Entrepreneurs give customers what they want

Henry Ford completely dominated the motorcar industry for almost two decades, from 1907 onwards. His vision of bringing raw basic transport to the masses was epitomized by the Model T.Ford’s 70% market share entrenched economies of scale that no competitor could match, resulting in the Model T being the cheapest car on the road.Where he went…

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Entrepreneurs can spot crooks

Warren Buffett says you should back people with integrity, energy & intelligence. Without integrity, the others are irrelevant.Watch for people with integrity. Latch onto them. Life is too short to spend time with people without integrity.Its hard finding people with integrity, they’re not self-promoters by nature. The best way is process of elimination.Look for crooks.Crooks…

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Entrepreneurs serve users first, customers second

Sometimes your customer is your user, ie: Facebook.Sometimes your customer is just an agent for your user, ie: the CIO of a company deciding which email client to prescribe for staff.This post is for the latter case: B2B sales where you’re servicing two stakeholders: The agent (CIO) who signs the purchase requisition. The user who actually uses…

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Entrepreneurs don’t get sick

At the change of seasons there is an inevitable outbreak of flu.Not only is it no fun 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 the basic rules to stay healthy: 1. Boost your immune system with ginger tea, lemon…

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Entrepreneurs drink 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 always want to 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 walking and talking?What happens if…

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Entrepreneurs employ the barbell strategy

Nassim Taleb talks about the “Barbell Strategy” for investments. Put 95% of your savings into the lowest-risk form of investment, ie: fixed deposit or Treasury notes. Invest the remaining 5% in high risk options.That way you can never lose all your money, but if one of your options pays off the upside is vastly disproportional…

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Entrepreneurs have a simple lifestyle

Entrepreneurs need to be anti-fragile. Resilient to setbacks. Capable of facing adversity without flinching.That’s why you need a simple lifestyle.You will be unaffected by poor fare if you don’t need much.Drink Ricoffy.Drive an ordinary car.Eat All Bran Flakes for breakfast.Wear jeans, T-shirt and sneakers.If you want to go to extremes, follow @malanjoubert’s advice and sleep…

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Entrepreneurs don’t like flattery

Some people surround themselves with ass-kissers. Professional blowers of smoke.It feels good to have people tell you how good you are, how smart you are, how powerful you are. Every day.An entrepreneur doesn’t need to be told. She knows how good she is (and how good she is not).She knows herself. She doesn’t need endless confidence and complimentsPublic…

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Entrepreneurs are not fooled by randomness

Sometimes shit happens. Good shit and bad shit. It just happens.Its not your fault, nor to your credit.If your business fails due to a global financial recession, its not your fault. Your failure was random. Don’t take it personally.If your business booms due to a global property boom, you’re not a genius. Your success was…

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Entrepreneurship is a philosophy

Being an entrepreneur is not a career. Its a belief system. It’s a way of thinking. Its a way of living.Deciding to be an entrepreneur is like deciding to join the church.You have to change your thought patterns, your daily habits, your worldview.Your bibles are the stories of other entrepreneurs. Your priests are fellow entrepreneurs.You…

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Entrepreneurs don’t let a good crisis go to waste

There are many things that are difficult to do in good times.Trim your work force, renegotiate supply agreements, change strategy.Business comprises of people, and people simply don’t accept bad news in good times.That’s why a good crisis is priceless. Economic recession? Interest rates? Exchange rate?If an external factor negatively impacts your business, use that reason…

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Entrepreneurs flush out the haters

Imagine how hard it is for the average person to distinguish between friends and foe? The average person never says anything controversial, never takes risks, never upsets anyone.And so the average person never makes enemies. If you don’t have enemies, how will people know what you stand for? Its far easier to judge someone by…

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