[MUSIC] In our last module, we talked about two elements central to entrepreneurship. First, we discussed the entrepreneurial mindset. Specifically, your passion for change and your ability to take action. We then talked about the first phase of the entrepreneurial life cycle, which is thinking about your big idea. What we found is that finding an innovative opportunity isn't as difficult as it might seem, as long as you're systematically looking in the right places. In particular, Buck talked about looking for opportunities inside an area you know well, as well as broader opportunities that exist outside your area of expertise. Inside your world, Buck talked about looking for change by searching for the unexpected incongruities, process needs, and a change in industry or market structure. Outside the industry, Buck talked about changes in demographics, changes in perception, and new knowledge. And we talked about 6 principles that should guide your search. Analyze the opportunities, listen, be focused, start small, innovate for today, and be strategic. Today, we're going to talk exclusively about listening, which is the second phase of the entrepreneurial life cycle. While listening might seem like a passive activity, this is actually where you should spend the majority of your time taking action. We can't stress enough how crucial this phase is to a successful venture, and how often it is overlooked or consciously ignored. Buck's going to talk about two ways in which you need to get out of the office and actively listen. The first revolves around your customers, and requires you to find out who your customers are, what their problems are, and how much they value a solution. If you try to tell your customers what they want, you'll be wrong almost every time. If you listen to your customers, you can make sure you're providing them the value that turns their needs into wants, into purchases. We want to be clear when we say customers, we don't necessarily mean a person that's buying something from a for profit firm. Instead, it is whoever is ultimately making your venture sustainable. If you're starting an applied science lab, for instance, your customer might be the National Institutes of Health, or the federal or state government. Besides customers, Buck will also be talking about the importance of listening to your potential partners. In particular, you need to find out who your partners are and whether they can provide you with the elements you need to give your customers a product they're willing to pay for. For both customers and partners, Buck's going to walk you through what types of information you need to obtain, and how to ask the right questions to get that information. Throughout, we want you to recognize that listening is not a passive phase of the entrepreneurial life cycle. Thinking about your customers isn't enough. You have to get out of the office and meet with tens, if not hundreds, of potential customers to find out what they need, so you can determine whether your big idea has the potential of becoming a successful venture. In the modules ahead, we'll show how successful entrepreneurs use the information gained from this phase to help inform their strategy and their business model. That means before we go any further, we need to make sure our information is correct. Which means we have to get out of the office and listen.