Monthly Archives: November 2015

Should a Non-Technical Founder Learn to Code?

Episode 224 |Should a Non-Technical Founder Learn to Code?
Date: 2015-02-17
Link: Startups for the Rest of Us
Startups for the Rest of UsThere is a big difference between a SaaS app that is simple and one that is a lot more complicated.
There is a lot of low hanging fruit that has been taken out of the SaaS market.
You need to be able to learn enough about how to code in order to ask the right questions and to be able to see if someone you have working for you knows what they are doing.
You need to figure out which type of person you are.

Ways the Wealthy Do it Differently

TMBA283: Ways the Wealthy Do it Differently
Date: 2015-02-26
Link: Tropical MBA
Tropical MBAAll problems still exist at higher levels.
You have to take control of your own destiny when it comes to (money management).
It is not necessarily the case that if you’re working really hard that you’re working really smart.
Your effort doesn’t directly correlate with your profitability all of the time.
What got you to your first level of success isn’t what is going to get you to the next level.
Relationships, even in Internet businesses, are king.
Throw yourself into new social situations.
All of the stuff at the highest level is a negotiation–it is a conversation. It is not black and white.
Spend some time in the lobby. See if you can create some serendipity in your life.

Putting Startup Success in Perspective

Title: Putting Startup Success in Perspective
Date: 2015-02-18
Speaker: John Collison (Stripe)
Link: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
Question the way things work.Startups over time tend to get higher and higher up in how they describe themselves.
A challenge you will face as you go through the early stage with your early customers is figuring out what is core to the product and what is not. What should be part of your vision and what will need to change as you hit obstacles with your customers?
Vision is what you are not willing to change.
There will be things that make sense in the early days that don’t scale later on.
Obvious in hindsight doesn’t really help you.
Be mindful in the day to day life you live.
We live in a world that is completely broken in a lot of small and big ways.
Question the way things work.
Companies that are successful in changing an industry are often not started by insiders.
We are all swimming in opportunity but it is often really, really hard to see it.
Bad ideas take a lot of time and often never achieve escape velocity but good ideas take a really long time to achieve escape velocity too.
It is important to be really clear in your own mind, and as time goes on be good at communicating, about what is unique about what you are doing.
The Internet economy should not be the U.S.–it should be the world–and we need to fight really hard to make that happen.
Product strategy is always going to be really hard.
You have to get good at pretty quickly learning new skills.
A bad mistake when it comes to hiring is so demotivating–it can spread badly to the rest of the company.
The correct way to do hiring is branches of a tree–when you hire someone you are not just bringing them you are bringing their effect on the culture and all of the other people they are going to bring in with them.
It is important as you grow to become more metrics driven.
The quality and tenor of your personal interactions matter a lot.

Figure Out What's Important

Title: Figure Out What’s Important
Date: 2015-02-11
Speaker: Kathryn Gould (Foundation Capital)
Link: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
Do interesting stuff.Whatever you do make sure you are learning from really smart people.
Do interesting stuff.
Be very careful about who you take on as a client.
Don’t raise so much money that you can’t sell at a modest price and be happy.
It is still about market opportunity.
When you raise venture capital it is really important to get a great venture capitalist on your board.
Be very particular about who your investors are. It is not always about price.
Take a great venture capitalist at a lower price than some person at a ridiculously high price.
Look for a target customer with a compelling reason to buy.
It is very rare that a startup gets beat by a larger company. Mostly they get beat by some other startup down the street who is smarter than they are.
Get somebody else on your board other than an investor. Somebody who can bring an outside experience.

Making Complicated Things Simple

Title: Making Complicated Things Simple
Date: 2015-02-04
Speaker: Alon Cohen (Houzz)
Link: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
Sometimes it is best to jump in and not thing too hard about what is going to happen.(Successful entrepreneurs) take something that is complicated and make it much simpler.
It is not enough to be talented at something. You actually have to work very hard.
Pick the right people.
It is never too late (to start a company).
You can learn on the way if you go and work other places.
At big companies it is difficult to get people to feel empowered.
Try to hire people that are very entrepreneurial.
The first few hires you bring are critical.
A-players bring A-players.
Founders are best at moving walls and getting things done.
Sometimes it is best to jump in and not think too hard about what is going to happen.
At the end of the day it is really about the people.
It is always important that you keep investing in the future. It is what keeps you ahead of the game.
Every startup is different.
On the inside you know things are not always what they look like on the outside.

Find Your Niche, Help the World

Title: Find Your Niche, Help the World
Date: 2015-01-21
Speaker: Shah Selbe (National Geographic Society)
Link: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
So often the limits on opportunity are the limits we put on ourselves.We are living in an amazing, remarkable time with opportunity literally being everywhere.
A lot of opportunity is in places you don’t expect it to be.
There is a lot of opportunity now–it is up to you to take it.
Think beyond the Silicon Valley bubble.
Get industry experience.
There are ways to be entrepreneurial when you are at a big company.
Engineers are the ones who build the society we live in.
The feeling that you get–the impact that you get–out of working on something without expecting anything in return has a profound effect on the person you are and what you end up wanting to do with your life.
So often the limits on opportunity are the limits we put on ourselves.
In the forty years we have lost over 50% of the wildlife on the planet.
Find your inspiration.
Put yourself out there. Try and fail. Pick yourself back up. The world needs you.
Nobody ever creates anything without failing before.