Advisor Whiplash

Ask 10 people for advice on your idea and you’ll get 10 different prescriptions. Which one do you follow? I see this all the time at some of the world’s top accelerators where the problem is even further exacerbated because these teams have access to lots of recently successful entrepreneurs. These seasoned entrepreneurs are paying […]

Are You Valuing Your Time Correctly?

Most people don’t value their time correctly. They think that as long as they are working on their ideas on the side or on company-time, they can afford to take as long as needed. This isn’t true. Of all the resources, time is our scarcest resource. While all other resources can fluctuate up or down, […]

Constraints Are Gifts

Here’s the dictionary definition of constraint: Constraint (noun): something that limits or restricts someone or something. Most people view constraints as a negative thing. They either fall victim to these constrains and revise their ambition downwards, or confront these constraints head-on and look for ways to eliminate them. Constraints are neither good nor bad. Every […]

How to Find an Idea Whose Time Has Come

In response to my last post on “The Power of A Good Strategy”, I got a number of emails citing timing, versus strategy, as the top reason why Facebook succeeded. These emails also came with a link to a recent Bill Gross TED talk where he found timing to be the single most important factor in a startup’s success among 4 other criteria that he studied.

The problem I have with timing as a success factor is it very easily falls prey to survivor and hindsight bias. The bigger question is how does one quickly tell apart an idea whose time has come versus not?

The Power of a Good Strategy

When Mark Zuckerburg started Facebook in 2004, he wasn’t the first building a social networking platform. There were dozens of other social networking platforms before his – many with millions of dollars in funding and millions of users. Yet, he still managed to build the largest social networking platform on the planet.

How did Facebook manage to win against bigger and better funded competitors who had a huge head-start over them? The answer: Facebook won on strategy – not on an original founding vision or an inherent unfair advantage.

Vision Strategy Product Pyramid