Tips for Entrepreneurs Gleaned From Jan-May 2008 Breakfasts

I had jotted down some notes on various 3×5 cards of some good comments and suggestion I’ve heard at different breakfasts in the first few months of this year.

  • “Perfect is the enemy of good enough” getting started–and keeping in motion–can be more important than making it better. John Morgridge used to advise Cisco folks to be “Early if not Elegant” which has not caught on as well as “Go Ugly Early”
  • Focus more on your business proposition, technology can be a comfort zone that you have to leave to make money. Imagine a day in the life of your prospect if that helps to focus on when/where they will use your offering and how it will make a difference.
  • There is a big difference between hiring employees and finding partners. It can be hard for employees to appreciate, even when the “lines of the box are clear” that input/revenue leads to salary/profit; help everyone see the big picture.
  • It’s critical to hire strong people in the beginning. It’s hard when need is clear and you can tempted to compromise. Skill deficiencies can be overcome, but attitude and values typically don’t change.
  • CRV’s Quickstart model may represent a shift in VC thinking to respond to dramatically lower cost of launching an Internet site (order of magnitude $10K). Ycombinator is clearly another example
  • Three outsourcing sites to be aware of:

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