The authors -- veteran venture capitalist Randy Komisar and finance expert Jantoon Reigersman -- share decades of their insights from Silicon Valley. The rules for founders are spread across pages and grouped in five sections: fundamentals, choosing investors, raising funds, managing boards, and achieving liquidity. Here are my eight key sets of takeaways from this compelling book, which is a must-read for all entrepreneurs and investors.
The six phases and components of a startup journey are: an attractive idea, effective technology, desirable product, market demand, unit economics, and scale.
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Not all founders, however, can manage to hold all three roles successfully: inventor, entrepreneur and CEO. It helps to focus on what larger companies cannot see or consider too risky. Founders should develop two kinds of business plans: an execution plan bottom-up, line-of-sight; achievable with 90 percent certainty and an aspiration plan top-down; with perhaps 50 percent certainty. Annual plans should be updated every quarter, thus creating a rolling forecast.
Hiring should be based not just on employee skills but on their ambition, grit, comfort with uncertainty, low ego, and ability to learn. Risk-taking, improvisation, trust and teamwork are part of the startup journey. Team players need to be open to the unknown, but should not let go of their collective vision. Some companies may offer free food eg. Google, Facebook but others do not eg.
Apple, Amazon. Sometimes, experts will need to be hired on a part-time basis. Professionalism in the workforce is essential, but so are dreams and mission. Frugality should be valued and practised, right from the top management. This includes income statement, cash flow statement, balance sheet, working capital schedule, debt and cash schedule.
Financial cultures vary with different sectors.
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The financial goals should be aligned with business goals, eg. Unit economics reveal whether your business is viable. In technology businesses, decreasing costs can change the growth profile in the long run, eg. Business model assumptions needed to be tested carefully, eg. The cash flow statement should show the way you proportion and prioritise your resources.
Balance sheets over time should reflect assets, liabilities and variances. Not all businesses need venture capital; bank loans and crowdfunding are other external options. Investors will also demand board positions. In the long term, investors are looking for liquidity; if this is not your goal, then venture capital is not for you. Meet potential investors well in advance; do research on their portfolios and alumni, covering successes as well as failures.
What do successful people like Bill Gates and Mother Teresa have in common? This is the measure of success we need to apply while we are on our journey to success. Read more leadership articles. Skip to content. Menu Menu.
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How To Become A Successful Entrepreneur - The British Library
Social Media Strategy. Building Your Team. Market needs have always been dynamic: both the business and consumer worlds are ever-changing and what worked years, even months ago might not work tomorrow. Successful entrepreneurs are never too proud to accept when there are new opportunities to enhance their offering and better satisfy the needs of their customers and the market as a whole.
A product developed strictly for your own needs would be classed more like a hobby; however, a product developed for the market must be designed to satisfy evolving market needs. There are no two ways about it, business relationships matter. Almost always businesses will prefer to work with companies they like and trust. Your ability to nurture long-term working relationships with like-minded entrepreneurs within your industry will be one of the key factors in the long-term success of the business.
Business relationships also include access to finance too. Every entrepreneur wants the very best opportunity to see their business proposition become an established company.
This means entrepreneurs have to become highly investable. By nurturing relationships with angel and seed investors, venture capitalists, private investors and even banks, you can set the wheels in motion to secure that all-important entrepreneur funding. Even the richest, most experienced entrepreneurs cannot be good at everything!
All entrepreneurs require a team of people around them that complement their skills. By inspiring and investing in your team, not only will they succeed but the business itself will too. Sometimes entrepreneurs can be found guilty of being wedded to their spreadsheets and the data. In some cases, your gut instinct and heart are still your very best guide for decision-making. Ultimately, no-one knows as much about your business as you do!
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Learn from the best Even the very best entrepreneurs of our time worked with other experts in their industry before going it alone. Stay hungry and ambitious Running a successful business is not an ego trip for successful entrepreneurs.