I’m here at SXSW and LinkedIn founder (and investor) Reid Hoffman just rattled off 10 tips for entrepreneurs.
1) Disrupt — Ask yourself is this ’10X’ different. If it takes $10 in revenue and replaces it with $1 in revenue (e.g. Skype), then that’s disruptive.
2) Aim Big
3) Build a Network — Build a network to amplify your company. Which board members, investors to you choose all the way down to the employees, advisors.
4) Plan for Good & Bad Luck — Good luck is finding opportunity along the path. E.g. Paypal — it went through many iterations before they found the sweet spot of serving eBay sellers (which allowed them to acquire a huge audience). I’m not sure what Hoffman meant by ‘bad luck.’
5) Be Flexible & Persistent — The art is knowing when to be flexible and persistent…and balancing those two.
6) Launch Early Enough That You’re Embarrassed — Most entrepreneurs undervalue the concept of time. E.g. At LinkedIn, Hoffman’s team was worried about launching too early because they hadn’t built Contact Manager yet (Hoffman overruled them and they still haven’t launched Contact Manager).
7) Don’t Drink Your Own Koolaid — Ask those around you ‘what’s wrong’ with your plan.
8) Distribution Is Key — While you’re thinking about the product, build the distribution into it.
9) Pay Attention To Hires/Culture From The Start
10) These Rules Can Be Broken