Evolution safer than revolution

When you’re young and dumb, the thought of revolution is appealing. Fast change. Radical change. Speed speed speed. That’s why reading history is important. In the history of the world, revolution has always ended in bloodshed and chaos. French revolution. Haiti revolution. Russian revolution. Not fun. Much safer is evolution. Instead of taking your business…

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The best ideas come whilst you’re DOING, not whilst you’re thinking

Some people think that thinking leads to creativity. This is the introspection illusion. It is the mistaken notion that contemplation by itself leads to ideas. These folks are wrong. The best ideas come whilst you’re DOING, not whilst you’re thinking. No amount of MBA programmes, books and conversations can substitute for the power of action….

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Be careful which mountain you choose to climb

Some people spend their careers climbing a mountain, only to reach the summit and have no time to enjoy before worrying about climbing back down again. Your startup is the mountain you’ve chosen to climb. Be sure to enjoy the climb. Be sure that when you reach the top you have time to sit back…

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Beware moving buttons around

When your product is not attracting users, it’s easy to focus on user experience. Move buttons around. Change colours. Tweak the font. Most times, that won’t work. If your product is great, it doesn’t matter where the buttons are. If your product is not great, it doesn’t matter where the buttons are. Stop moving buttons…

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Appeal to the seven deadly sins

Reid Hoffman (google him) says you should start a business that appeals to one or more of the seven deadly sins. Greed, lust, pride, sloth, gluttony, anger, envy. They’re addictive. You want addicted customers, so appeal to addictive traits.

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Your staff create your brand equity

Most startups don’t have a marketing budget. So you can’t rely on advertising to create brand equity. All you can rely on is word-of-mouth. Word-of-mouth = product + customer service. You must have great product, that’s a given. So you need to pay attention to customer service. Staff = customer service. Staff = brand equity….

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Mental substraction makes you happy

Feeling a bit sad? Depressed? That’s not good for business. No one likes dealing with grumpy folk. There’s a simple mental trick for feeling happier. Imagine you didn’t have an arm. Just a stump. Or imagine you’re blind. Or imagine you don’t have kids. Or imagine you don’t have one of the hundreds of things…

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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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