Start With What You Know – 7 Entrepreneur Lessons Learned

Tomorrow I’m giving my Start With What You Know – 7 entrepreneur lessons (SlideShare slides) talk at the Industry Leadership Summit. I’ve given the talk 5 or 6 times now and each time I tweak it slightly to improve the flow and content. Overall, the idea is that success is all about continual learning based on what you know at the time and constantly looking for ways to improve. Pretty simple, right?

Here are the seven entrepreneur lessons learned:

  • Even great products need marketing.
    Winning product awards and accolades doesn’t translate into sales. Building a repeatable customer acquisition process is a must.
  • Sell “pain killers.” Not vitamins.
    Solve hard, meaningful problems. Avoid vitamins and candy.
  • Embrace your constraints.
    All startups have constraints. Make them an advantage.
  • The startup with the most money doesn’t always win.
    Money matters to a certain point but heavily funded competitors aren’t as scary as expected.
  • Good timing is better than good luck.
    Pick a fast-growing market with a huge opportunity, and get the timing right.
  • Focus on one thing and do it well.
    More success results in more distractions. Stay true to the vision.
  • Culture matters.
    The only sustainable competitive advantage is a great culture.

Take a look at the slides online and I’ll post a video of the talk in the future.

What else? What are some of your other favorite entrepreneur lessons learned?

4 thoughts on “Start With What You Know – 7 Entrepreneur Lessons Learned

    • There was so much information online, people were unable to consume everything they wanted to. Generating and consuming content in bitesized tweats helps us stay current on the many things that matter to us. I think that’s pretty meaningful.

  1. David,

    Sorry I didn’t see you at the end. I really enjoyed the presentation. I also checked out the Mad Money Cramer discussion with Benioff. Very cool!

    See you soon.

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