes!

Comment by Andy
2009-01-07 22:39:00

appreciate it, paul!

 
 
Comment by Adam T.
2009-01-07 00:33:41

Andy,

Great start on the blog Andy! Adding to my RSS!

Comment by Andy
2009-01-07 22:39:21

adam- thanks for visiting!

 
 
Comment by Jonclaude
2009-01-07 15:29:24

In Modern Age blog is the first step to get your feet wet about Business world.
Good to see you finally get one.
Keep in touch

Comment by Andy
2009-01-07 22:39:36

thanks jonclaude!

 
 
Comment by Jesse Witham
2009-01-07 22:02:25

great story.. my first “real job” was McDonalds ;) I agree that everyone can learn from that experience

Comment by Andy
2009-01-07 22:40:21

i’m sure you learned a good deal from that experience:) curious, how often you eat there now?

 
 
Comment by Charles
2009-01-08 00:20:05

Moar awesomeness Andy, loving the site!

Comment by Andy
2009-01-09 01:22:02

Thanks Charles!

 
 
Comment by Ryan Porter
2009-01-08 13:38:24

On the topic of McDonald’s I too worked at the golden arches throughout high school and I recently added the Employee of the Year award to my resume. I’ve yet to send my resume off to anyone but it’s in my LinkedIn Profile. I figured there can’t be more than a dozen people who openly share this on resume.

Comment by Andy
2009-01-09 01:22:28

Way to stand out! love it.

 
 
Comment by Vik Dulat
2009-01-08 22:49:53

I love your logo. Did you design it yourself?

Comment by Andy
2009-01-09 01:22:53

Nope, my dear sister did it. She rocks!

 
 
Comment by Marita
2009-01-08 23:46:14

Always refreshing to read about successful people like you who put their talents to work to help others!

Comment by Andy
2009-01-09 01:23:11

Marita - thanks for commenting and visiting.

 
 
Comment by Nasir Subscribed to comments via email
2009-01-09 14:14:42

Great notes andy. I actually just started a blog myself. I look forward in learning from you from you next posts. Hope to stay in contact Andy.

 
Comment by Andy
2009-01-10 21:23:57

great to hear! having just started this blog, i can already tell it’s been enormously helpful for me to get my thoughts down in writing. good luck!

 
Comment by Michelle Subscribed to comments via email
2009-01-14 19:38:38

Hi Andy! I’m so glad that Shoemoney pointed me to your blog. I’ve always been one of those dreamers that you mentioned who didn’t execute. I’ve already seen two of my ideas turned into great businesses by someone else and one of those entrepreneurs is now a multi-millionaire! Dangit - I’ve decided that 2009 is the year that I’m finally going to execute b/c another winning idea is not passing me by! I’ll be keeping an eye on your blog! :)

 
Comment by Diogo Shimizu Lima
2009-01-15 06:41:59

Hello Andy, my name is Diogo and I arrived here through Neil’s Quick Sprout. So far I have read just your about page, but it was good enough to subscribe to your RSS feed and follow you on Twitter.

2009 is the year I’m focusing to acquire new skills so I can set a foot in Media (both traditional and online). I am taking online classes (along with my master’s program) to speed up the process and have just started a blog on my subject — biofuels. I will look forward to your advice throughout the year.

Thank you for your attention.

Cheers, D.

 
Comment by Don
2009-01-15 11:17:53

Most inspiring!
Thanks to the referral from Neil Patel RSS!

Don Richardson
http://www.digitalpopcorn.net

 
Comment by Article Spinning
2009-01-19 22:20:46

Very inspiring story, Andy. I chuckled to myself when I read you saying “you have been extremely lucky”. Yeah sure, when “lucky” is when “preparation meets with opportunity”, right? To have begun working in a restaurant at the early age you did and learning while lots of your mates at that time were having fun, it’s indeed “preparation meeting with opportunity” not luck! I will be visiting your blog more often, haven found you from Neil’s QuickSprout blog.

 
Comment by mobileSoftware
2009-01-22 21:25:28

Excellent blog so far. Keeps me motivated on those 14-hour work days hehe.

love the saying “a rising tide raises all boats.”
… the boat at my startup seems to be rising… slowly but surely

 
Comment by Eric Itzkowitz
2009-01-23 15:25:57

Andy, I literally laughed out loud when I read that you worked at Godfather’s Pizza. You see, I also worked at Godfather’s Pizza in San Diego during my junior college years; likely consuming the same amount of pizza, as did you. I never worked the cash register, but I did get to make a bunch of pizza… and even deliver it. LOL

I look forward to each and every new post from you. Thank for sharing your life and story with your readers. I for one appreciate it.

 
Comment by Ryan Martin
2009-02-08 14:01:33

@Andy ~ I feel your pain as a fellow die hard Seattle sports fan. This year was particularly brutal for us. To watch the Steelers win a 2nd Super Bowl against the NFC West was almost too much for me.

BTW: Cool blog, I found it over at Quick Spout and just signed up for a feed.

 
Comment by Risaac
2009-03-09 16:12:00

perfect blog for me to keep motivated and informed while in my entrepreneurial adventures. Lots of great info Andy I look forward to reading more about your experiences and tips.

Aloha!
Risaac

 
Comment by Dimato Subscribed to comments via email
2009-03-19 19:34:16

Impressive mission that you’ve undertaken, but I totally agree. We must work together to help each other succeed. Being an entrepreneure is rewarding not just for the freedom but for the ability to hire others and help others to do what you have done. I’ve been reading your blog for about a month, great job!

 
Comment by Angkea
2009-05-11 13:17:07

Andy, my man. This has been on my many items to read and catch up on…like what I see. Hope things are great!

 
Comment by John
2009-05-20 16:30:31

Hi Andy just came across your blog there tonight and its gonna be a late one cause I love reading it. Best of luck in the future.!

 
Comment by Eric Santiago Subscribed to comments via email
2009-07-19 13:53:10

Thank you Andy! Being a successful Philantropist is my ultimate goal in life. I would love to talk with you if possible. Thank you.

 
Comment by Laurie Lamoureux Subscribed to comments via email
2009-07-21 09:59:27

Great blog, Andy, thanks for sharing your ideas and information! I think they apply equally as well to existing businesses. And actually, aren’t we all ’start-ups’ in 2009? I know we’ve been going ‘back-to-basics’ in our business, just like our beloved Mariners did this year. Shoring up our foundation and systems to ensure we are ready to blast out of the gate at the first whiff of a turn-around in the real estate market in Seattle!

Laurie Lamoureux
Chief Box Opener
Out of the Box Unpacking Service
http://www.WeKnowWhereToStart.com

 
Comment by Eddie Gear
2010-08-16 07:51:10

Read about you at quicksprout and thought that I had to give your site a read. A Mentor indeed.

 
Comment by richard
2010-10-09 13:45:36

The post is really inspiring, which has inspired me a lot, i wish all the best for the future.

 
Comment by Chris
2011-05-20 01:44:53

Andy, was reading a lot of your old blog posts and just wanted to say that I found a lot of useful advice and information. As an entrepreneur myself, I know how rewarding and fun it is to start up your own business and make it a success so I appreciated a lot of your advice and wisdom.

 
Comment by Jake
2011-05-21 07:44:51

Hey man, Great stuff and respect!

 
Comment by keyur savaliya Subscribed to comments via email
2013-07-30 11:39:31

Sir,all this becomes in your life and foe me,i am experiancing like you.Great and Inspirational than expectation .

 
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