Friday, March 10, 2006

Entrepreneurship and Insightful Advice

Is it just me or is getting advice and help on starting your own business a whole lot easier these days? Maybe I’ve just been reading quite a few insightful articles and books :) Quite a few of the points I’ve read not only apply to young entrepreneurs but could also be very useful to middle and top management in medium to large sized organizations; at the end of the day they need to achieve their goals as well, but often lose sight of strategy when dealing with the routine of mundane daily activities.

Anyway, I thought I’d share a few of these great articles with you here:

Death by Risk-Aversion at

Ignore the strange typography style :) and the content of this article makes a lot of sense. After all, who hasn't been stuck in mediocrity during some period of their life?

So add one more skill to our career advice for young people: be willing to take risks! Perhaps more importantly, be willing to tolerate (and perhaps even encourage) risk-taking in those who are managed by you. Of course I realize that this is much easier said than done.

Do read the article, it gave me a perspective on my own management style and helped me realize that I've not taken too many risks in the past either, just because of thinking "If this fails it'll get us in a lot of trouble" and not looking at a proposed solution objectively.

Entrepreneurial Proverbs at

A bit too long, but this article cover starting out, paying attention to the idea, choosing the right people to work with, building a product or service and most importantly, money matters.

A few of the points that stand out:

Great things are made by people who share a passion, not by those who have been talked into one -- a corollary of the last; you can spark a passion in someone, but you can't do it without some fuel to catch. Better to wait, and find the person who is already inclined to believe in your cause. You may talk someone into co-founding a company with you, but will they stick with it through ups and downs if they had to be persuaded that hard?

and this one..

Build what you know -- this is the most basic advice of idea generation: scratch an itch you have yourself. To make a great company, stop and ensure that your need is broadly felt, and that your solution is broadly applicable -- not everyone spends their life in front of a computer, remember.

Even the comments in the one are great, don't forget to read them too!

Top Signals of Success for Software Entrepreneurs at

Also a bit long, this one highlights some of the common characteristics of successful entrepreneurs the author has encountered. My favorites:

You are a realist: You tend to look at most things objectively. You see them for what they are. You have ambitions, but not unrealistic ones. When in contentious situations, you’re usually the voice of reason. You keep things in context and tend not to over-react.

and this one:

You work hard: You’re an over-achiever. You’ve never been satisfied delivering the “minimum”. Though you understand the importance of work-life balance (you read about it in a book somewhere), you’re not frequently able to pull it off. When in a group setting where work is divided you somehow always do a disproportional amount of the work.

All of the points highlighted in the article are important, but in my opinion these two are the most.


Kirtan said...

Quite interesting. Thanks for the links.

Nirek said...

Hi Zubin,
"Build what you know -- this is the most basic advice of idea generation"
thats the crux of entrepreneurship. Step in first with what you know, then world is there to teach you all what is needed!
Nice article!

Noi said...

I like the diagram! Its interesting sometimes to see where we are actually at. Great blog.

Greg said...

Thanks for the post, very good advice. I'm a small business counselor with SCORE ( and a marketing communications consultant. I see people in the process of launching businesses often.

Most new business owners don't know where, or how to go about, digesting the overwhelming amount of info now available. BTW, most don't know what "blog" stands for nor have they ever searched for advice on them (knowingly anyway).

I think a lot of the knowledge bloggers share is no more than "preaching to the choire." It's great advice, but I don't get the impression it is hitting the target audience as frequently as we would like.

Blog: Greg Magnus