Biz Stone on the Importance of Failure for Entrepreneurs

Biz Stone

Over at Inc. Magazine, Abigail Tracy writes about the importance of failure for Twitter co-founder Biz Stone.

Earlier this week, Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, presented at the New Context Conference in San Francisco and highlighted the fumbles from his start-up career–a nice lead up to today’s much-anticipated Twitter IPO.

Stone reflected on his time at Xanga, and said that not focusing on building a strong company culture was his greatest mistake with the start-up. Unhappy with the company’s shift away from innovation and the culture that had developed, Stone quit Xanga. “What I should have done was work really hard to make a change in the company culture,” said Stone. “The lesson I learned was that company culture at the beginning is incredibly important. You have to tend to it…almost as much as you tend to your product.”

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Failure as a Means of Success

Over at the Summation Blog, Auren Hoffman writes that in most fields, a good success rate is about 25%. If you are succeeding more than that, you are likely not innovating enough or you are settling.

It is a bad sign if you are an entrepreneur and every investor you meet with wants to give you a term sheet on your terms. Either you should be going after better investors or you should be insisting on better terms. A lack of rejection is the surest sign that something is scarily wrong.

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Why Your Startup Needs More than Just a Good Idea

Over at BPlans, Tim Berry writes about why that an entrepreneur’s good idea is not sufficient by itself for any serious investor to fund.

Why? Because there are also other good ideas out there, some of which have already been developed, tested and put into practice, thus decreasing the amount of risk an investor will be taking. The bottom line is that ideas by themselves are simply not fundable by professional investors.

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Mark Cuban’s 12 Rules for Startups

How to Win book coverOver at Entrepreneur Magazine, Mark Cuban has listed 12 interesting rules for Startups, including a rather jaded view of PR.

Never hire a PR firm. A public relations firm will call or email people in the publications you already read, on the shows you already watch and at the websites you already surf. Those people publish their emails. Whenever you consume any information related to your field, get the email of the person publishing it and send them a message introducing yourself and the company. Their job is to find new stuff. They will welcome hearing from the founder instead of some PR flack. Once you establish communication with that person, make yourself available to answer their questions about the industry and be a source for them. If you are smart, they will use you.

You can read more of Cuban’s lessons in his book, How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It.

How Your Passions Increase Your Luck Surface Area

Jason RobersOver at Codus Operandi, Jason Roberts from TechZing writes that your passions just happen to drive your “Luck Surface Area.”

If there’s one thing I’ve discovered in recent years it’s this. The amount of serendipity that will occur in your life, your Luck Surface Area, is directly proportional to the degree to which you do something you’re passionate about combined with the total number of people to whom this is effectively communicated. It’s a simple concept, but an extremely powerful one because what it implies is that you can directly control the amount of luck you receive. In other words, you make your own luck.

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Joe Landman on Why Entrepreneurs are Optimists

Joe LandmanOver at Scalability.org, Joe Landman writes about the experiences that led him to Start his own company.

Part of why I started the day job more than 11 years ago, was as a result of my being disappointed in the lifer execs at other companies, having so much power over my families well being. Think about it … other entities are deciding your health care, your remuneration, etc. This is the control issue, and I felt very much out of control over my own path and own destiny at the other organizations. I felt I couldn’t allow my own creativity to run wild, I couldn’t push things hard that I felt strongly about. I thought I could do a better job than they did.

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Five Startups that Came from Blogs

Startups often fail because they don’t solve a real problem. Over at Fast Company, Ryan Hoover from Playhaven writes that while there is no best method for gathering feedback and validating Startup ideas, you should consider writing a blog post before writing code.

The beauty of the Blog-First Startup is that it allows the
entrepreneur to:

  • Validate ideas with minimal effort

  • Identify their customer

  • Build a following

  • Gather early user feedback

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