As a fan of OnStartups myself, I would remiss if I did not recommend their new book. The following favorite quotes from the founder will teach you a few exceptional lessons in just a few short phrases. Don’t overlook the strength of these little one bite lessons. Growing up my father was a master of the adage, the proverb, and the learning quote; and throughout my life when I found myself in need of guidance it’s these little soundbites that stick with you and remind you of the larger lessons.
This article is from OnStartups. To read more please visit the OnStartups website.
As many of you regular readers know, the OnStartups blog (what you’re reading now) has been a fixture of the startup ecosystem for over 7 years. Over that time, I think there’s been some great content posted — and I’ve even written some of it. But a lot came from brilliant guest authors like Jason Cohen (@asmartbear), Mike Volpe (@mvolpe), Paul DeJoe (@pdejoe), Rob Walling (@robwalling), Leo Wildrich (@leowid), Brian Halligan (@bhalligan), Brian Balfour (@bbalfour) and many others.
So, when the nice folks at Hyperink Press volunteered to pull together some of the best articles, organize them and package them up into a convenient, awesome digital package (known as an ebook) I was like “sure, why not?”.
In keeping with my “doing it for passion, not for profit”, I’m going to take any royalties I make from the book and donate them to Kiva.org
And here are some of my favorite snippets from the book. The more avid fans among you might even know which articles these came from. Thanks in advance for buying the book and all of your support over the years. Special thanks to some of the great guest authors — you folks have produced some of the best content on the site.
21 Quick Quotes From The OnStartups Book
1. A startup lives and dies by its customers. Not some marketer’s initial conception of who the customer should be and what the customer should want.
2. Coca-Cola needs people to have a warm-fuzzy when staring at a shelfful of sugar water; you just need sales.
3. If it requires a spreadsheet to figure out the sales commission, it’s too hard.
4. Sales people will generally act in mostly rational (but often surprising) ways based on incentives.
5. ALWAYS connect incentives somehow to ultimate customer happiness.
6. If the value of the education you’re getting from the startup does not exceed the value of the salary, you’re doing something wrong, or you’re at the wrong place.
7. You learn the hard way that if you lose your cool, you lose.
8. The exponential productivity from great people will always amaze you.
9. Sometimes you can tell more about a company by how it treats customers on their way out, than on their way in.
10. VCs invest in the companies that win over their hearts and their minds, usually in that order.
11. It’s a one-time cost to come up with great name for your startup — but the benefit is forever.
12. Having a diversity of distribution channels actually increases your risk that you never find a scalable channel at all.
13. It’s not the news-outlets that write about you, it’s individual writers that do.
14. That is the life of an entrepreneur: It’s a steady stream of hard work, occasionally punctuated by some really hard decisions.
15. It doesn’t matter how much “real” (objective) value you have baked into your product if your customers don’t perceive that value.
16. It turns out, people do sometimes buy drills (not holes).
17. I don’t think business plans are completely useless, just mostly so. And sometimes, they’re dangerous.
18. You should be committed to your business, not your business plan.
19. More startups die from idea gluttony than starvation.
20. If you’re trying to disrupt the status quo and beat bigger competitors, you’re not going to do it by playing their game.
21. When recruiting for a startup, you’re looking for the future stars—because you likely can’t afford or convince the current stars.
Thanks so much for your support over the years. It’s been awesome having you as a reader of the blog. Any favorites articles? Any particular topics you’re interested in hearing about in the future?
Looking for other startup fanatics? Request access to the OnStartups LinkedIn Group. 130,000+ members and growing daily.
Oh, and by the way, you should follow me on twitter: @dharmesh.