5 business tips from people who have been there

 In General

I read a lot. Recently, I picked up these 5 tips from successful entrepreneurs. These represent a practical and are a common sense approach to business from people who have “been there, done that”.

Here are five quotes from experienced entrepreneurs that might make your venture look a little less risky and rocky.

  1. “The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake—you can’t learn anything from being perfect.”- Adam Osborne, inventor of  the first portable computer

Past failures on an entrepreneur’s resume are a good sign—generally adding up to a humbler and wiser person. It also says that the person was willing to take a risk, and has the perception to admit the result was less than great.

  1. “Wonder what your customer really wants? Ask. Don’t tell.” —Lisa Stone, BlogHer co-founder and CEO

There are too many inventors and entrepreneurs who don’t really listen to and (perhaps even more importantly) observe their customers. Experiencing a problem for yourself can be a useful genesis for an entrepreneurial idea. But confirming it with paying customers constitutes a business opportunity.

  1. “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.”– Scott Belsky, co-founder Behance

Inventors have  powerful imaginations. But until a prototype/ is made, used by customers, and monetized, you just have an idea. And few people are willing to pay for an idea—including companies who might license. They want to see that it will actually work in the marketplace.


  1. “If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.” – Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook

You’re most vulnerable when you’re starting an endeavor that probably involves a lot of tasks, many of which are new and scary. Then it’s easier to retreat to what you know and love—rather than plan and focus on what’s critical.

  1. “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” – Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn

A minimum viable product is the place to start. This is essentially the most stripped-down version of a product that you can test and build upon. That approach not only makes economic sense, it’s good psychological strategy. If you polish something to what you believe is perfection and the market doesn’t like it, you’re crushed and less likely to persist.

Good luck with your new venture!

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