What are your unit economics?

What does is cost to acquire a customer? How much revenue does that customer generate? How long until you make a profit? If you want to make money, answer these questions. If you want to raise money, answer these questions. What are your unit economics?

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Keep your downside at bay

Downside risk is unavoidable. The trick is to manage it. Make sure your downside is protected as much as possible. The upside will take care of itself.

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Get market share for your core product

Forget about new features and ancillary products. Focus on your core product, grow its market share. Everything else is distraction. The reason you’re tempted to chase “extras” is because you’re failing to grow market share on the back of your core product. “Extras” will not solve that problem. Only a better core product and more…

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The price that bleeds your business may save your business

Reid Hoffman (google him) has a podcast called Masters of Scale. Highly recommended. One of the interviews focuses on price. How should you price your product? Too high and no one will buy. Too low and you can’t make a profit. When in doubt, go low. Better to get lots of customers than no customers….

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Just because its new doesn’t mean its relevant

Every novelty wants an audience. That’s why the news is always filled with stories of innovations and first-ever. Pay no attention. Most of what is hailed as revolutionary, isn’t. And even if it is, it probably has no relevance to your life. Stay focused on your business.

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Steer clear of focus traps

If you want to succeed in your business, you need to be 100% focused. To be 100% focused, you need to steer clear of focus traps. A focus trap is something that takes your attention away from the job at hand. Newspapers, TV, talkative people, Facebook. Anything financed by advertising is guaranteed to distract you….

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10 tips from Nassim Taleb for entrepreneurs

Nassim Taleb is author of books such as Anti-Fragile, Fooled by Randomness and Black Swan. He is a quasi-philosopher with general life advice that can be applied by entrepreneurs to build successful businesses. Stick to simple rules (don’t lie to customers, don’t break the law). Build in multiple layers, no single point of failure (ie:…

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Beware unintended consequences

In the 1800’s, the British government in India offered financial rewards for people that killed cobras. So people started breeding snakes to cash in. Once the incentive ended, the population of cobras in India soared as people released the ones they’d raised. Same thing occurred in Vietnam with rats. Every well-intentioned policy has an unintended…

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Don’t trust a man who needs a wage, unless it’s a minimum wage

Someone on a salary that barely covers his living costs has a powerful incentive to deny the truth. Faced with the choice of personal financial pain or lying, most people go with the latter. Most people prefer earning a salary to doing the right thing (ie: whistle blowing). As a rule, don’t expect someone who…

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Identify who you don’t want to be

Role models and heroes are good. It’s useful to drive model your behaviour based on actions of people you respect. Just as useful is identifying people you don’t want to be. Spend time making sure you avoid their character traits and management style. Eliminating bad behaviour is just as important as identifying good behaviour. 

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Only read the news for entertainment

The news is just noise. It pollutes your mind. Distracts you from your business. If you want to cure yourself, spend a year reading last week’s newspapers (this is a Nassim Taleb tip). You’ll realise that 100% of what you’re reading is irrelevant to this week. Politics, stock markets, sports, whatever. Just noise. Read the…

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Time to double down

Good news, SA ain’t going down the tubes.Hard to believe, but 2018 promises to be the start of a glorious few years…Whilst in the dark depths of the Guptaleaks exposures it was very difficult to remain positive.Very difficult to see how the baddies would be kicked out of power.Very difficult to see our country get…

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