Monthly Archives: January 2014

What They Didn’t Tell Me Before I Started My Online Business

SPI 053 : What They Didn’t Tell Me Before I Started My Online Business
Date: 2013-01-16
Link: Smart Passive Income
The more you know now the better.
You’re going to have to wear more than one hat.
You have to be smart about what you do with your time.
Make sure you have enough money to pay what you’re going to owe (in taxes).
Keep half of your earning for tax purposes.
Emergency funds are awesome.
It is good to get out once in a while and connect with people in person.
You need some sort of schedule.
There are a lot of non-believers out there that will try to tear you down.
Surround yourself with people who will lift you up.

Maintaining a Balanced Life

SPI 047 : Maintaining a Balanced Life
Date: 2012-09-24
Link: Smart Passive Income
It doesn’t take much to be thrown off balance.
Work time is for work. Family time is for family.
There is always more work to do.
When you’re in work mode you need to be in work mode.
Create a schedule.
A separate space just for work will help out a lot.
It doesn’t take much to get you started.
Make yourself well enough first so you can better improve others and your business.
You need to recharge your own batteries in order to jumpstart others.
Thank yous have to be earned.
Always be yourself.
A business isn’t a business without any income.
There is no such thing as a perfectly balanced life.

How to Win With Your Email List (Part 2 of 2)

SPI 045 : How to Win With Your Email List (Part 2 of 2)
Date: 2012-08-23
Link: Smart Passive Income
You need to provide an physical address when starting a mailing list.
You don’t want everyone on your list. You only want your target audience.
Create your own specific web forms.
Say something that will get people excited. “Next tip will come in a week.”
A list of 100 strong subscribers is way better than a list of 100,000 dead subscribers.
The most important email is the first one you have set up through your autoresponder. It should have your most creative, amazing tip ever.
You want to impress the heck out of the people on your list.
First email should be actionable, epic, and smart.
Directly ask your subscribers for feedback.
The subject line is incredibly important.
You want your emails to go out when your audience is the most engaged.
Don’t send people two emails in a single day.
You can still make money from your list without directly selling to your list.
Enclose your text in an invisible table so that it doesn’t go full width.
Include full URL so that people can’t miss it. Put it on its own line.

Customer Focus Builds Global Growth

Title: Customer Focus Builds Global Growth
Date: 2010-11-03
Speaker: Diego Piacentini (Amazon)
Link: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
At some point you have to be lucky to meet the right companies.
Stick to the same vision.
Start with the customer and work backwards.
Every employee in the company should have vested interest.
If you see something wrong fix it.
Have a high hiring bar.
Good intentions don’t work.
You do not want to have bureaucracy in your way.
Be focused on the customer. Be focused on the customer experience. If the customer is happy the customer keeps coming back.

Funding Thunder Lizard Entrepreneurs

Title: Funding Thunder Lizard Entrepreneurs
Date: 2010-10-27
Speaker: Ann Miura-Ko (Floodgate Fund)
Link: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
Real innovation has a democratizing influence.
Our culture is shaped by the fact that a working class person can drive a car.
The power has switched (from the investor) to the entrepreneur.
The Internet has a proud impact on our history being written.
A startup is ultimately about whether or not you can create a business around the product.
The beauty of the Internet is that you can now have a direct dialogue with your customer.
You can now go directly to the person that is interested in buying your product (bypassing the executives). That has reduced the buying cycle.
It is not that you run out of cash as an entrepreneur, it is that you run out of iterations.
Cash is no longer king. Now the ideas are king.
The entrepreneur should be totally aligned with the investor and the investor should be aligned with the entrepreneur.
The best companies end up being extraordinarily capital efficient.
Lean is not small.
If you don’t know what you’re going to be doing with the money then you shouldn’t raise that much money.
If you raise less you’ll be diluted less.
At the seed stage of the company it is the business model that matters–not the business plan.
It is your job as an entrepreneur to collect as many facts as possible even before you get investing.
Don’t waste a meeting.
Be world class at whatever you do.

Leadership and Disruptive Technologies

Title: Leadership and Disruptive Technologies
Date: 2010-10-20
Speaker: Thomas Prescott (Align Technology)
Link: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
Everything is still possible.
They always fire the sales and marketing guy first.
It is not often a great entrepreneur can be a great operator.
The is much more pressure on companies with big ideas that require large amounts of capital.
When you’re in a hole don’t keep digging. Step out of the hole.
The time you should press the most is when you’re doing the best.
At every stage of the company there are very different challenges.
Life is too short. Have open, honest discussions.
Employees run out of gas when they work really hard but don’t get things done.
Companies have a stated culture and an invisible culture.
When you’re looking for a job find out what the real culture is.
There are lots of big problems out there.
Be patient for growth. Don’t be patient on profitability.
Everything starts with having the right team.
The people you start with might not be the people you can scale with.
If you’re sleepwalking then change it.
If you’re in a job you don’t like then get out of it.
Find a place you can make a difference.
Life is all about passion.
It is hard to mobilize an entire organization without compelling vision, mission, and passion. It had better be genuine.
You have to figure out a way to make money or you’re going to cease to exist.
If you’re not making money then you’re not in control of your own life.
Execution is most of the game.
Going too fast is far better than going too slow.
Procrastination is the mother of all ineptitude.
Stay humble, hungry, and paranoid that somebody can come after your business.
Any leader casts a shadow both good and bad.
We’re all human. None of us are perfect.
Everybody (V.C.) is becoming more risk averse.
Nobody wants to take any risk.
Only 8% of the world’s population has basic access to a doctor.

