What makes a great entrepreneur? Is it the skills, the mindset, or perhaps the money? So I had a golden opportunity to attend a 2-day conference – Silicon Valley Comes to Malaysia and this conference brought together many great entrepreneurs including Shawn Fanning (co-founder of Napster), Jawed Karim (co-founder of YouTube), Jeff Hoffman (co-founder of Priceline.com), Konstantin Guricke (co-founder of LinkedIn), Naval Ravikant (founder of AngelList), Jonas Kjellberg, Paul Bragiel and many more to encourage and assist local entrepreneurs here in their endeavors.
The two-day conference was filled with power packed sessions and the opportunity to network and build relationships with other entrepreneurs was amazing. I even bumped into Krystle (@mskrys) from Twylah for the first time beyond the avatar.
Okay, enough talking. Let’s (finally) dive into the 14 attributes of how you can make it as an entrepreneur I took home from the Silicon Valley icons themselves:
#1: Codes are the new literacy.
You cannot afford to be technologically illiterate when the world is now built on codes. Learn to code!
#2: Do something that can accelerate and you like.
Start something that is scale-able. Not because of the money, but because it is your passion.
#3: Know what your customers want.
Never get your friend to test your product. Go to the customers.
#4: Given a choice and a limited budget, spend on marketing, NOT an office.
You want to have an office like Google but that can wait. Focus on growing your business first.
#5: You cannot do this alone. Get a co-founder.
You’ll definitely need help. If not for extra hands, you’ll need him / her for morale support.
#6: You’re not as smart as you think you are.
The day you think you’re smart, that’s when you grow otherwise. Listen to what others have to say.
#7: Surround yourself with people smarter than you.
Don’t get intimidated by smarter people. You WANT smarter people to work with you.
#8: Play the role you play best and let others do theirs.
Never designate a role that others can’t play their “A” game in.
#9: Build your team around their goals. Not yours.
Have your team know what they want to achieve and work towards their goal. Support is important.
#10: Document your failure.
Never brush a failure aside thinking you’ve learnt from it. Get to it and examine the cause of the failure.
#11: Don’t hire resumes. Hire character and integrity.
Past experiences do not matter. Hire based on who they are and their contribution.
#12: Don’t change the work to fit the people. Your people should fit a specific business objective.
Don’t change your objectives because of your team. Have your team fit into your objectives.
#13: You will fail. More than once. Get over it!
Failure is a part of life. What makes you think you wouldn’t?
#14: Compile data, connect the dots and ask the big question – “What can I do today that I couldn’t yesterday?”
Be aware of what’s happening outside your comfort zone. Look out for opportunities that wasn’t made available yesterday.
My favorite – Q: “What is the secret to success?” A: “When you’re busy looking for that, I was busy working for it”.