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50 Entrepreneurs Offer Valuable Advice

We came across an awesome video created by Blockshelf.com.  It’s a compilation of 50 different interviews from some of the most well known entrepreneurs today.

We took the liberty of scribing all of the advice and listing them by entrepreneur.  Enjoy!


1) Jeff Bezos – Amazon

“Do something you’re very passionate about and don’t try to chase what is, kind of, the hot passion of the day.”

2) Steve Jobs-Apple

“People say you have to have a lot passion for what you’re doing and it’s totally true. And the reason is its so hard that if you don’t any rational person would give up. Its really hard. And you have to do it for a sustain period of time. So if don’t love it. If you’re not having fun doing it and don’t really love it; you’re going to give up.”

3) Pierre Omidyar – eBay

So just go and do it, try, learn from it, you’ll fail at some things that’s the learning experience you’ll need so that, you can take that on to the next experience and don’t let people who you may respect and who you believe and know what they are talking about let them tell you it can’t be done because often they tell you it can’t be done and it’s just because they don’t have the courage to try.

4) Michael Dell – Dell

I think people that look for great ideas to make money or nearly as successful as though as you say, okay what I really love to do? What am I excited about? What I know something about? You know what’s kind of interesting and compelling.

5) Sergey Brin – Google

It’s very rewarding when you work on something you think is goanna make a big difference. And yeah it is a little bit harder but I think the passion that one might bring with it brings so much more energy to that you’re more likely to succeed.

6) Biz Stone – Twitter

You have to have an emotional investment in what you are doing. If you don’t love what you’re doing, failure is pretty much guaranteed. Success is not guaranteed by any means but failure is much more likely if you don’t love what you’re doing.

7) Gary Vaynerchuk – Wine Library

If you know exactly what you want to be, you need to spend this much time with people that are actually that already.

8) Daniel Ek – Spotify

One of the things I do is I crush in lot of things and you can do that in a good way or in bad way but hopefully if you try to get people to motivate why they are doing something and the way of thinking and the worst thing you can end up with is a situation where, you get to, well! This is the way is always better, that is the worst ever, that’s a non answer. Instead ask yourself; given everything you have today instead of the way we make this better.

9) Kevin Rose – Digg, Tiiny

When we are coming about the ideas, we always ask ourselves, what kind of new market this is creating and then also what part of my day and in what problem is it solving and so I have gone as far as taking an entire catalogue of my day from the moment, I like open my eyes and writing down every single thing I do and then asking myself like: is there something here?

10) James Altucher – ‘Choose Yourself’

If you are not coming with ten ideas a day that’s why I have this thing, if I am not filling up this page every single day then, my idea muscle will atrophy and I started this in 2001 and I still do it every single day. You have to come up with the ideas every single day or the idea muscle atrophies. The good news is after about six months of doing that; you are like a machine; like people get surprised by how many ideas you could just have anywhere.

11) Robert Greene – ‘Mastery’

Understand that, naturally nobody will get interested in your idea. The world can care less and you have to persuade them and you have to show that you are the one person out there that can do it.

12) Guy Kawasaki – Apple

When it comes to changing the world, what I learnt from “Steve Jobs” is if you believe in American touch, if you believe in Iphone, Ipod, Ipad; If you believe enough then you will see it because, other people will believe in it, other people will create software, other people will create product. So you need to faster the belief in what you are dreaming so that it becomes a reality. Which is very different in saying “I don’t expect anybody to believe it until I see it” You need people to believe it before they can see it.

13) Steve Wozniak – Apple

Don’t necessarily think that you have to; home run the huge apple computer on your first start. I spent a long time in my life with skills just building little devices for fun. For fun is one of the key things. It’s that drives you think and think and think and make it better and better, better than you ever were if you are doing it for a company. Build things at first for yourself that you would want.

