Get inspired with a little help from Steve Jobs and Bill Gates – from Apple and Microsoft. Get some quotes that can help you to be inspired. Quotes for marketing and management.
Get inspiration to your next 404 error page here. 20 really cool and creative error 404 pages. And remember to do some SEO work for your 404 pages too.
All the best to you, Henrik
For someone whose original ambition was to become an academic philosopher, Reid Hoffman has done very well as an entrepreneur. After deciding that the world of academia would not allow him to make a big enough impact, Hoffman decided his future lay in digital start-ups. On the back of the success of first Paypal and later LinkedIn he has built an estimated personal fortune of $1.9 billion.
While Hoffman’s latest company LinkedIn has been highly successful, he has also had his share of failures. His first start-up flopped and PayPal nearly went under many times according to Hoffman. Through these experiences Hoffman has learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t work when you are an entrepreneur. To learn from his experience here are the top 12 entrepreneurial lessons from Reid Hoffman.
Don’t Focus on How to Make Money Too Early
Hoffman criticizes the idea that entrepreneurs should be working out their business model early on. For seed stage companies they will still be experimenting. While you might have an idea of what the business model could be, it will probably change in the future. Trying to monetize too early can hinder the company’s growth and future options.
Solve Big Problems
Whether you are trying to solve a big problem or a small one you will still need to turn up for work everyday. Therefore you may as well focus on the bigger opportunities. When looking for opportunities focus on those that could completely change or dominate an existing industry. Paypal revolutionized payment processing and LinkedIn completely changed the way that people professionally network.
Launch Early To Get Feedback
Hoffman states that if you are not embarrassed by the first iteration of your product then you are launching too late. He advises that you launch as early as possible so that you are able to get feedback from the market. You can then use this feedback to add or remove features that your customers desire. You can also ask your network what they think and pivot accordingly.
There Is No Rulebook For Entrepreneurship
When it comes to successful entrepreneurship there are many different ways to succeed. While some entrepreneurs have found success in one way, it doesn’t mean that this is the only way to succeed. Sometimes if you want to be successful you need to be willing break the rules that others have laid out.
Keep Your Focus
The founder of Zynga once asked Reid Hoffman when LinkedIn would be adding games. The answer was “Never!” It is easy to be swayed but what seems to be working for your competitor but it is important to stay focused. While you want to be responsive to the market you should still have a core vision of where you want your company to go and to stick to it.
Fear Can Help You
Many people believe in order to be a successful you need to rid yourself of fear. However Hoffman believes almost the opposite. He says if you are not paranoid then you won’t succeed. He also says even after the success that LinkedIn has experienced that he is still fearful and that it helps to keep him focused.
Your Failures May Bring Benefits Later On
Reid Hoffmans first start-up was SocialNet. The business was largely a failure but it did help to build the foundation of Hoffmans extensive network in Silicon Valley. This network would become very useful later on for Paypal and LinkedIn. Even early failures may bring ancillary benefits later on.
When It Comes To Financing You Need To Think Ahead
Hoffman advises that as soon as you have completed the first round of financing for your company you need to start thinking about the second and third round. If you sit back on your laurels and are satisfied with the first round you will find that you are not prepared when you need more capital.
Look For Team Players
Being able to work in a team is one of the most important skills to look for in new employee hires. Hoffman learned this lesson from Paypal founder Peter Thiel who advised to choose employees who had been involved in some sort of team sport. Hoffman himself played in a soccer team. Being able to shift and pivot as is needed is important but they must also be able to do this as a team. If some people resist the changes the business will lose focus.
See The World From Their Perspective
Whether you are designing a new product or forming a business relationship you must be able to see the world from someone else’s perspective. When creating a product you need to be able to understand what it is like to be in your customer’s shoes. The same is true of creating authentic networking relationships. You must understand the world from their perspective.
Hire People Who Can Learn Fast
For early stage start-ups one of the key characteristics he looks for in employees is the ability to learn fast. He says this is more important than experience. He would choose someone with the ability to react quickly to changing circumstances, to someone with 20 or more years of experience. This is essential for start-ups because the business will usually need to pivot frequently once it is exposed to the market. An example of this is Paypal. In the early days of that company there were many different ideas of what the company could be, so it pivoted often. Originally the company was named Confinity and was designed to serve only as means to transfer payments between palm pilots) If the employees of that company had not been so flexible it would have failed.
