Thursday, January 10, 2013

Rule#4: You Can't Do It Alone

“Change  creates  unprecedented  opportunity.  But  to  take  full  advantage  of  those  opportunities,   focus  on  the  team.  Teams  win.” – John  Doerr

 Social Capital

     It's very important to surround yourself with right people. Entrepreneurs lean heavily on “social capital” to build business:
1. Build up a network 
2. Identify your strengths and weaknesses


One of the most important factors is surrendipity. It's about meeting the right people at the right time. They help you make good decision which leads to business success. The problem is you never know which person is the right person and when is the right time. The only way to maximize you chance is to get to know people and leave good impression to people you met. 
“It’s not who you know. It’s who you get to know.” -- Chris Matthews
Highly successful entrepreneurs never hesitated to introduce themselves to people who  might prove useful or to leverage well‐developed contacts when they had a specific end in mind. They also tend not to burn the bridge. When you leave a company, make everyone remember you in a good way. You might have to deal with those in the company again in the future.

In fact, it’s more than likely that in the end you’d ask only a small percentage of the people you know for help. But, if you have a sincere affinity for interesting people, that hardly matters. Since the pleasure of getting to know them is an end in itself. 

When you ask for help, it’s likely that you will get a “no”. It’s not uncommon to be turned down 100 times before getting a “yes”.

Recruiting the Right Team

At the founding stage, it usually consists of two or three people: An idea person and a get-things-done person.There're always two persons: Steve Wozniak  and Steve Jobs; Bill Gates and Paul Allen.
Too many people lead to fights among founders. But single founder tends not to be successful either. 

Although business plan is important, characteristics of the founders are far more important to venture’s success. The founders need not know or have a lot of skills. They can hire someone to do it for them. But the founders need to be able to inspire and recruit outstanding people, and understand the nature competition and factors required to win. 

The founders should have complementary skill, not similar skill. That way, they will help fullfil what the other lacks. And, they will not fight much because of their ego. 

Recruiting Your Co-Founders/Investors

Here are a few things which will help you recruit the best people:

“people are drawn  to the excitement of somebody who is really alive, really on fire about something” 
  1. Be passionate. Your passion is draw the best people in. It will make people believe in you and want to follow you. Then, everything else follows.
  2. Get to work at the right place. Go to the hub. If you’d like to work in technology, go  and live in Silicon Valley. If you’d like to do restaurant business, go work in the restaurant. You’ll learn more, and has more chance to know your prospect co-founders. But do not waste your time creating useless network. The key isn’t to get to know people, but to is to get to know interesting people. 
  3. Use your existing network. You don’t need to know a lot of people. If you know a handful of people who are willing to help or work with you, that’s enough. 
  4. You don’t have to graduate from prestigious school to become successful. Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard. Steve Jobs dropped out of Reeds College. Larry Ellison dropped out of University of Chicago. Michael Dell dropped out of University of Texas.
  5. Use technology. Email, Facebook, Twitter, and the likes make it so much easier to talk to people. So use them to your advantage. 
“The  number  one  rule  is  to  be  passionate  about  something.  Your  passion  is   your  best  means  of  meeting  people.  There’s  so  little  of  it  in  the  world,  and  people  are  drawn   to  the  excitement  of  somebody  who  is  really  alive,  really  on  fire  about  something.   Everything  else  follows.”-- Marc  Cenedell

It's Your Dream. So Fullfil It!

But remember. This is your own (ad)venture. Everybody else are just partners or helpers. They’ll be looking to you for leadership direction, and inspiration. For better or for worse, you will have to bear the ultimate responsibility.  
“It’s your dream, sometimes there’s simply no other choice. You must do it alone.”
Source:The Intelligent Entrepreneur: How Three Harvard Business School Graduates Learned the 10 Rules of Successful Entrepreneurship by Bill Murphy Jr.

Book or Audiobooks?

Personally, I prefer audiobooks. It's fun, and I can listen when I'm doing something else. It also makes other activities (e.g., jogging) a lot more fun. For more detail about audiobooks, please read [this post].

There is one more reason that may encourage you to go for the audiobook version. You can get it now for FREE. Audible offers you a free trial for 14 days. Even if you get the book and cancel the subscription right away (so that you don't have to pay), you can keep the book. And, don't worry if you lost the audiobook file. Just log into You can keep downloading the over and over again.
About the summary: It takes time to finish up a book. And, when you do, sometimes, you want to review what you learn from the book. If you do not make  notes as you read, you might have to go through the book once again. This can be time-consuming when you are dealing with a book. But you can still flip through the book and locate what you are looking for.

However, when the material is an audiobook, it is extremely hard to locate a specific part of content. Most likely you will have to listen to the entire audiobook once again.

This book summary will help solve the pain of having to go through the book all over again.

I am leaving out the details of the books. Most books have interesting examples and case studies, not included here. Reading the original book would be much more entertaining and enlightening. If you like the summary, you may want to get the original from the source below.

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