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Thoughts From The Garage

I had the chance to listen to a great address by Bill Reichert from Garage Ventures at MORGO. He shared a range of thoughts on the new rules for entrepreneurs. I like his observations and ideas on the shifts occurring.

  1. What is the fundamental objective? Is it creating wealth or creating value? Today the emphasis should be on creating value.
  2. Getting started: Shift from brilliant founder to brilliant team. Mythology of the brilliant founder is wrong. Bill gates had his Paul Allen. It’s about the team. Need complimentary attitudes and skills.
  3. Sharing the Vision: Shift from crafting a mission statement to creating a mantra. Be very clear about what you are going to do. Garage Ventures – “we start-up start-ups”.
  4. Management style: “Plan the work, work the plan” to “get going”. Get out in the market and walk the streets. Not going to get there sitting in a conference room and collecting data.
  5. The Business Model: Shift from raise venture capital to bootstrap. Old Rule – raise VC money and then get going. Now, just have to get going. Chances of raising VC money are very low. Most great entrepreneurial companies were started without venture capital – Microsoft, Google, eBay. Lots of ways and resources. Leverage other people’s resources, money, people – go get your first customer.
  6. Foundation of innovation: Old rule = ingenuity (duct tape, number 8 wire…). new rule – it’s all about global know-how. Be global day one. need to have an global strategy and competence day one. NZ is almost always by definition more global.
  7. Competitive Advantage: Shift from first mover to fast Adapter. Bill Gates did not invent the OS. Many of the great companies did not invent the technologies that they are known for. They grabbed innovations around them and integrate them in innovative ways.
  8. Marketing Strategy: Shift from build it and they will come to “everyone has to sell”. Everybody has to know what the customer really wants and how to satisfy those customers.
  9. Pace of Change: Shift from pace of change is accelerating to … change takes time. Bill is right that change takes time but I disagree is that the pace of change hasn’t accelerated and that radio was the fastest adopted technology of the 20th century. Where I agree with Bill is that technology shifts yield false positives… and while these companies inspire greatness, they also inspire a fair degree of delusion.
  10. People trump the technology. Shift from, its all about the technology… to its all about the people.

Interesting ideas and thoughts and a great speech.

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