Monday, June 23, 2008

Entrepreneurial Lesson

I just came across these quotes by way of Michael Arrington's tweet re QuotesDaddy, specifically, they're attributed to Maya Elhalal, an Israeli entrepreneur. Here's her page on QuotesDaddy.

“Fierce competition is usually better news than no competition. At least you know there’s something worth fighting over.”

“Don’t start a venture if the only thing protecting your idea from being copied is staying in stealth mode.”

“The only people you should worry about getting your idea are the ones you’re trying to sell it to.”

“Always assume someone is working on the exact same thing you are, that they started a month earlier and sleep an hour less every night.”

“When you’re trying to raise an investment for your venture, every ‘no’ gets you closer to a ‘yes’ only if you know why you’ve been rejected.”

Love these - I think they capture what I've long believed about starting a company. It's hard for so many founders to follow these recommendations - a few are counterintuitive. I had to post them here to share them and to return to often as mindset reinforcement.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Nicholas Carr & Crashed Cars

I was relaxing on Father's Day reading the Atlantic (it's a magazine, in case you haven't seen print media in a while). The cover story, Is Google Making Us Stupid grabbed my attention. The author, Nicholas Carr points out that many people don't read and think the way they used to as a result of spending so much time on the Internet (scanning, skimming, and clicking off to something else). And he's right. It seems like no one reads the same way that they used to (Can you sit down and read a lengthy article or book without getting distracted by something else?). Does everyone have Attention Deficit Disorder now? Sometimes it feels that way.

Another article in the same edition of The Atlantic hit on a similar point. In Distracting Miss Daisy, John Staddon postulates that we're bad drivers in America (as compared with the UK) because there are so many street signs (not in our line of vision, but off to the side) and inconsistent road rules mixing us up. Again, attention is a core point of this article. He points out that if there were fewer signs and uniform rules (e.g. speed limits standardized based on the kind of road or highway you were on) we wouldn't crash our cars so much, and then say, "I didn't see him coming".

I found both articles fascinating and agree with much of what was said. It reminds me that overcoming short attention spans and distractions are probably a marketeers biggest challenge. Interestingly enough, The Atlantic got my attention with their choice of cover, highlighting the fact that using Google's logo and colors combined with a controversial supposition will always make me look: Image of The Atlantic's July Cover