How to Avoid Other’s Mistakes (Foundation Series)

Kevin Rose (co-founder of Digg and Milk) he has been creating a video series called foundation, where he interviews successful entrepreneurs (mostly in tech). In the interview, he asks them what advice they would give to entrepreneurs just starting out. Here is a summary in order of episodes of the advice and cool info they give.

#1 Jack Dorsey– Co-Founder of Twitter and Square
Entrepreneur sees a fortunate situation and takes it, it’s not luck
Build what you want to see
Foundations series Jack Dorsey TechCrunch twitter square startup lessons learnedWrite down an idea and make a prototype then make a decision to put more resources into it or put it on the shelf for another time. Don’t tell yourself that it would be successful only if…., move on to something else.
Founders are editors of the team. Remove people right away if a problem
Focus on the Data, know the momentum of where you’re going this is only done by data of the company

#2 Jeff Smith– Smule, I am T-Pain
Finish one idea at a time
Company culture: attracting a willingness to try

Foundation series Philip Rosedale startup lessons and mistakes

#3 & #8 Philip Rosedale– Creator of SecondLife and Lovemachine
Be transparent and people will follow
Big idea + big money = failure
Asked 3 questions to all employees each year by a survey.
1. Would you keep me as a CEO?
2. No matter what you said on question 1, Am I getting worst or better?
3. Why?

#4 Tony Conrad– Founder, Sphere Co-Founder
Hack: Had software scan pages and searched other blogs for content and connected it their blog.

Foundation series Chris Sacca startup lessons and mistakes learned#7 Chris Sacca– Google, and Founder of Lowercase Capital,
Psychology of reboot, changed my business card to a business (Salinger group), in a group instead of him as an individual and people gave him jobs and treated him differently.
Be helpful and people will invite you in.
Create value before you ask for value back

#9 Jason Goldberg– Founder
E-commerce 2.0 has a social component.

#10 Demis Crowley– Foursquare
Know enough code to make a prototype have someone else do it. (PHP, HTML) Get one person who knows what they are doing. (Coding)

#11 John Borthwick– CEO betaworks
Get the product out fast!
Scale business to the right size
You don’t have to be big to have a good product or Big impact

#14 Ryan Carson– Treehouse
For raises: Level up, The company needs something done. If the employee accomplishes the task while doing they’re current job then they get a raise.

#18 Sahil Lavingia– Gumroad
Build audience to distribute a product. The audience is more important because you choose the distribution.

#20 Elon Musk– Paypal, Tesla, SolarCity, Space X
Seek Negative Feedback
Tell me what you don’t like
Reason by principles, not analogies (don’t assume things are the way they appear)

#22 Tom Conrad– CTO of Pandora
Hiring right people builds culture.
Trust, be transparent.
Be passionate about what you do and hire people who are passionate about it too.

Foundation series Tony Hsieh startup lessons and mistakes#25 Tony Hsieh– Zappos
Culture, interview people questions:
1. Do they meet the technical need?
2. Would I hang out with this person?
Culture is one of two things need for a company to be successful.
Doesn’t matter what the values are, but that the company has values.
A good manager is someone who can fire you and still have a drink with. Hire people with the company values. Be humble is the one value people struggle with and a reason why they won’t be hired.
Pay people to quit. 2-3% do quit after being hired. Offered anytime during training. Don’t want people who only do it for the money. $3,000 after first few weeks.
Make people see each other by making them go through the same entrance and exit. Campuses: Blend the company in with the city

Foundation Series Dave Morin Startup Lessons#26 Dave Morin– Apple, Facebook, Path
Focus on one thing- one experience, one product. The whole world was focusing on that same experience, all of the salespeople were selling the same product.

Do things is threes, three reasons why this product it the best.
150 is the maximum number of relationships humans can have
5   People = Family
15 People = People you hang out with or you would go on vacation with
50 People = Group

#27 Hosain Rahman– JawBone
People can’t steal your idea if it’s completed and hard to build.
Think about how the consumer will use it. If it doesn’t align with it, you don’t have to ship it.
Invest in getting it done right.

#32 Phil Libin– CEO Evernote
Clouds are fuzzy and not of substance so we throw it around and use it to describe things, but it really doesn’t really mean anything

#34 Matt Galligan– Circa Founder
Solve a problem, and always ask yourself are you solving that problem? Write the problem on the board all over the office
For new entrepreneurs: Have good legal and financial advice


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