14) Mark Cuban – Broadcast

For somebody aspiring to take things to the next level or to even surpass the wildest dreams, there is always going to be an element of luck. But I think more important is putting yourself in a business that could be a backward us, that really doesn’t have limits. Because, otherwise; there is always going to be a grind to it. But if the business, if it can’t be something that you can visualize every business using or every consumer using; it’s going to be tough to scale to be big enough or to have the pursue value.

15) Sam Altman – Loopt

You want an idea about what you can say, “I know it sounds like a bad idea”. But here specifically why it’s actually a great one. You want to sound crazy? But you want actually be right?

16) Tony Fadell – Nest

When you are trying to differentiate, when you are trying to do something different; there is going to be that Gut moment; that Gut sense; is this right? Is this not right? If you are not having doubt, you are not pushing the boundaries far enough.

17) Danae Ringelmann -Indiegogo

Don’t think about how do I get really get big fast. That will happen if you actually build something super meaningful and super important. So don’t think about what is the quickest way to success. Think about what is the best way to building something important that the world really needs.

18) Simon Sinek – ‘Start With Why’

This little idea explains why some organizations and some leaders are able to inspire while others aren’t. Let me define the terms real quickly. Every single person, every single organization on the planet, knows what they do one hundred percent. Some, know how they do it whether, you call it differential value proposition or your proprietary process or your USP. But very few people, organizations know ‘why they do it’, ‘What they do it’; and by why I don’t mean “to make a profit”; that’s a result, It’s always a result. By “why” I mean what’s your purpose? What’s your cause? What’s your belief? Why does your organization exist?

19) Seth Godin – Marketing guru

When we see a chem with laminates standards different then, we see a vending machine selling laminate even if it’s exactly the same product; because this story around you is what people are paying for. So when I meet small business people, all I ask them is not what theirs balance sheet but what’s their story. Why should I pick you? What do I care about what you’re doing? And if you start giving all this inside baseball statistics about why you are 2 percent better than some other competitor I am already glazed over. Because that is not part of the way I see the world.

20) Evan Williams – Blogger, Twitter, Medium

I have to won this to exit in the world. It is a similar rule; just say, if this was successful and then I was not involved and I got no money after I wasn’t what I wanted to do well. That’s a great check I think to know if you really feel good about the idea and could be passionate about it.

21) Reid Hoffman – LinkedIn

One of the things I would advice entrepreneurs to do is when you have an idea, a classic entrepreneur impulse is the whole of the idea is close to you because all of the ideas are special that’s almost a mistake. It is a mistake because your actual real competitor advantage is not that you have this idea that you have locked away in your closet which may or may not be accurate and you have no idea what it is. Your actual competitor advantage is that, if you’re assembling the intelligence around does this idea work? What is the right team? What are the right learnings? And we are sensually in motion.

22) Jack Dorsey – Twitter, Square

The hardest thing to do is start. We have all these ideas and everyone has an idea. But It is really about executing the idea and attracting other people to help you work on the idea that is the biggest challenge. But the way to begin is to get the idea on your head, try it out, talk about it, program it if you are programmer or make it if you’re are building something.

23) Kevin Systrom – Instagram

You don’t have to be the best but you have to be dangerous. You have to learn just enough to be dangerous to build an idea, concept it and show it to the world and then it turns out there are lots of other people including all the hundred and seventy employees that are working in Instagram are much better doing the stuff than I am. But you need to find people who can be dawn to the idea that you build and then end up taking it and make it even better.

24) Drew Houston – DropBox

One way to conceptualize or makes a good product is good engineering is a part of it, good designing is a part of it. But really is well I think about it is at least is maximizing the probability that someone is shows up the front door of your store, your website or whatever it is and ends up with a soft problem.

25) Brian Chesky – Airbnb

In often times the best methodology is to start with a perfect experience with just one person get that right and then figure how to scale something great and if that scaling seems not right and then trying to improve it and that’s something really hard to do.

26) Peter Thiel – PayPal

I think when you are starting a new business you don’t want to have to go after giant markets, you have to go after small markets and you want to take over those markets quickly.

