My principles of entrepreneurship

I think entrepreneurship is a subject where no rules can be derived for success. So I rely on these principles for elimination. Most ideas were borrowed from the great minds in the footnotes.

  • Solve a problem that you face yourself1
  • Do not work full-time on something until your customers ask you to1
  • No “marketing” until your first customers do it for you1
  • Optimize for each customers’ experience before optimizing for scale (e.g. investment, workflow)2
  • Monopolies create their own market and draw analogies to existing industries (e.g. Google); homogeneous firms fake niches by drawing intersections of existing markets3
  • Have a secure career back-up4
  • If prototyping allows you to learn, stop hesitating and strategizing. Keep building until it becomes too easy
  • Before selling, know how it was built, even if you do not have the skills to build it yourself
  • Successes are random; failures are deterministic - learn from (others’) failures5
  • Innovation is about iterations6
  • Ideas are worthless without good execution1
  • Invest in a bonded and capable team, rather than a single idea that may have to be pivoted
  • Inverse. Solve or prevent a problem is better than (over-)optimizing an existing solution7

  1. Derek Sivers ↩︎

  2. Paul Graham ↩︎

  3. Peter Thiel ↩︎

  4. Adam Grant ↩︎

  5. Jack Ma ↩︎

  6. Matt Ridley ↩︎

  7. Charlie Munger ↩︎

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Tim

Personalizing medicine

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