A compass is more useful than a map

Don’t you sometimes wish you had a map for your startup? Some way to figure out how long it will take to achieve success, what obstacles lie ahead, where exactly your destination is? That would be great, but that’s not how it works. Startup-life is uncertain. No start-up’s journey is the same. There is no map. What…

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Choose loyalty over competence

(Extracted from www.casnocha.com: 16 lessons learnt working for Reid Hoffman.) Its tempting to recruit the stranger with the stellar CV rather than the acquaintance with the above-average CV. Rather find someone that is a proven A-player and can hit the ground running, right? Wrong. Startup success is about speed. Speed is about trust. You can’t afford to…

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Respect the shadow power

(Extracted from www.casnocha.com: 16 lessons learnt working for Reid Hoffman.) Every powerful person in the world is surrounded by people that help them. Sometimes their influence is obvious, for example: The CFO will have the ear of the CEO. But sometimes their influence is masked by the lack of a fancy title. It could be a…

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Wash away your mistakes with growth

There is only one way to wash away your mistakes. Growth. Growth solves all problems. People love growth. If you growing, you’re doing something right. You can get away with dropping the ball on the small stuff. Every startup’s operations are nice from far but far from nice. Its messy, its disorganised, its not pretty….

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Define fatal mistakes, avoid them

If your team feels they can’t make mistakes, they won’t take risks. No risk = no innovation. If you want a culture of innovation, you must tolerate mistakes. The trick is implement rules that cap the impact of mistakes. Take the time t0 list the events that could kill your business. For example: Sharing your customer…

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Business is not like chess

Just because you’re good at chess, doesn’t mean you’ll be good at business. Chess gives you time. Business doesn’t. Chess has strict rules. Business doesn’t. Chess has predictability. Business doesn’t. In business, the game changes all the time. Most of the time there are no rules. And if there are, they’re weighted in favour of your opponent. And…

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Don’t manipulate your staff

Don’t play politics. Don’t have secret agendas. Don’t try trick people. Don’t be sneaky. People are watching. If your team sees you secretly manipulating others, they’ll think you do the same with them. No one wants to be manipulated. People want honesty. They want the truth, straight up. If you are sneaky, your team will lose…

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How to start your day

You’re an entrepreneur, or you want to be. That means your days are filled with uncertainty. You’re responsible for your own paycheque. No one will tell you what to do. You have to tell yourself what to do. You need a routine to clear your mind and set your priorities. Step 1 – Wake up…

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Rather learn from people than criticise them

Zeno, the founder of stoicism, once overheard a man disparaging another philosopher to a crowd of listeners. Zeno walked up to the man and asked him whether he’d learnt anything from the man he was criticising. The man said, “Of course not, his ideas were terrible.” Zeno replied, “You cannot criticise a man until you have…

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Don’t play favourites

In a startup, its dangerous to have favourites. There is no upside, only downside. Playing favourites won’t make people work harder. It can only foster resentment and politics. Your favourite might become an instigator of the politics, and ultimately become a threat to your leadership. Or your favourite might become a victim to the politics of…

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Don’t delay your life

Want to start a business? Want to learn to surf? Want to have kids? Don’t delay. Get off your ass and do what it takes to do what you want to do. Take leave and go for surf lessons. Save money to start your company. Go to match.com and find a spouse. Stop messing around. You…

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Stop trying to save the world

Ok, ok, we get it. The world is in trouble. Someone needs to save it. Relax. You’re not the only one who knows that the education system is a disaster, that inequality will lead to revolution, that climate change is melting the ice caps. You don’t need to be the guy that saves the world. You need to be…

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