Creating Your Start-Up Strategy
The beginning is the most important part of the work.
The time to prepare isn’t after you have been given the opportunity. It’s long before that opportunity arises. Once the opportunity arrives, it’s too late to prepare.
—John Wooden, basketball coach of ten championships teams at UCLA
Competition for the future is competition to create and dominate emerging opportunities—to stake out new competitive space. Creating the future is more challenging than playing catch up, in that you have to create your own roadmap.
—Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad, Competing for the Future
Discussions of Entrepreneurship
There is nothing more difficult to handle, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its outcome, than to take the lead in introducing a new order of things.
—Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, 1532
Entrepreneurship is neither a science nor an art. It is a practice.
Entrepreneurship is the ability to create and build from a vision practically nothing: fundamentally it is a human, creative act.
—Jeffry Timmons, professor of entrepreneurship
Discussions of the High-Tech Revolution
Every generation needs a revolution.
The further backward you look, the further forward you can see.
Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think that there are no little things.
Getting to the Future First and Winning
We should be entering a most extraordinary era ever this will be lead by the technologies that were put in place in the last half of the 1990s.
The right of any corporation to exist is not perpetual but has to be continuously earned.
—Robert Simons, Harvard Business School professor
The pace of technology doesn’t change, even during recessions, and if you want to be in the business, you have to continue on through the downturns.
—Andy Bryant, CFO, Intel Corp
Discussions of Risk Capital
Capital brings forth living offspring, or at the least, lays the golden eggs.
The essential point to grasp is that in dealing with capitalism we are dealing with an evolutionary process.
—Joseph A. Schumpeter
We are here to invest in companies that we believe can succeed, companies with both management teams and purposes that we can wholeheartedly embrace, companies that it will be fun to work with as we build and companies of which we will be justly proud when we succeed.
—Mission statement for J.H. Whitney & Co. in 1946, one of the first formal venture capital firms in the United States
New Business Venture Opportunity and Analysis
Chance favors the prepared mind.
—Louis Pasteur, father of microbiology
Profit is the payment you get when you take advantage of change.
—Joseph A. Schumpeter
I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.
Crafting a Winning Business Strategy and Sustainable Competitive Advantage
If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.
The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, but in what direction we are moving.
—Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
The important things are always simple. The simple things are always hard. The easy way is always mined.
—Murphy’s Laws of Combat
Starting with the Right People and Organization
If you want one year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want ten years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want one hundred years of prosperity, grow people.
When a crew and a captain understand each other to the core, it takes a gale, and more than a gale, to put their ship ashore.
Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere!
—President Ronald Reagan
Gathering and Allocating Critical Capital Resources
Skill comes by the constant repetition of familiar feats rather than by a few overbold attempts at feats for which the performer is yet poorly prepared.
Never buy new what can be bought second-hand. Never buy what you can lease. Never lease what you can rent. Never rent what you can borrow. Never borrow what you can salvage.
—Ian C. MacMillan, professor of entrepreneurship at Wharton’s Snider Entrepreneurial Center
We were always focused on our profit and loss statement. But cash flow was not a regularly discussed topic. It was as if we were driving along, watching only the speedometer, when in fact we were running out of gas.
Creating Your Market Entry Strategy
Building a castle is difficult. Defending and maintaining it is harder still.
Competition is not really company versus company, but supply chain versus supply chain.
—Warren Hausman, business professor at Stanford University
The biggest mistake an entrepreneur can make is to invent a distribution channel and a new product category at the same time.
—Dave Brown, former CEO of Quantum Corporation
Creating Your Marketing and Sales Strategies
The entrepreneur all too frequently tends to forget that marketing is key to the success of most businesses.
—Arthur Lipper III
Success is on the side not of the heavy battalions, but of the best shots.
—Voltaire, French philosopher
One person with a belief is equal to a force of ninety-nine who only have interest.
—John Stuart Mill
Managing the Rapidly Growing Venture
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
You can go into a corner slow and come out fast. Or you can go into a corner fast and come out dead.
—Sterling Moss, Formula-1 racing legend
First year, 1985, $6 million; second year, $34 million; third year, $70 million; fourth year, $159 million; fifth year, $258 million . . . year sixteen, $25 billion.
—From various Dell Computer annual reports
Creating and Managing the Networked Enterprise
The notion of community has been at the heart of the Internet since its inception.
—Arthur Armstrong and John Hagel
It’s all about using your community to support your brand in 360 degrees, multiple channels; everywhere you intercept the user, the stakeholders, and the constituents.
—Denise Benou Stires, executive vice president, global marketing, The NASDAQ Stock Market, Inc.
Treat people you do business with as if they were a part of your family.
—Konoske Matsushita, founder of Matsushita Electronics Company
(makers of Panasonic, Techniques, and Quasar brands)
Discussions of Global Expansion
Globalization is inevitable. Technology, the democracy of information, deregulation, economics, and education are seeing to that.
—Mike Eskew, chairman and CEO, UPS
While it is true that a good product knows no national boundaries, there are subtle differences, from country to country and from region to region, in the ways a product is used and what customers expect of it.
—Hideo Sugiura, Honda Motor Co.
The overseas markets are recognized as an essential consideration in today’s venture’s growth strategies as global economies represent new market opportunities.
—Todd G. Szalkowski, Ernst & Young LLP
Financing the Emerging Growth Venture
Success breeds its own brand of capital problems.
—John L. Nesheim, in High-Tech Start-Up
When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it.
—Lord William Thomson Kelvin, British physicist who developed the Kelvin scale
Once we sign the check, we are the team. We consider it our responsibility that our companies never run out of money. We help them hire the right people, and we help them identify the risks and put those risks behind them. If anything, we have been accused of being too involved.
—Thomas Perkins, founder of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Creating Your Exit Strategy and Exit Goals
The end is where we start from.
—T.S. Eliot, poet
Success generally depends upon knowing how long it takes to succeed.
—Montesquieu, eighteenth-century French philosopher
What George Bernard Shaw said about love affairs is also apt for business: Any fool can start one, it takes a genius to end one successfully.
—William D. Bygrave, professor of entrepreneurship
Putting It All Together and Getting Financed
Simplex veri sigillum
—Latin proverb for “Simplicity is the seal of truth.”
If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you are doing.
—W. Edwards Deming
You can sometimes fool the fans, but you can never fool the players.
—Jack Stack, The Great Game of Business
Reviewing the Four Cornerstones of Success
Try not to become a person of success but rather try to become a person of value.
Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true.
—John Keats, English poet
The dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.
—Robert H. Goddard, father of American rocketry