Don’t do the devil’s deal

Business is not all roses and sunshine. Sometimes you’re forced to deal with people you don’t like or trust. Sometimes you forced to do deals with the devil. There’s nothing wrong with dealing with devil, as long as it’s not the devil’s deal. You can’t always avoid the bad people in the world. What you can do…

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Cheese is good for your business

Business is like pizza. There is no such thing as a good pizza without cheese. Be cheesy in your startup. Ignore the cool kids and try out all the things you always wanted to do but felt a little embarrassed about. Some of it will work, some of it won’t, all of it will make your…

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You need to cut your toe-nails regularly

No matter what you do, your toe-nails will grow. If you don’t cut them weekly, you’ll soon be hiding your feet from the eyes of others. Toe-nails are like overheads. They grow. It doesn’t matter how much discipline you have. The only way to keep overheads in check is to regularly prune them. Just like…

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How to spot a faker

Batesian mimicry refers to situations where a harmless species has evolved to imitate the warning signals of a harmful species. In effect, the copycat shields himself from attack without going to all the effort of actually arming himself. It happens a lot in business, take fund management for example: It’s very hard to tell the difference between…

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Be careful who you listen to

When you’re looking for advice, be careful who you listen to. Some people are clearly smart, it’s easy to listen to them. Some people are clearly not smart, it’s easy to ignore them. The dangerous ones are the smart folks that have lost some of their marbles. On the face of it they’re sensible, but they’re…

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Pay the box guy

War Dogs is a movie about a small-time arms dealer who won an enormous US Army contract to supply AK-47 ammunition. The profit was tens of millions of dollars. The problem was he could only fulfil the deal with ammunition made in China. It was illegal for the US Army to procure arms from China. The dealer…

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Always be the underdog

No matter whether you’re the favourite, always think of yourself as the underdog. An underdog mentality forces you to prepare, to plan, to innovate. Especially to innovate. When you think you’re the underdog, you won’t rely on brute force or standard tactics. You’ll realise that you have to be creative to win. You have to come…

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You see everyone’s highlights channel

Do you sometimes feel everyone else is doing well and you’re being left behind? Tired of seeing your friend’s beautiful kids on exotic holidays and driving fancy cars? Why does it feel as though everyone is living the dream? Everyone, except you. Snap out of it. All you see on Facebook, at school, on TV, is other…

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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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