Category Archives: entrepreneurship

Focus Points for Entrepreneurs

When someone asked for advice on How to become a millionaire in 3 years on Hacker News, serial entrepreneur Jason Baptiste took the task seriously providing thirty-seven things to focus on when starting a company, including:

  • Market opportunity
  • Inequality of information
  • Surround yourself with smart people
  • Your primary metric shouldn’t be dollars
  • If you do focus on a dollar amount, focus on the first $10,000
  • Get as many distribution channels as possible
  • Be a master of information
  • Be so good they can’t ignore you
  • Give yourself every opportunity you can
  • Look for the accessory ecosystem
  • Make the illiquid, liquid
  • Don’t be emotional
  • Don’t leave things up to chance
  • Raise revenue, not funding
  • Don’t get comfortable
  • Don’t skimp on the important things
  • Keep the momentum going
  • Listen to (or read the transcriptions of) every Mixergy interview you can
  • Learn how to filter

Jason goes into great detail for each item on his list, starting his post with the clarification that these tips are for making a success of a business endeavour in “a short time frame” (i.e. not specifically for making a million dollars in three years).

Selling Software on a Shoestring

From the early days of development through to the release and refinement of the final product (and further), Patrick McKenzie has been chronicling his journey as a one-man Micro ISV (Micro Independent Software Vendor).

McKenzie has recently compiled a fantastic list of his best posts and this acts as a list of practical advice for small companies on topics such as SEO, marketing and adjusting to the self-employed lifestyle.

Essential Startup Essays

Om Malik presents what he believes are the ten essential startup essays of 2009:

  1. Paul Graham: What Startups Are Really Like
  2. Sean Ellis: Milestones to Startup Success
  3. Eric Ries: Myth: Entrepreneurship Will Make You Rich
  4. Venture Hacks: What Is the Minimum Viable Product?
  5. Mike Speiser: The Power of Continuous Improvement
  6. Mike Speiser: Getting Comfortable With People Who Make You Uncomfortable
  7. Tony Wright: The Funnel Principle: Software & Making Money
  8. Andrew Chen: Does Every Startup Need a Steve Jobs?
  9. Josh Porter: Designing for Social Traction
  10. David Skok: Startup Killer: The Cost of Customer Acquisition

I’ve not read them all, but the ones I have are excellent and definitely worth your time. I’ll be getting to the remainders shortly.

The Keynote MBA

Truth is, the great value in most MBA and JD programs can be boiled down to 5 to 10 talks, presentations, classes and conversations that changed the way you experienced the world.

Following up on this comment, Jonathan Fields presents The Seven Keynote MBA: seven keynote speeches, from a diverse group of people, that together Fields believes will provide you as much real-world advice as an MBA.

The talks (videos, length in parentheses):

  1. Guy Kawasaki, TiECon 2006: The Art of the Start (39:46)
  2. Malcolm Gladwell, TED 2004: What We Can Learn From Spaghetti Sauce (18:16)
  3. Gary Vaynerchuck, Web 2.0 Expo NY: Building Personal Brand Within the Social Media Landscape (15:27)
  4. Annie Leonard: The Story of Stuff (21:16)
  5. Jimmy Valvano, 1993 ESPY Awards: Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award acceptance speech (9:59) (transcript)
  6. Seth Godin, TED 2009: The Tribes We Lead (17:24)
  7. Tony Hsieh, Web 2.0 Summit 08: Building a Brand that Matters (16:46)

via @evbogue

The Ideas of Frank Chimero

Designer Frank Chimero presents his ‘Ideas’: his manifesto of sorts principles on creativity, motivation and innovation. Chimero briefly covers seven topics, entitled:

  • Why is Greater Than How
  • Not More. Instead, Better.
  • Surprise + Clarity = Delight
  • Sincire, Authentic & Honest
  • No Silver Bullets, No Secrets
  • Quality + Sincerity = Enthusiasm
  • Everything is Something or Other

I’m particularly fond of the final two topics and this, from Why is Greater Than How:

This complex world has made us over-emphasize How-based thinking and education. Once the tools are understood, understanding why to do certain things becomes more valuable than how to do them. How is recipes, and learning a craft is more than following instructions.

How is important for new practitioners focused on avoiding mistakes. Why is for those who wish to push, are not risk-averse and seek to improve. How is coulda, Why is shoulda. How is finishing tasks, Why is fulfilling objectives. How usually results in more. Why usually results in better.

via Link Banana