Great quotes from my week, and the people you should follow on twitter to get more such inspiration:
"A good start-up requires three core competencies: a designer, a developer and a hustler" - By @Mincmalmo. MINC is a cool incubator and a social gathering spot in Malmø.
"Luck is preparation meets opportunity" - An old favourite, this week brought to me by Anders Fridriksson @andefred, one of the most promising tech entrepreneurs I know.
"In defeat champagne is necessary, in victory obligatory" - No idea who wrote this, I heard it from Ari Wegter, a co-founder of Lovefilm.com. And one of my favourite champagne drinking companions. @arican
"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it". - Another Winston Churchill classic, my business partner Angelica Vargas mentioned it when we were doing concept for FoundersHouse. @angggie
"The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary". Anonymous. But it makes me think of Kasper Hulthin, co-founder of Podio, one of the hardest working founders I know. @hulthin
"If I had asked people what they wanted they would have said faster horses" - Henry Ford. Dont think he is on twitter. Instead follow David Rowan, editor of WiredUK, a real thinker. Fabulous to talk innovation with. @iRowan
If you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big. – Donald Trump. I dont really like this guy, so I am going to credit the quote to Morten Lund, an entrepreneur who simply isn’t capable of thinking anything but big. @ml.
A man’s worth is no greater than the worth of his ambitions. – Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (pre-twitter). My thoughts go to Michael Jackson, Mangrove Capital, because it has such a wise ring to it. And Michael is quite wise. @overdrev
This makes my weeks #ff (follow friday) suggestions:
If you’re a founder or CEO of a tech company then don’t be mistaken. You’re at war for talent. Especially tech talent is incredible valuable. Your success depends on your ability to build a team. So be nice!
You need to build a company, not a product.
Lesson 1: Like in another elite discipline (entrepreneurship is a commercial elite discipline) great people want to work with other great people, because it makes them better. Get rid of mediocre people immediately, otherwise you will let them drag down the culture.
Lesson 2: There is a world of difference between good people and great people (Good is the opposite of great?). That difference is in the attitude. Skills can be learned, attitude cannot.
Lesson 3: You’re always hiring. There are a limited number of people with über-great talent, if you come across one, get them on board.
Work has to be fun!
In case you’ve missed all the motivational literature written the last ten years I’ll sum it up for you: Great people don’t work for money. They work to make a difference, be a part of something bigger than themselves, or to become the best at what they do.
Lesson 1: People expect to enjoy themselves at work, so arrange robot building days, parties, install swings in the office, DJ’s in the corners etc (all of these I know startups who do)
Lesson 2: Your existing employees and team members have to be your best PR machine in attracting new talent. If they’re are not, you need to change something.
Don’t kid yourself - people join companies and quit bosses.
Lesson 1: Don’t be an asshole. Startup founders are obsessive, opinionated and dominating. That’s a fact. But try to curb this and include and listen to people. (if you’re not going to listen anyway, you might as well not hire great people, then get someone average). If you do hire great people, then treat them with respect.
Lesson 2: Stop treating people as employees. It implies you’re more valuable than them and you’re not. In fact without a great team, you’re nothing. You’re all a part of a team. And all team functions are important, also the less sexy ones like bookkeeping and keeping the office clean.
Lesson 3: Your role as a CEO is to keep your team happy, this is your most important task, equal to keeping your customers happy. (Don’t confuse this with being weak, leaders still need to lead. But it does mean you need high EQ, tolerance and empathy)