27) Elon Musk – Tesla, SpaceX

Constantly seek criticism. A well thought out critic of whatever you are doing is by words go and you should seek that from everyone you can but particularly your friends.

28) Alan Schaaf – Imgur

If you not utilizing an online community, then you have disadvantage of using it all. You can be asking online community what they think about you ideas. Or they have any advice on what you are working on. Not only will you hear from people who are passionate about the subject. But you will be hearing from people all around the world each with an own experiences and stories I can help you.

29) Chris Sacca – Baller Investor

There are lot of people from whom we can learn a lot and I think like, the one piece of advice is that, don’t under estimate anyone you come across, whether a blue car worker waiting for the bus, helping you the sever, the bar attender at the restaurant, or a low ranking employee the smartest leaders I have always seen have always gone around the room and asked for everybody’s opinion.

30) Paul Graham – Y Combinator

Most start that fails do it but ultimately, because they did not make something that people wanted. They made something that, they thought people would want but they weren’t. Either in denial about it whether it was actually any good or somebody else came along and made something that people wanted even more.

31) Dennis Crowley – foursquare

The best of advice is that, we have figured out as we believe in four square is not to let other people distract what you do. There is always haters that say, your idea is stupid, this idea is never going to work. Don’t even bother doing that because someone else is going to do it before you there. I you listen to all those negative feedbacks you will never have built things, you will never have prototype things and that is how we really go to where we are. We sort things we wanted to build; we just went out and built them. It turns out when you build stuff that you like to use it is a good trendsetters and thousands of other people wanted to use it too.

32) Eric Ries – The Lean Startup

It is not just about doing photo scripts. It is not just about double checking your vision. It really is about integrating this concept of testing our ideas rigorously throughout the product development process all the marketing process even as we scale out.

33) Leah Busque – TaskRabbit

What you really need to do is to think about what is the smallest possible test that I can run for this idea, for this concert, for this theory get it out there and get customers using that. Because your customers are going to be the ones, to tell you if it is really working or not.

34) Anthony Casalena – Squarespace

There is some kind of expectation that you have to have it in your mind, that’s sort of I am going to change the world sort of make a new universe kind of ambition. But it’s actually okay, really on to just kind of to solve small problems in layers until you actually get to a point we have the capacity to do that.

35) Alexis Ohanian – Reddit, Hipmunk

What this is all come down in doing something exceptional o your user whether it’s in community, whether it’s in connection or whether it’s in design. This is our big advantage as a start up, is that we can actually get away with doing this. We can make this the core part o why we are doing business.

36) Jason Fried, Basecamp

I think you should be spending your money on teaching and sharing and so that might mean hiring a writer to you perhaps instead of a marketing person. Start writing and start people to listen to what you are saying and you can’t talk about yourself all the time because no one is going to come back for that. You need to talk about things that are relevant to your industry or ideas that you have and start to build that audience up.

37) Palmer Luckey – Oculus Rift

I do think that one thing is important is especially your are a Founder or a Technical Founder is to realize that, you can do everything and even if you can you shouldn’t

38) Kamal Ravikant – AngelList

You should find a great partner no matter what it is that you are doing and you should look for someone who is very high intelligence, very high energy and very high integrity. You need all three of those. You can’t compromise on any one of them otherwise you will end up with either someone who is not smart which is doesn’t do any good, or someone who is not hardworking which also doesn’t do any good, or the worst case is you end up with smart hardworking crook. Who ends up working against you interest and integrity is something that takes a lot of time spent with so much to figure out.

39) Ben Silbermann – Pinterest

The first important thing is when you work with people really is that you guys land up on what your goals are, that sounds really basic but you can totally built a small business that makes money and you don’t have to go to your office everyday or you could want to build a huge company, you could want to build your own. But I think you have to be really allied on that.

