The Top Ten Lies of Entrepreneurs

The Top Ten Lies of Entrepreneurs

How To Change The World

It always gives me a kick to read to read business articles that are considered old and yet still are so relevant to the business environment today. Internet marketing is all about speed of implementation, traffic generation and the most effective tools you can use on the internet. How To Change The World, is Guy Kawasaki’s blog and I recommend everyone take a look at it.

Unfortunately, internet marketing today is full of tricks and push button hogwash. It works for the successful internet marketer but not for the other 99% of people who wants to succeed. Business basics does not change, advertising basics does not change. The tools and methods are what is changing in a trend like way. Things like social media and social bookmarking are still considered new concepts but the basic principle behind it has not change since the first bright person marketed their business.

The Top Ten Lies of Entrepreneurs

This blog post was first written in 2006 by Guy Kawasaki. I bet you have heard of him but how many actually read what he has written. Rather than to publish the whole article here, I have opted to summarize it. You can find the entire post at The Top Ten Lies of Entrepreneurs.

1. “Our projections are conservative.” An entrepreneur’s projections are never conservative. If they were, they would be $0.

2. “(Big name research firm) says our market will be $50 billion in 2010.”

3. “(Big name company) is going to sign our purchase order next week.”

4. “Key employees are set to join us as soon as we get funded.”

5. “No one is doing what we’re doing.” This is a bummer of a lie because there are only two logical conclusions. First, no one else is doing this because there is no market for it. Second, the entrepreneur is so clueless that he can’t even use Google to figure out he has competition.

6. “No one can do what we’re doing.” If there’s anything worse than the lack of a market and clueless, it’s arrogance. No one else can do this until the first company does it, and ten others spring up in the next ninety days.

7. “Hurry because several other venture capital firms are interested.” The good news: There are maybe one hundred entrepreneurs in the world who can make this claim. The bad news: The fact that you are reading a blog about venture capital means you’re not one of them.

8. “Oracle is too big/dumb/slow to be a threat.” Larry Ellison has his own jet. He can keep the San Jose Airport open for his late night landings. His boat is so big that it can barely get under the Golden Gate Bridge. There’s a reason why Larry is where he is, and entrepreneurs are where they are, and it’s not that he’s big, dumb, and slow.

9. “We have a proven management team.” Says who? Because the founder worked at Morgan Stanley for a summer? A better strategy is for the entrepreneur to state that (a) she has relevant industry experience; (b) she is going to do whatever it takes to succeed; (c) she is going to surround herself with directors and advisers who are proven; and (d) she’ll step aside whenever it becomes necessary.

10. “Patents make our product defensible.” The optimal number of times to use the P word in a presentation is one. Just once, say, “We have filed patents for what we are doing.” Done. The second time you say it, venture capitalists begin to suspect that you are depending too much on patents for defensibility. The third time you say it, you are holding a sign above your head that says, “I am clueless.”

11. “All we have to do is get 1% of the market.” First, no venture capitalist is interested in a company that is looking to get 1% or so of a market. Frankly, we want our companies to face the wrath of the anti-trust division of the Department of Justice. Second, it’s also not that easy to get 1% of any market, so you look silly pretending that it is. Generally, it’s much better for entrepreneurs to show a realistic appreciation of the difficulty of building a successful company.