Entrepreneurs under promise and over deliver

Peter Thiel says he’ll never invest in a startup unless it is a 10x improvement on all existing competitor products.Its all about potential for disruption. People are lazy. People don’t like change. The status quo is sticky. Unless your value proposition is 10x better than the norm, no one will buy.The other reason to only…

Read More

Entrepreneurs try to build platform businesses

Being a dot is cool, but it’s far better to be the guy who connects the dots, i.e.: the platform.Think about Uber. Would you rather be the driver/car-owner (dot), or the platform (connector of dots)?Drivers make decent cash in the short term but are at the mercy of the platform to manage supply of cars…

Read More

Entrepreneurs make a profit from every Rand spent

The danger with being a startup specialist is that you can forget what the purpose of “capital” is.Capital is not meant to be spent on anything unless it will generate a return on capital. Ie: if you buy something or hire someone you must be able to correlate that expense directly to new income which…

Read More

Why Alibaba and similar networks are safe investments

Warren Buffet says you should always invest in a business that even an idiot can run, because one day an idiot will run it.That’s why I invest in businesses with strong network effects that are unregulated, example: Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba, LinkedIn.“Alibaba?” you say will with a querulous tone. Surely Alibaba is not a safe investment? Surely…

Read More

Entrepreneurs know when they’re trying too hard

Rule number 1 in the Entrepreneur Playbook is to “never stop trying”. Never give up. Keep pressing.But there comes a point where perseverance becomes a self-defeating strategy. Clients can tell when you’re trying too hard. No one likes someone who tries too hard. Just ask any beautiful girl.You need to watch the client for telltales that…

Read More

Entrepreneur letter to budding entrepreneur

Dear budding-entrepreneur,You are on the cusp of becoming a full-blown entrepreneur,I’m going to share a couple things I wish someone had shared with me when I was 25 and embarking on my journey of starting new businesses and building new things.These are mostly things I picked up by doing the wrong things in my adventures…First, the…

Read More

Entrepreneurs buy coffee in a take-away cup

Nassim Taleb in Anti-fragile talks about the importance of optionality. In an increasingly volatile and uncertain world, you want to always have options.That’s why an entrepreneur should always order a take-away coffee, even for sit-down meetings. Other than the consistent taste of coffee out of a cardboard cup, a take-away gives you options.What happens if you feel like…

Read More

How to deal with a flu epidemic in your company

At the change of seasons there is an inevitable outbreak of flu.Not only is it kak to be sick, it’s not good for business. Especially if you’re an entrepreneur with a small team that can’t afford to stop moving. Here are some guidelines we use for dealing with flu in our companies:If you’re sick stay home, don’t make…

Read More

Entrepreneurs never lose in the court of public opinion

  Gracie Jiu Jitsu is a style of martial arts that makes the defender invulnerable to aggression. According to its founding family, there is simply no flaw in the defensive shield, which in turn gives masters of the style the confidence they need to be magnanimous, knowing they’re impervious to attack.That’s all good when dealing…

Read More

Entrepreneurs should marry young so they can divorce young

  I’ve written before that, after building your network, getting married is the most important thing for an entrepreneur to do.Assuming you agree with that, the next tip is to get married young. How young? Before you’re 30 is cool, before you’re 27 if you’re brave, before you’re 25 if you like rolling the dice.Why?…

Read More

7 reasons entrepreneurs should get married young

There are plenty of reasons getting married young makes sense. Here are my top 7 specifically for entrepreneurs: You stay focused (fewer distractions). You’re less hungover (less going out at night). You work longer hours (less going out at night). You have more cash (someone to split living costs with). You can have (legitimate) children…

Read More

Entrepreneurs are either product or money focused

Ideally every startup should have at least two founders.A product guy and a money guy.The product guy focuses on making the best product in the world.The money guy focuses on making sure the product makes money.When you ask the product guy “Why do you do this?” his answer is “Because I want to educate the…

Read More