Billion Dollar Advice for Startups
I recently had the good fortune to attend a Pando Monthly event where Reid Hoffman was being interviewed. Reid Hoffman is one of the co-founders of LinkedIn and a venture capitalist with a pretty stellar track record. Sarah Lacy’s interview with the Silicon Valley giant yielded several pearls of wisdom that I would like to share with all young techies.
“In order to jump off the cliff you have to believe you can assemble a plane on the way down” -Reid Hoffman, on the ‘All-In’ Mentality that an entrepreneur must have.
- “If you’re not embarrassed by your first product release, you released too late.” -R.H.
- “You must learn from your failure, if you are not redlining then you aren’t learning fast enough.” -R.H.
- “Whenever someone says there was a learning experience you should ask, where are the scars?” -R.H.
- “A first mover is not the first one to launch; it’s the first one to scale.” -R.H.
- When creating a unique product it is important to have a team that learns quickly, works well together, and is made up of individuals with solid skill sets.
- “When you lack experience, you run out into a mine field.” -R.H.
- “Successful entrepreneurs create products that are contrarian and right.” -R.H.
- “I think it’s always smart to be terrified.” -R.H.
- “One of the benefits of a capital down cycle is the you have time to establish who you are.” -R.H.
- “More time operating privately allows you to focus on the things that you want.” -R.H.
- “Don’t focus on pricing, that’s what private markets are for… focus on improving people’s lives.” -R.H.
- “The things that persist are things that are platforms or fundamental utilities of people’s lives.” -R.H.
The three keys to a successful product based startup:
- Have a good product.
- Have a good product distribution strategy.
- Keep thinking about the next round of financing.
And I will end with an almost cliched, yet deeply profound sentiment from Hoffman:
“Money is less valuable than time.”