Part 9: Entrepreneurship = Luck + Talent + Wisdom

Based on what I know today today, I estimate that entrepreneurship is one third talent, one third luck and one third wisdom. Talent is not teachable and, at present, is very hard to identify in first time entrepreneurs. Luck cannot be taught nor bought but plays an important role in success, and, unfortunately, is often misinterpreted … More Part 9: Entrepreneurship = Luck + Talent + Wisdom

Can you teach entrepreneurship? Part 8: When to sell?

Sell when your company has achieved its mission. Sell when you have run out of ideas. Sell when the buyer offers a price that you feel reflects the company’s full potential. Theories on when to sell vary from the philosophical to the economic. These three mental models, gleaned from the work or writings of Elon Musk, … More Can you teach entrepreneurship? Part 8: When to sell?

Can you teach entrepreneurship? Part 7: Be a master of big sales

Success in a startup requires skill in big sales. It is not widely known or accepted but big sales (e.g. which include hiring employees, getting investors and selling expensive products), require a set of skills that are very distinct from selling low price products (say, for less than $100). Sales is often something that we think of … More Can you teach entrepreneurship? Part 7: Be a master of big sales

Can you teach entrepreneurship – Part 6: Mastering Market Size

A startup’s market size must be big enough to justify any upfront investment. Applying this logic suggests $5 million is a very minimum empirical market size for software startups. The same logic suggests very minimum market sizes for hardware should be larger, and, for pharma, much larger. Rigorously validating market size requires time and money and this … More Can you teach entrepreneurship – Part 6: Mastering Market Size

Part 5: The Dream Team

Raw entrepreneurial talent and a diverse founding team correlate strongly with improved startup success rates. In this blog, I’ll provide evidence for this claim and propose a way to measure the quality of a startup founding team by looking at prior startup successes and also the number of roles within the founding team. Data show that raw entrepreneurial talent has … More Part 5: The Dream Team

Part 4: Prior startup experience may not help much

Over the last while, I’ve frequently heard that serial entrepreneurs have a higher probability of success. Mistakenly, though, I’ve taken this statement to mean that entrepreneurs improve by learning from past experiences. Serial entrepreneurs do have a higher rate of success, but their success may have more to do with them having the raw talent than learning while on the … More Part 4: Prior startup experience may not help much

Can you teach entrepreneurship? Part 3: How to make better decisions

Have you ever tried to make a decision by writing down, weighting and then rating a few different factors you felt were important? Maybe it was while picking a job, maybe it was picking a university course or maybe it was deciding on an employee to hire. If so, I think there’s a better way … More Can you teach entrepreneurship? Part 3: How to make better decisions