Here we want to reflect on a Techcrunch report posted yesterday about the book "Venture Capitalists at Work". They have identified five Must-Know Facts for Entrepreneurs:
1. Big Bold Ideas (Non-consensus Idea)
Entrepreneurs must not be afraid of being contrarian. Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. If you have consensus with everyone around you, you can most likely assume that the idea is not that framebreaking... Find this big, bold idea which knocks everyone off the chairs. Create something where people will discuss and think about.
2. AIM (Authenticity, Integrity, Motivation)
Money alone cannot motivate an entrepreneur enough to drive him for years and years through ups and downs. The entrepreneur has to be genuinely motivated and passionate. Else, he or she will not succeed in the long-run. Authenticity is a result of hard work. In alignment with Malcolm Gladwell's 10k Hour Rule which defines when you are an expert, you need to work really really hard to become an expert people listen to. And it is only then that your company will take off on a sustainable track.
3. A+ DNA (Winning Team)
The most important element of all (and it is often overlooked) is the early venture team. The first 10-12 employees truly decide the venture's trajectory. They determine the DNA of the company. It is wrong to get people early on which have to be trained and shaped into what is believed is the company DNA. They have to be part shaping the company to truly get the project off the ground.
“I think what matters most is team culture and unit cohesion. I almost always in some ways recruit the personality type as much as functional skill,” says Rich Wong of Accel Partners in Venture Capitalists At Work. “I have a triangle in my head — functional skill, raw intelligence, personal turning radius. Smart, hard-working, and paranoid together kind of radiates raw horse power.”
4. RIP (Rapid Interations & Pivoting)
The speed at which a new venture acts is of utmost importance. Long negotiations and decision processes distract the team from what is really important - making money and serving customers.
5. Objectivity & Adaptability
It is important to be true and honest to oneself the company at any time - even if this means throwing away uncounted hours of work after having realized one has run in the wrong direction. So what...other people watch TV and most certainly have learn't not even a mentionable fraction of what you as an entrepreneur just went through. This is again where RIP comes in. Successful entrepreneurs rapidly reflect on what has happened and adapt flexibly to a new situation.
It is a nice reflection of what is really key. And if you have started a company before, you will most likely have learnt something just by reading and reflecting on these five points. As a nacent entrepreneur one tends to blind oneself from the truth and try to go with a second-best solution simply because it is more convenient. One aims at consenting with everyone around in order not to be thrown off the track. Get out of your comfort zone and dare to go against the grain!!!