Friday, 12 April 2013

Summary of Google+ hangout with Keith Ferrazzi, Guy Kawasaki and Noam Wasserman

Here's the main points I picked up during the Google+ hangout with Guy, Keith and Noam - perfectly organized by the guys at Google Campus. Thanks!

I came in a bit late and was was interrupted mid-way so please add whatever I might have missed in the comments section. 

1. Ask yourself, what are the 25 most important people for your business. That definitely should include your spouse, key customers, investors etc.
2. Serve them. Them and others. Gain the PERMISSION to influence. Narcissistic entrepreneurs only take and never give.
3. Find 2-3 people who have your back. The kind of people who have the ability and permission to kick your ass.
4. Candor - having anyone on your team or a customer to choke back what they are thinking is death.

GK: Conduct the first interview by phone. You’ll pick up less visual cues (dress style, color of skin, voice only is a great equalizer that helps you hire more diverse people). Otherwise, founders tend to hire people who are like them. And that's bad.

KF: I got a low-ball offer for my company, $2m. Asked a friend who advised me that I should ask for around $5m. Again, power of relationships that helped me.
NW: The market dictates how much you're worth - you don't.
GK: For every full-time engineer, add $500k to the valuation. For every MBA subtract $250k

IP protection:
GK: I don't have any DRM on my book. You can't stop the pirates. If you can't change anything, don't worry about it.
The more an entrepreneur wants to protect his idea and the more paranoid he is, the crappier the product and usually the entrepreneur himself is.
Any investor who is dumb enough to sign an NDA is not an investor whose money is worth taking.

KF: Share ruthlessly and widely. Was very fortunate when someone I shared my biz idea with gave me pointers on how to improve. Holding back the idea would have been counterproductive. 

KF: I'm making my choice right now. There's 3 options: build your own team, go to an incubator, or go to an agency. I would never go to anybody who doesn't have equity: I need someone's blood, sweat tears and someone to tell me I'm a jackass. Someone I'm paying won't do that. Incubator: Will you get brilliant talent there? I'm relying on creating a beautiful product that doesn't have a buffer between user and experience.

GK: Question of your company whether accelarator, incubator, is a low priority. Much higer priority is:
1. product
2. team (distant second: At the time you have to make a decision, it's hard to tell if you have a good team or not. Early on it's about luck.)
If there are two equal teams, one in an incubator and the other one not - probably the one in an incubator will be more invest-able.

NW: Great new word for failure: "Pivoting". Team is very stable - much harder to hit the "undo" key on the team, so make sure that you decide well on the team.
Question assumes that all incubator are the same. But they are very different from each other. If the team doesn't have any holes then going to an incubator is a waste of time and equity.

KF: What is the 1 hard and 1 soft skill gap you have to make your business great?
Immensely valuable to have people around you (Google Campus helps!) who can help you with that.

NW: You need the faculty of the mentors to help you identify WHAT your holes are.

GK: I would rather pick luck over smarts any time. Bill Gates was very lucky.
But also: Luckiest people also work the hardest.

NW: It's about how you deal with things coming your way. You have to be adaptable as an entrepreneur. Gotta be able to adjust on the fly atc. If you can turn bad luck into opportunity for yourself that's the ultimate entrepreneurial skill.

KF: Luck is outside of our control. But I rather count on relationships than luck.


Post a Comment