I attended NJ Tech Meetup and the evening’s speaker was David Kiddler. He was discussing his new book “The Startup Playbook”, which consists largely of interviews with many of today’s most successful entrepreneurs, such as:
- Hasain Rahman – Jawbone
- Chris Anderson – TED
- Reid Hoffman – LinkedIn, PayPal
- Elon Musk – SpaceX, Tesla, PayPal
- Steve Blank – Four Steps to the Epiphany
- Tony Hsieh – Zappos
- Jay Walker – Priceline, Walker Digital
David asked each entrepreneur what their guiding rules were, so the book includes some real words of wisdom. But the reason why I’m sharing this with you is that David boiled down the interviews into the following 5 traits that they all posses. These are essential for new entrepreneurs to know and veteran entrepreneurs to be reminded.
- Self Awareness – know what you are / are not good at; do what you’re good at and delegate what you are not good at.
- Extreme Focus – do what you need to be doing and don’t get distracted. Don’t try to be all things to all people.
- Build Pain Killers – identify the pain(s) and provide a real solution.
- Be 10x Better – you solution can’t be marginally or incrementally better, it must blow the competition out of the water.
- Aim for a Monopoly – don’t go with the “All we need is 1% of the market and we have a great business.”; here David is saying you have to aim for 99% of the market.
David spoke for about an hour / an hour and a half sharing a lot’s of wisdom, so I’ve selected a couple of highlights for you:
- No wishful thinking. Be sure the problem / solution is real. Don’t pick and choose the data that supports what you would like to be true. Be as sure as you can be that the problem you are solving is truly a problem and one that people will pay to solve.
- For the CEO the ‘buck stops here’. The CEO should never have any surprises. What David means is that the CEO should build an infrastructure with KPIs (key performance indicators) so she knows what’s happening at every level of their business.
The book sounds like fun and I'm very much looking forward to reading it.
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