50 Thoughts for Entrepreneurs-In-The-Making

  1. “Make something people want” – Paul Graham 
  2. Solve a problem, scratch your own itch. 
  3. Create a brand that stands for something. 
  4. Keep it simple, remove details until you are left with the essence of your idea. 
  5. Speak to your customers way before you build your product. 
  6. “I knew that when I was 80 I was not going to regret having tried this… I knew that if I failed, I wouldn’t regret that. But I knew the one thing I might regret is not ever having tried. And I knew that that would haunt me every day. So when I thought about it that way, it was an incredibly easy decision.” – Jeff Bezos 
  7. Your startup is a series of assumptions, test them before committing big with lots of money or time. 
  8. In the early days, your job is your friend as your salary can fund your business. 
  9. Look after yourself mentally and physically, a startup is a marathon and it is very easy to burn out. 
  10. “Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.” – Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO 
  11. “If you never want to be criticized, don’t do anything new.” – Jeff Bezos 
  12. Find your tribe, avoid people who bring you down or suck your motivation. 
  13. Make it work, then make it better. 
  14. “Real artists ship” – Steve Jobs 
  15. “Question everything… If you don’t question things, there’s no knowledge, no learning, no creativity, no freedom of choice, no imagination” – Heston Blumenthal
  16. “The best reason to start an organization is to make meaning; to create a product or service to make the world a better place.” – Guy Kawasaki 
  17. Choose customers you like. 
  18. “Fail often so you can succeed sooner” – Tom Kelley, Ideo Partner 
  19. “Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success” – Biz Stone, Twitter Co-Founder 
  20. Make stuff and tell people 
  21. Choose ideas that play to your strengths (network, skills, resources, credibility) 
  22. You can learn any big skill (programming, design, sales) within a year or two if you put in the time. Don’t let their absence today discourage you from the business you want. 
  23. “The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” – Nolan Bushnell 
  24. Investors want you to take their money and try to build a billion-dollar business. You might want something else. 
  25. The best way to fund a business is with your customers’ money. 
  26. Never go into personal debt for a startup. 
  27. “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” – Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn Co-Founder 
  28. You can work with people you don’t like, but you can’t work with people you don’t respect. 
  29. “It’s been very common wisdom…that people who leave high-paying jobs should go do what they love and they’ll live a more fulfilling life. But what people don’t talk about at all…I actually fundamentally believe that if you end up leaving a corporate job or working for the man, or doing something that you hate, and start doing something that you love, and at a much lower cost at the beginning…that you’ll end up making so much more money too.” – Gary Vaynerchuk 
  30. If you’re building a tech business, you need a tech co-founder. 
  31. Co-founders are partners at all levels. If you want someone who just executes on your vision, you’re looking for an employee. 
  32. Good design is a competitive advantage. 
  33. It’s a better foundation for a startup to have 100 people who love your product than a million people who kind of like it. You can expand love, but you can’t deepen like. 
  34. “You shouldn’t focus on why you can’t do something, which is what most people do. You should focus on why perhaps you can, and be one of the exceptions.” – Steve Case, AOL Co-Founder 
  35. Cofounders are a career asset that you start collecting years before you need them. Look for potential cofounders in your job, in school, in your extended circle of friends… Once you find them, create excuses to start working on side projects with them. 
  36. Learn how to make money on your own terms. Freelancing is a great stepping stone towards entrepreneurship. 
  37. “See things in the present, even if they are in the future.” – Larry Ellison, Oracle Co-Founder 
  38. Startups are made out of people. If your team burns out, your startup stops working. 
  39. Many of the best opportunities are in boring industries. 
  40. The biggest mistake people make with phone apps is relying on the App Store as a marketing strategy. 
  41. “Don’t take too much advice. Most people who have a lot of advice to give — with a few exceptions — generalize whatever they did. Don’t over-analyze everything. I myself have been guilty of over-thinking problems. Just build things and find out if they work.” – Ben Silbermann, Pinterest Founder 
  42. “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” – Scott Belsky, Behance Co-Founder 
  43. Businesses that make money quickly are a lot easier to start than businesses that need to reach scale first. 
  44. Use vesting and cliffs. 
  45. Ensure that your company owns its assets. 
  46. “Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that.” – Anthony Volodkin, Hype Machine founder 
  47. Don’t worry about anything that isn’t delivering value to the customer. Your business cards and office and patents can probably wait until after people have started paying you. 
  48. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates, Microsoft Co-Founder 
  49. The two most precious resources to startups are 1) good cofounders and 2) the founder’s time and attention. The first is obvious, but people continually let little distractions fritter away the latter. 
  50. Startups are deeply satisfying, even when they go wrong. Go build something you believe in.

 

Now go and build something.

If you’re serious about becoming your own boss and building something for yourself, check out our Startup Accelerator programme where you can launch your first version in just 10-weeks, all around a full-time job.

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