3. Pick a domain and go deep: If your answer to “What kind of company are you going to start?” is something like “Well, I have a few different ideas…” stop immediately. You should pick one idea in one domain and go extremely deep on this idea. Optimally, it’d be something you already know a lot about so that you’ll be leveraging your personal experience and presumably one of your passions. Hedging your bets by thinking about and playing around with a variety of different ideas is a huge waste of energy – you need all of your focus on the one thing you are going to do. Early in my life as a VC, I was in a meeting where an experienced VC asserted that one of the most important questions for a venture-backed company to answer is “What do you want to be the best in the world at?” I think this question broadly applies to all entrepreneurial endeavors.
18. No Reason for Customer to Change
The best entrepreneurial efforts I’ve seen have flowed from the development of a competitive matrix, i.e., a comparison by vendor (competitor) of all of the major factors which buyers consider when making a purchase decision. If, in reviewing such a matrix, you cannot reach the conclusion that any fully informed buyer would be crazy not to seriously consider purchasing your product, the buyer has no reason to switch to you….and probably won’t.
Polly Toynbee reviews Richard G Wilkinson’s The Impact of Inequality:
Richard Wilkinson is a professor of social epidemiology, an expert in public health. From that vantage point he sees the world in terms of its physical and psychological wellbeing, surveying great sweeps of health statistics through sociological eyes. He has assembled a mountain of irrefutable evidence from all over the world showing the damage done by extreme inequality. However rich a country is, it will still be more dysfunctional, violent, sick and sad if the gap between social classes grows too wide. Poorer countries with fairer wealth distribution are healthier and happier than richer, more unequal nations.
Opening up your door while driving isn’t a good idea, especially on a busy highway.
Robbin Doolin, 31, of the Kansas City suburb of Grandview, learned that Friday morning when she leaned out her fast-moving car to spit.
She went tumbling out onto U.S. 71 in Kansas City, and to the amazement of other drivers, she hopped up and chased her car as it careened down an embankment toward a construction site.
V&A: “Imagine having a remote control you could use to instantly block out the sound of noisy builders or a screaming child; or a product that allows you to hold a clear conversation in a noisy bar. The display includes stylish and attractive hearing products, some almost like jewellery, that people not only need but will really want to wear.” (via Boing Boing)
Edward Lazear: “Among Stanford alumni, those who go on to start businesses took a more general course curriculum when they were at Stanford than those who never start a business,’ he writes. Rather than take eight classes in finance, for instance, and an average of three in each of four other academic areas, entrepreneurs were more likely to balance their courses among a variety of disciplines.” (via Dane Carlson)
Twodecode: “One of the reasons we opted for J2ME as a development platform was that we wanted to avoid developing different versions of the client software for each and every type of phone. We knew that multimedia support in J2ME was something to have a decent look at. We kind a lost sight of the fact that the decoding routines depended on floating point support. Now we see that a lot of phones have all the expected properties … except floating point support (CLDC 1.1).”
Update: PC of Twodecode writes in a comment, “Problem solved: wrote a library that emulates floating support. Up to the next problem.”
Congratulations on fixing the problem, guys.
Yaro Starak: “$405,000 in revenue in December 2004, half of that coming from a website selling t-shirts…nice. The questions is why can’t we all replicate their story? Let’s analyse what exactly it takes to have this kind of success.”
John Osher: “Mistake 2: Miscalculating market size, timing, ease of entry and potential market share. ‘Most new entrepreneurs get very excited over an idea and don’t look for the truth about how many people will want to buy it. They put together financial projections as part of a presentation to pump up their investors. They say, ‘The market size is 50 million people that could use this product, and if I could only sell to 2 percent of them, I’d be selling a million pieces.’ But 2 percent of a market is a lot. Most products sell way less than 1 percent.'”
Elizabeth Thomson: “Imagine a cancer drug that can burrow into a tumor, seal the exits and detonate a lethal dose of anti-cancer toxins, all while leaving healthy cells unscathed. MIT researchers have designed a nanoparticle to do just that.”