Entrepreneurial Proverbs Jason 08 Mar 2006

19 comments Latest by Ryan Ripley

Marc Hedlund just posted about his Entrepreneurial Proverbs talk at eTech. It’s a collection of catchy bits of wisdom he’s heard over the years. Marc is a great guy — smart, insightful, patient, experienced, and rational. Take his advice seriously. This list is golden and maybe the best chunk of entrepreneurial wisdom to hit the web in years.

19 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Jamie Huskisson 08 Mar 06

Best article i’ve read on advice for potential Entrepreneurs in a long time.

Mark 08 Mar 06

A valuable link. Thanks.

Brandon 08 Mar 06

Great article… thanks!

ML 08 Mar 06

Really terrific!

John 08 Mar 06

Guys. Do you have a cross-advertisement agreement? Heard this guy talking at a conference in Israel. He mentioned 37s 21 times in a couple of hours.
I thought he was going to pull off his shirt and show a 37s tattoo….

Geoff B 08 Mar 06

Alex - thanks for posting that link. I’m not sure I’d agree that it’s a “much better analysis”, but it certainly is a good and thought-provoking essay on this topic, and makes for a valuable additional read.

Marc Hedlund 08 Mar 06

John: no, I just respect and like the 37s guys. In Israel, I don’t think I mentioned 37s any more often than I mentioned Flickr, another group I respect a huge amount.

See also my point about working with people you like.

sb 08 Mar 06

that’s funny. i used to work for dharmesh shah when pyramid digital solutions was still in the early stages. his brother vipul and i crashed an acura nsx the same day they bought it. wheeee!

Mario Parise 08 Mar 06

How odd, the article gives credit to Mr. JF himself. I’m sure that’s coincidental :P

Seriously though, great advice.

John 08 Mar 06


Didn’t mean to offend you or something. I think that it is ok that 37s are promoting themselves and their friends in their blog as long as they keep the right balance.

Read a post about it today at:
this place

You know. In the end 20-30 thousand people reading this blog are voting with their mouses…

Kendall 08 Mar 06

Good article. thanks for the link.

Levi 08 Mar 06

Great stuff. Thanks for sharing.

“Building to flip is building to flop” Very true…

Guk 08 Mar 06

thanks for the link

Saul Weiner 08 Mar 06

I like the bit about hearing your customers, but not listening to them.

Dharmesh Shah 09 Mar 06

Alex: Though I’m honored to be mentioned alongside Marc, the compliments are underserved.

The proverbs article is actually more about the entrepreneurial experience (and tends to be more “presciptive” whereas I was looking at it more from a “do you have what it takes” kind of thing.

In any case, I really enjoyed “proverbs”.

Alex Bunardzic 09 Mar 06

Dharmesh wrote:

Alex: Though I�m honored to be mentioned alongside Marc, the compliments are underserved.

Dharmesh, I wasn’t trying to give objective evaluation or anything. I was merely stating that I’ve personally got much more mileage from your post than from Marc’s (I actually found Marc’s post a bit underwhelming and on a rambling side, after it being hyped up by JF here). I guess my expectations were set too high by Jason’s praise (he is usually right on with his recommendations).

Maybe it’s because I tend to shy away from the ‘prescriptive’ stuff. I prefer the suggestive stuff, which is what your post offers.

Alex Bunardzic 09 Mar 06

Immediate yes is immediate no — does everyone immediately tell you your idea is great? Run away from it. If the idea is that obvious, the market will be filled with competitors, and you’ll find yourself scrambling. One good test: when the New York Times Magazine puts out its annual “Year in Ideas” issue, is your idea in it? Then don’t do it. You’re already too late.

The above paints the situation with too broad a brush. There are so many exceptions to the situation described above, that I’d have a problem agreeing with the point.

The flip side of it is actually much more important: don’t go into uncharted waters. If you’re planing to cover the territory where the competition is virtually non-existent, that’s a sure fire sign that you’re potentially entering troubled waters. Educating the markets, creating new markets, is an excruciatingly expensive business proposition. Only behemoths like Microsoft, Sun, IBM, Oracle and such have the clout and the financial backing to attempt such a venture.

It is much safer to enter the market where there’s lots of established competition, and then outdo the competition by doing something that offers extra quality. It doesn’t have to be big, as long as it gets recognized as quality.

When Apple started working on their iPod, the market was already saturated with mp3 players. So Apple didn’t have to create that market from scratch. All they had to do is ride the wave and take advantage of the poorly designed products that already existed on the market. It was thus easy for them to deliver the death blow by offering a superior design.

Ryan Ripley 09 Mar 06

The Getting Real book should be a definite required read along with these Proverbs. I’ve just posted on my site (www.ryanripley.com) how using a few of the ideas in the book saved me a long night, and keep the momentum going in my application…

Thanks to 37s for sharing their insights!