The Gospel of a Lean VC

Title: The Gospel of a Lean VC
Date: 2014-01-22
Speaker: Dave McClure (500 Startups)
Link: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.
Microfunds are less than $100 million.
Less than $10 million funds are typically angel funds.
Product development and marketing development are pretty inexpensive.
Now is the best of times but it will probably keep getting better.
There is really high friction in payments and web capable devices in some geographies.
First stage ($25k-$100k) enough to cycle for six months for 2-3 founders.
Your job is to minimally solve the worst case problem.
Be functional where there are no competitors.
With competitors you need to be great. Much better than the nearest incumbent.
When you are doing product development you need as tight a use case as possible.
Product is the mirror to the soul of the team.
Most innovative companies are small. Most global GDP is produced by small companies.
Fun is mission number one.
A lot of venture capital is over-glorified.
The economics of international startups are going to be as good as the U.S. in the next five to ten years.

Honest Advice on Starting a Company

Title: Honest Advice on Starting a Company
Date: 2010-10-13
Speaker: Mark Suster (Serial Entrepreneur)
Link: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
There is not a right answer for everybody.
People get crippled by the idea phase.
99.9% of successful startups are not Google.
You have to get started.
Being an entrepreneur is not sexy. It is not for everybody.
Have the conviction to see it through.
Choose something you are passionate about.
Assemble a diverse team.
We tend to hang out with people that are kind of like us.
Get outside of your box.
You are paid a premium to take the first leap.
Just because a model has worked does not mean the model does work.
Make sure you have founder vesting.
You need to have tech in your DNA if you want to build a tech company.
You give up options if you raise too much too quickly.
There are times when fat (company size) is okay.
Your name should be your URL.
If you’re building a product you need multiple channels.
Be careful about words that mean something else.
Avoid the three F’s (friends, family, and fools) when raising money.
Raise V.C. money when you really think you want to go on a rocket ship.
Raising venture capital is worst than marriage. You can’t get divorced from your venture capitalist.
Spend time getting to know your V.C. before taking investment from them.
The best way to get access (to V.C.s) is other entrepreneurs.
You need to get an anchor investor (to raise V.C.).
No matter how rich you are you like a deal.
Get your product out the door. Show you can ship.
Test monetization early.
Fail fast does not produce big results.
Whatever it is that you want to do–make it a part of your life.

Solving Problems Makes a Great Business

Title: Solving Problems Makes a Great Business
Date: 2010-10-06
Speaker: Chi-Hua Chien, Dan Rosensweig (KPCB, Chegg)
Link: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
Silicon Valley is a complete meritocracy. (Dan Rosensweig)
Sell stock early. (Dan Rosensweig)
The business model will follow where users are spending their time. (Dan Rosensweig)
Every great entrepreneur at one times feel like, “Wow. Maybe I can’t do it.” (Dan Rosensweig)
The most successful companies on the Internet are services. (Dan Rosensweig)
Hire people that are willing to be part of a team. (Dan Rosensweig)
To change the world you’ve got to trust that people will figure it out over time. (Dan Rosensweig)
Follow your passions. (Dan Rosensweig)
If you’re excited about something whatever you’re doing is going to feel like a great job. (Dan Rosensweig)
Work for people you trust. (Dan Rosensweig)
Define success. (Dan Rosensweig)
Never look back. (Dan Rosensweig)
The road not taken is the road you’re never going to know. Make the road you’re on successful. (Dan Rosensweig)
Don’t hang around in a place you can’t be happy. (Dan Rosensweig)
You have to be open to where things are going. (Dan Rosensweig)

Entrepreneurial Lessons: Find Value and Make Impact

Title: Entrepreneurial Lessons: Find Value and Make Impact
Date: 2010-09-29
Speaker: Amit Chatterjee (Hara)
Link: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
The path not often taken is more often the way you want to go.
Don’t assume that building a company vs. financially engineering a company are the same thing.
Success isn't always about the financial outcome. It is also about the lasting impact you're going to have.Build something that is great and then let the world find out about it.
If you focus on your one geography you’re going to miss a huge opportunity.
Frugality as an entrepreneur is very important.
Do more than (your competitors) do.
The team is probably the most important thing.
If you know somebody doesn’t fit the company get them out.
Your employees either need to be on the boat or not.
You don’t build to flip. You build to last.
Success isn’t always about the financial outcome. It is also about the lasting impact you’re going to have.
You have to demand excellence.
You have to build a culture within your organization where everybody is great at doing something amazing.
Hire the best. Never compromise on that topic.
Focus on value integration.
Your last customer is your last reference.
Surround yourself with the best and brightest minds.
Just build it.
Believe you can be successful.
You shouldn’t worry about the current quarter. You should be focused on building a pipeline.
Coding is 5% of the solution. It is only a portion of the story.
Talk about the art of the possible.
You recruit by selling a part of you.
Entrepreneurship is about finding value in what you do.