I’ve observed thousands of founders and thought a lot about what it takes to make a huge amount of money or to create something important. Usually, people start off wanting the former and end up wanting the latter.
Here are 13 thoughts about how to achieve such outlier success. Everything here is easier to do once you’ve already reached a baseline degree of success (through privilege or effort) and want to put in the work to turn that into outlier success.  But much of it applies to anyone.
1. Compound yourself
Compounding is magic. Look for it everywhere. Exponential curves are the key to wealth generation.
A medium-sized business that grows 50% in value every year becomes huge in a very short amount of time. Few businesses in the world have true network effects and extreme scalability. But with technology, more and more will. It’s worth a lot of effort to find them and create them.
You also want to be an exponential curve yourself—you should aim for your life to follow an ever-increasing up-and-to-the-right trajectory. It’s important to move towards a career that has a compounding effect—most careers progress fairly linearly.
You don’t want to be in a career where people who have been doing it for two years can be as effective as people who have been doing it for twenty—your rate of learning should always be high. As your career progresses, each unit of work you do should generate more and more results. There are many Continue reading “How To Be Successful”
In the last post, I looked at how to measure risk from different perspectives, with the intent of bringing these risk measures into both corporate finance and valuation. In this post, I will close the circle by converting risk measures into hurdle rates, critical in corporate finance, since they drive whether companies should invest or not, and in valuation, because they determine the values of businesses. As with my other data posts, the focus will remain on what these hurdle rates look like for companies around the world at the start of 2019.
A Quick Introduction
The simplest way to introduce hurdle rates is to look at them from the perspectives of the capital providers to a business. Using a financial balance sheet as my construct, here is a big picture view of these costs:
Thus. the hurdle rate for equity investors, i.e., the cost of equity,
Five years is a long time, so it isn’t a surprise that Ello might have faded from the minds of the people. And after being an initial skeptic, I have quietly become an occasional visitor — more like a lurker on the network, secretly following some fantastic photographers and their creativity. Many are not even my kind of photographs and visuals, but the sheer quality of images is stunning and one can learn so much from these works. Here is a link to the page of trending photos on Ello. But that isn’t all. There are so many amazing artists including this photo/visual surrealist.
It is the antithesis of the likes-fueled, influencer-juiced world of Instagram and its algorithmic overlordship of creativity. If Instagram is the machine and crowd-powered enemy of creativity for the sake of creativity, Ello is just a place where there are fewer judgments about the art. It Continue reading “Hello (Again) Ello”
There has been a lot of talk about inequality. There is a lot of anger bubbling up about it. This anger has roiled our discourse and allowed pure out of the closet socialists to get elected to office.
That’s dangerous to a capitalistic society.
If you want to see how a socialist society winds up, take a peek at what is happening in Venezuela today. I don’t want to hear the “They did it wrong” excuse. China, Russia and everyone else that has tried it did it wrong too. Socialism only works when enforced by the tip of a spear.
In the US, we have abandoned competition. In sports, everyone got a trophy. In dating, rejection was considered untoward so parents and schools would micromanage big events like proms. But, competition brings out the best in people. It brings out the best in outcomes as well.
Last year, I talked wrote 1% of Salesforce’s Revenue Makes a Unicorn. The post talked about the potential in the SaaS ecosystem for startups to identify underserved customers in existing installed bases of incumbents and build big companies serving them better. Kustomer is a customer support software business based in New York that is doing just that. And today they’re announcing two milestones for the business: their $35M Series C and 5x annual growth.
Since we partnered with Kustomer six months ago, more and more companies have become our customers and benefitted from the software Brad and Jeremy have built. They include Ring, Rent the Runway, Glossier, Away Travel, UNTUCKit and Sweetgreen.
There’s a category of businesses who deeply value the relationship with their customer. They don’t call their customer support agents by that name, but by other words: ambassador, relationship manager, guide, friend, and many other words that better Continue reading “Serving the People First Enterprise”
This is one of the hardest questions for me to answer because conflicts are so situational, often personal and if they are hard to resolve they are often complex with multiple resolution paths.
Before we talk about the conflict at hand, we need to look at the founders themselves and ask, are these emotionally mature founders who are self-aware? Most of the founders I work with are highly-driven, highly-skilled, persuasive and passionate individuals, but often they are young and emotionally inexperienced. Sometimes they are older but not very self-aware.
Craig Wortmann of Sales Engine joins Nick to discuss Sales Mastery & Storytelling at Scaling Startups. In this episode, we cover: Craig’s background and how he became involved in the early stage tech community. You’ve spent a lot of time looking at how companies make this difficult transition from the…
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Wait a minute… things are actually getting better — and not worse — for security practitioners today? That’s the contrarian case that Joel de la Garza (former chief security officer at Box and a16z operating partner focused on our security …
Brian and his team at TNC are a substantial force for good in our ever more complex world. Join us to hear more about how TNC and Techstars are working together to help companies get started to address some of the most challenging issues facing our planet.
And, if you are one of those companies, applications for the accelerator are now open. Please apply!
Everyone focuses on their mission. So many focus on their tagline as a way to define themselves. A very few companies think about themselves from the vantage point of values. When it comes to business, values are everything: