Will ALL Big Companies Will Be Reduced to Platforms?
“I will probably never work IN a big company, but I love working WITH big companies because they can leverage a large platform.”
Smith was broke and couldn’t pay the $3,000 printing tab—so he told his neighbor that God ordered the neighbor to pay the bill. This neighbor was the one whose wife had freaked out about the original manuscript (she had since grown so exasperated that she had divorced him). Smith told the neighbor that God had threatened the neighbor with “misery,” including the “destruction of thyself and property” if the neighbor refused. The neighbor sold his farm and paid the bill.
If you have Netflix I highly recommend watching Bloomberg’s GameChangers series. It has 30 minute profiles of the most influential people of the past
Two profiles I think are particularly
interesting and contrasting: Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Ellison. Mark came from a supportive family and was the only son among three sisters. The narrators comment that that this lead to his abundant self-esteem. On the other hand, when Ellison was 11 his father abruptly told
him that he was adopted and that he would not pay for his college.
The question is: what matters in being successful? It’s not clear family
background matters. Just determination and being at the right place right time.
Few copywriters share my appetite for research. The late and great Bill Bernbach, among many others, thought that it inhibited creativity. My experience has been the opposite. Research has often lead me to good ideas, such as the eyepatch in the Hathaway campaign.
I have seen ideas so wild that nobody in his senses would dare to use them - until research found that they worked. When I had the idea of writing headlines for French tourism in French, my partners told me I was nuts - until research revealed that French headlines were more effective than English headlines.
@BSesser wrote an amazing guide to taking advantage of your time as an NYU or MBA Student. My favorite part in particular is this word of advice:
Look at the recently funded companies from investors like Lerer Ventures, SV Angel, IA Ventures, RRE, Founder Collective, Thrive Capital, etc. across the first semester. Figure out the one with the most potential (in your opinion, not according to TechCrunch). Think of 3-4 ways you can add immediate value to their business and aggressively pursue an unpaid internship for the semester. (When I was a first year this company was GroupMe, and David Lee told me so. Whoops, should have done this…)
Failure is hard. Self delusion is worse.
Shortly after I started SpeakerText in the late 2000’s, The Lean Startup came into vogue as a meme. My understanding of the concept was pretty superficial:
Save money and be “lean” by launching shitty, ugly, barely-working products. If and when the…
How do you separate luck from success? How do you know if someone’s a one trick pony?
Whether someone is an early success or not, you can look at people’s long-term habbits that are important in personal growth.
Short-term thinking & behaviors are the telling sign of a one trick pony, beware at all costs.
Once you’re lucky, twice your good. But you still don’t have the midas touch. Success should be a warning sign, while failure is the opportunity to buy low.
Everyone’s hot will fizzle, and anyone can be the next big thing. But that’s just a cop out. Rational altruism is a game, and the game is for players. No one likes to be played.
Here are my class notes, typed in essay form, from Class 4 of CS183: Startup. Errors, omissions, and/or poor phrasing are my own. Credit for good substance and wording is Peter’s entirely.
CS183: Startup—Notes Essay—April 11—The Last Mover Advantage
I. Escaping Competition
Too many people look at life like a binary. Do this or do not. But there’s always a third option, a win-win that we’re too blind to see. It’s guaranteed to require discomfort, to require pushing people. But if you can handle it, systematically, the benefits are not trivial.
I want to make sure that I distinguish between net-promoter score and the ‘very disappointed’ number. I do think that they’re actually different. I would say, for example, that Virgin America probably has a pretty high net-promoter score but if you look at it, it’s not that differentiated from different airlines, so, in a sense, net-promoter score becomes more important in a relatively undifferentiated category. The question that I’m talking about, if you’re a brand new company coming into a category that exists and you’re not very differentiated, you don’t have a chance. Therefore, you have to start by being able to create a must-have product. It’s not that you don’t have a chance, because clearly Virgin America would be an example of a relatively new company that has been successful. To me, I wouldn’t put my money on companies being able to come in with a nice-to-have product and a high referral rate, a high recommendation rate, but on a nice-to-have product. I would always put it on the must-have product because of the sticking. The one thing that a high net-promoter score is that you’re a lot more vulnerable if you suddenly burn your relationship with users, that net-promoter score could drop overnight. One bad Puerto Rico move. Where, if you’re a must-have product, you can screw up many things on the relationship with the users, but if they don’t’ have a good alternative they’re going to stick with you. They’re going to hope an alternative comes out, so you should definitely maintain a good relationship with users. I just wanted to separate, I think having a good number on that does generally correlate to a good recommendation rate, so there’s some correlation, but I think for a start-
Up that net-promoter score is not as important n the early days. Fortunately, in the case of Eventbrite, they were really strong on both numbers. The ‘very disappointed’ number to me is something that is essentially a milestone for the business to basically say, ‘We’ve created something that is now a must-have and we can go from that super low-burn, super patient, conservative mode of just gathering feedback, where it may take us years to get there.’ To ‘All right. This is an inflection point in the business where our priorities have changed. We want to start growing this business as quickly as possible. There’s a few things we need to do first so that we can efficiently grow the business.’ That’s the part where I come in to essentially help them get through those parts quicker because I’ve done it multiple times.
In response to this post.
The fairytale of an entrepreneur having an “aha!” moment - which transforms their business into a billion dollar public company - glosses over the months or years of wading through shit it took to get to that “aha!” moment.
The general sentiment of the author’s post…
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