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Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn and a member of Endeavor’s Global Board of Directors, shared his top 10 rules for entrepreneurship @ this year’s SXSW.
When I co-founded LinkedIn the tech industry was in a deep depression. I looked at all the opportunities created by the Internet and had the idea that eventually everyone would need a professional profile online. The disruption was that people were able to directly reach the best candidates rather than hoping for responses from a listing in the paper or an ad on a Web site.
- Try to create “disruptive change”.“It’s got to be something that changes an industry.”
- The disruptive idea should take $10 revenue and replace it with $1 of revenue, because that’s creating opportunities for new ecosystems.
- It usually takes the same amount of work to run a the small company as it does a big company (except that if you sell the small company early, the work ends sooner).
- Entrepreneurs try to build big companies that revolutionize their industry rather than create a startup they “flip” after a couple of years.
- Build a network to amplify your company — That network includes investors, advisors, employees, customers, and others.
- Plan for good luck — Sometimes entrepreneurs are surprised when something good happens, and they must take advantage of it by changing their plans.
- Maintain flexible persistence — The art is knowing when to be persistent and when to be flexible and how to blend them.”
- Pivot on key data! Know when to change!
- Maintain your aspiration but always look for good perspective on how you are doing. It is very easy for creative innovators to get caught up in their own story.
- The things a smart person learned a decade ago won’t help you now – you’re doing things that have never been done before, and the world and the competitive landscape are changing at hyper speeds.
- Do not pay too much attention to rules set by other people. Entrepreneurs are inventors.
- Entrepreneurs sometimes just make new rules.
- Very often entrepreneurs are given conflicting advice: “Be persistent! Stay committed to your vision!” The challenge is to follow them both, but know which advice is most appropriate for which situation.