40) Tony Hsieh – Zappos

When lot of corporations have they might call them core values or guiding principles and so on, but the problem is usually the very laughty sounding that kind of read like a press release the marketing department put out, they sound just like their competitors and may be you learn about it on day one of your job but then it becomes this meaningless play on the lobby wall. We wanted to come up with committable core value by committable meaning, you’re going to hire or fire people based on those values completely independent of their actual job performance.

41) Andrew Mason – Groupon

The definition of values is that, the behaviors or principles that you religiously adhere to within your company. When I say religious, I mean that no amount of data will sway you from those principles. The degree to which that, you have the courage to maintain your conviction around those ideas is the degree to which you’re going to be successful for a long term.

42) Richard Branson – Virgin

A company is simply a group of people and as a leader of the people you have to be a great listener and you have to be a great motivator. You have to be well good at praising and looking for the best in people. People are not different from flowers. If you water flowers they flourish, if you praise people they flourish and that’s a critical tribute of a leader.

43) Andrew Ljung – Soundcloud

So I kind of like have jokingly with a lot of people say that, my job is basically like to be the assistance for the rest to the company. My job is to make sure that, you have everything you need to kick ass like, that’s my job. If you don’t have that, then love me because I am not doing that job.

44) Justin Kan – Justin.tv

You have done a lot of things that’s outside of your control, lot of external circumstances will depend like to determine the success of your idea, and whether they know the market timings are right for this new kind of service. Whether customer might be calm enough for your kind of service, whether we meet the right people who finance our company and many external circumstances unlike outside of your control and by all fact we’ll overcome that and you have to be like okay with that.

45) Jessica Livingston – Y Combinator

Another quality that I think is important, is can’t be flexible minded, open minded; I am not saying you shouldn’t have a vision for your idea or your product but you need to be open to changes.



Zuckerberg_mistakes_zphoto credit:Jason McELweenie changes made by StartUp Mindset

46) Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook

So many things go wrong when you are starting a company and often I think people ask, what mistakes should you avoid making? My answer to that question is don’t even bother trying to avoid mistakes because you going to make tons of mistakes. The important thing is actually learning quickly from whatever mistakes you make and not giving up. There are things every single year in Facebook’s existence that could have killed us so made it so that it just seemed that moving forward and making lot of progress that seemed intractable but you just got to bounce back and you learn and nothing is impossible you just have to keep running though the walls.

47) Marc Andreessen – Andreessen Horowitz

The two things we realize in on our people are two things that sounds simple or they not be very difficult courage and genius. Courage is the one we talk about a lot because it’s the one that people can learn, courage which is to say not giving up at the face of adversity just being absolutely determined to succeed. It is something that you can force yourself to do it. It can be very painful you can force yourself to do it. The genius part is a little bit hard to force yourself to do. Courage without genius might not get you anything to go but genius without courage might certainly won’t.

48) Dustin Moskovitz – Facebook

I think the reality is, just not quite so glamorous there’s an ugly side of being an entrepreneur and also just more importantly would actually spending your time on is just a lot of hard work. As I mention that, you are basically just sitting at your desk, heads down focused, answering customer support emails, doing sales, figuring out hard engineering problems, so it’s really important that you like kind of doing like with eyes wide open.

49) Tim Ferriss – 4 Hour Work Week

Optimism has a place. But I think even more for the first time entrepreneur you need to be pragmatically pessimistic. What I mean by that is, you need to define all of the worst case scenarios in terms of financial loss, time loss, look at what you learnt if that happens and accept and come to terms with that before you ever start. If you don’t do that and you go straight into battling the world, trying to conquer the world with worst kind of glasses on the first time you hit a major hiccup and you going to be really demoralized and you will quit.

50) Emmett Shear – Twitch

If you don’t love you won’t make it through the long period of pain that is inevitable so make sure that you take care of yourself during the process, make sure that you take care of your mental health, your physical health while you are doing it because it is a long road.

StartUp Mindset

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