There were once two brothers whose father owned a large ranch in Northern California, in an area that would one day be known as the Silicon Valley. AdVenture ranch had been passed down intact through multiple generations and the boys' father wanted to ensure it would pass to his heirs undivided. As such, he devised a test by which he would determine which son was worthy of inheriting the entire adVenture ranch. To this end, he gathered a large bundle of sticks and bound them with a thick rawhide cord that had been soaked in brine and dried in the sun, forming an iron bond.
Bro - abbreviation of "Brother", meaning friend or dude. A term of endearment used to denote a familiarity beyond a casual friendship. In the world of Big Dumb Companies ("BDC"), there is little likelihood you will establish a professional relationship with someone outside of your company that goes beyond a casual friendship. At large companies, such behavior is often discouraged and in many organizations, it is even considered unprofessional. However, in the world of startups, relationships that go beyond a casual acquaintance can provide your adVenture with a significant competitive advantage.
The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool. Shakespeare, "As You Like It", Act 5 scene 1 In Mark Twain's masterpieces, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", Huck is portrayed as a ‘fool', whereas Tom is considered ‘wise'. In actuality, Tom's actions are like many unsuccessful entrepreneurs, who are too clever by a half. In contrast, Huck is clearly a ‘wise fool' who very definitely sees the word from The Fringe.
"Now, I return to this young fellow. And the communication I have got to make is, that he has great expectations." Charles Dickens, Great Expectations A: You win a $20M lottery. Several days later, you learn that four other people also had the winning number and thus your actual winnings are reduced by $16M to a total of $4M. B: You win a $2M lottery. Several days later, you learn that due to an accounting glitch, your initial winnings were misreported. Your actual winnings increase by $1M to a total of $3M. In which situation would you be happier?
Warning: tradeshows are highly emotional, ego-driven events - do not get sucked into the hype. Despite what the most earnest Marketing Executive will tell you, tradeshows never make or break a company. Ignore your sales and marketing people when they tell you that your company will be embarrassed if you do not purchase an expansive, $150,000 booth. They should be embarrassed for uttering such ludicrous advice. If one or more of your team members has booth envy, require them to memorize the refrain from Public Enemy’s “Don’t Believe the Hype”.
“You are forty, out of a job, a newlywed, your wife is expecting a baby, you don’t own your own home, you have no specialized qualifications, the only company you ever launched went bankrupt and you have just been sentenced to one year in jail.” Source: Harold Evans, They Made America Pop Quiz: Who was this person and what did they ultimately do with the cards dealt them? The answer is at the end of this entry. Hint: He was an entrepreneur. Are you?
“Inventions have long since reached their limit, and I see no hope of further developments.” Julius Sextus Frontinus, 10 A.D., Roman Engineer It happens to every generation - the feeling that there are no new frontiers. The inevitable gloom that comes knowing that everything worth doing has been done. It even happens to people who should know better, such as David Packard who stated in The HP Way: “During my sophomore year at Stanford…I remember lamenting that I had been born one hundred years too late, that all the frontiers had been conquered and that my generation would be deprived of the pioneering opportunities offered to our forebears. But in fact, we went on to make breathtaking advances in the twentieth century.”
They smile, they laugh on cue and they have a pat response for every conventional interview question. They profess to be entrepreneurs, but are they actually Wantrepreneurs? A Wantrepreneur is a good intentioned person who wants to be an entrepreneur, but does not have the skills, personality and or risk profile to be successful. When the going gets tough (as it always does at any startup) the Wantrepreneurs get going. The costs of hiring a Wantrepreneur during the early stages of your adVenture are dramatic. As such, sometimes you must deploy unconventional tactics to separate the ATM Operating Wantrepreneurs from the Bank Robbing entrepreneurs.
Once you obtain funding, it will be worse than hitting the Lottery. Instead of hearing from your long lost third-cousin, you will be inundated with an avalanche of ‘congratulatory’ emails, calls and letters from people who want to relieve you of the burden of your hard-earned equity round. Many such ‘congratulations’ will come from consultants. An entrepreneur’s two most important assets are her time and money. There is nothing under the sun that will suck up your time and money faster, more prodigiously and less effectively than a consultant.