So what are the hot markets? Where are the hot markets?

I’m sitting as I write this listening to a panel of experts answering that question. The is at the Princeton Entrepreneurship Network (PEN) Conference on Entrepreneurship. Several experts are answering very well. One of them lives in Geneva, another in San Paulo in Brazil, most are based on Wall Street, which is about 90 minutes from the Princeton Campus.

I’m hearing some very interesting answers. The interesting markets are all global. Between the lines, what I’m hearing is that the question goes off in the wrong direction. It’s not as if the audience has a menu to choose from, select what to start and where to start.

Where you are is usually a given. Right? Sure, there are stories of people migrating to the Silicon Valley to start companies, but that’s rare. Most of us start businesses where we are.

And what business you start is also a given. It’s what you know, what you like to do, where you have experience, interest, and background.

Some other notable moments from this conference:

Mac Lewis, founder of and partner in Sherpa Partners, pointed out that “you don’t do it by following the stories of the companies that everybody is talking about right now. Those stories are already told. You have to invent new ones.”

David Johnson, managing partner of DMJ Advisors, said that having a failure in the past doesn’t rule a person out for getting investors in a new venture. “Failure is not a problem. It’s a good thing to know what that feels like.”

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Tim BerryTim Berry
Tim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.