Be First or Second
When looking for opportunities try to be the first player in that space. If you have a unique variation on the business then being second might also be ok. However if you are third or fourth then you are too late. Hoffman uses the example of Groupon. A second variation on this Groupon might be successful if executed correctly but a third or fourth variation will likely fail.
Author Bio Tom writes for valuator – click here to learn more about what your website may be worth and what it may fetch when selling.
Did you know that the look of the modern Santa is made by Coca Cola? Well take a ride with me back to the 30s and 40s and see how they made him.
Have you ever heard about the traffic generating wheel? It’s a wheel you will have to start spinning and you can use it for a new website or for a website that is already up and running.
All the best to you, Henrik
The customers have the power online. The customers can find the precise same product as you have online a click away. And somewhere out there the customer can find your product cheaper than you can sell it right?
So how can you put extra value to your website and to your products? The product and the digital value will make you a better product. A better product for the customers and there for also a better product for you. Maybe you know your own value chain, but do you know your customers value chain?
The value chain
You might have heard of the value chain of a company. Here is the short version.
The primary value chain activities are the ones in the bottom – Inbound Logistics – Operations – Outbound Logistics – Marketing / Sales – Service. The goal of all these activities is to create a value that will exceed the cost of providing the product or service and this way generating a profit margin. The inbound logistic is the input materials – including the receiving, warehousing and inventory.
The operations are the activities that transform the inputs into the final products. The outbound logistics are the activities required to get the product to the customers – including warehousing and order fulfillment. Marketing and sale (I love this part because I work in marketing) are the activities involving getting buyers to buy the product and advertising.
Service is the activities like customer support, repair services etc.
The supporting activities are the activities at the top in the image. Porter (yes its my friend Michael E. Porter again – did you read SEO the Porter Way? Porter talks about 4 supporting activities. First procurement – this is the activities involving in purchasing the raw material and other input for the value creating activities. Technology Development – this includes research and development and other technology development used to support the value chain activities.
The human resource management – is everything regarding recruiting development and compensation of employees. At last we have the firm infrastructure – this could be activities such as finance, legal, quality management etc. If you like to read more about the value chain – you should read Michael E. Porter: Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance.
Okay this was the normal company chain. Let’s change our focus to the customers now.
Customer value chain
If you want to give the customer something extra – a digital value – you’ll have to know the customer value chain too. So here it is.
It’s inspired from the buying decision model. First the customer has a need for something. Let’s say the buyer (let’s call him Joe) needs some transportation from his home to his work. He starts to search for solutions – he could take his bike, a bus or maybe buy a car. Well Joe likes to drive a car so he will do that. He goes to his car dealer – try different models, lets his wife pick the color (right?) and buy it.
Now he uses it for work every day. And the effect is that he now has transportation to his job.
The Value Matric Model
Now what will happen if we put the two models together? We get the awesome Value Matric Model
Webshop – Selling clothes
You have a webshop selling clothes. You don’t have any inbound logistics and you don’t have any operations – because you are not producing the clothes yourself. All you do having your website where you are selling your clothes. So you have marketing and sale, outbout logistics (you send the clothes to your customers and you have some customer support.
You webshop is very basic – all you do for the customer helping with the buying – right? So this will look like this
So the question is how will develop your webshop to give your customer more value. The customers have a need for clothes. Maybe its getting cold outside and need warm clothes, or its summertime and they need some light summer clothes. Can you help them in their search? Yes you can. Write about fashion, which colors are hot this year? How can you put different clothes together? Maybe the customer can type their measurement and then search for the clothes that fits them?
Or take a look at this 3D clothes shop. It will be an event to go to your shop and get the clothes. Do you have a blog or social network tell people about all your new clothes? Keep the conversation going. Maybe you have a corporation with a clothes cleaning shop. You see it’s only the imagination that stopping you – remember to think about the customer value chain.
So you might find that you will develop your webshop in the green spots.
Analyze your competitors web shop too using this model to get ideas – or to get ideas different than your competitors. I better stop now and get my coffee.
As always – take care and enjoy…
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