Musser addresses ‘Nova

Maria Boodoo

Entrepreneurial guru Warren “Pete” Musser addressed students during a Villanova Entrepreneurial Society meeting on Wednesday. As the founder of the 49-year-old company Safeguard Scientifics Inc., Musser, discussed his experiences as an entrepreneur and his role in the formation of many local successful firms such as QVC, Comcast and Novell.

Musser began by speaking about Joe Segel, founder of QVC and Comcast’s founder, Ralph Roberts. In addition, he talked about the creation of today’s largest cable system, Comcast. He illustrated that even though Comcast has suffered losses, the company was still in a favorable situation because it is a sign that they’re growing and building the necessary infrastructure for continuing success.

QVC was another investment for which Musser raised capital through his connection with Comcast. Today, partially through Musser’s efforts Comcast owns $2.8 billion company.

Following Musser’s address, students posed questions about entrepreneurship and asked Musser’s opinion on the current state of the economy. Responding to a question regarding the characteristics of a successful entrepreneur, Musser suggested three major attributes: An entrepreneur must have determination, a lack of arrogance, be able to work with others and knowledge of the subject material.

Furthermore, Musser expressed that it is better to get a job after college than become an entrepreneur. Getting a job will force a person to learn more, according to Musser.

A paradox that Musser mentioned was the importance of picking a product that people need, but at the same time finding a business that does not cost an “arm and a leg.”

Musser closed his address by talking about the problems in the business world. He talked about the credibility gap for all corporation accounting and used GE, Tyco and Enron as specific examples. While remarking that accounting rules enabled companies to “manage” results, Musser maintained that gap was no excuse for Enron’s actions.