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Start-up success is not a consequence of good genes or being in the right place at the right time. Success can be engineered by following the right process, which means it can be learned, which means it can be taught.
When I joined Bill Clinton's start-up presidential campaign in 1991, I was confident that women would play an ever more important role, but I never gave a minute's thought to what would happen if we won. When we did - and I became the first woman to serve as White House press secretary - it changed my life. But it didn't change the world.
Dee Dee Myers
The biggest start-up successes - from Henry Ford to Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg - were pioneered by people from solidly middle-class backgrounds. These founders were not wealthy when they began. They were hungry for success, but knew they had a solid support system to fall back on if they failed.
To be a designer today is to be an entrepreneur. Whether you're a two-man operation in Shoreditch or a 3,000-person, vertically integrated brand, you need to have the wherewithal to run your business through investment, considering everything from start-up funds to your exit plan or what it takes to go public.
In a start-up company, you basically throw out all assumptions every three weeks.
William Lyon Phelps
For me, the winning strategy in any start-up business is, 'Think big but start small.'
It's a special person - and personality - who can lead a start-up to soaring success and sustain that success for the long term. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg are star examples.
With lower start-up costs and a vastly expanded market for online services, the result is a global economy that for the first time will be fully digitally wired-the dream of every cyber-visionary of the early 1990s, finally delivered, a full generation later.
There are a lot of ways to make people not like you, but one of the most powerful - if least fair - is to be really, really successful. Nobody resents the guy who just lost his job. But the guy whose Internet start-up made him a billionaire at 25? That's a whole different kettle of envy.
In the movies, you want a good story and characters that are honest, but you are also looking for a good director who can lead the ship. That's how we look at business. Everybody has a great idea for a start-up, and so do their relatives, and they tell me, 'You gotta build it.' I say, 'I have to believe in it.'
In my first start-up, I had an initial advertising budget of $5 per day total. That would buy us 100 clicks per day. At $5 per day, marketing people scoffed and said that is too small to matter. But if you think about it, to an engineer, 100 real humans everyday giving your product a try means you can really start improving.
Running a start-up is like eating glass. You just start to like the taste of your own blood.
It's really rare for people to have a successful start-up in this industry without a breakthrough product. I'll take it a step further. It has to be a radical product. It has to be something where, when people look at it, at first they say, 'I don't get it, I don't understand it. I think it's too weird, I think it's too unusual.'
Most start-up companies fail and it is smart public policy to help entrepreneurs increase their odds of succeeding. But, the biggest loss to our economy is not all the start-ups that didn't make it: It's the ones that might have been created but weren't.
We've seen that there are a lot of people out there - teenagers in Topeka, housewives in Long Island, millionaire Internet start-up moguls - that all want to connect with each other about what it is to be human.
Launching a start-up, you need to get a lot done quickly. Every day is different. Everyone pitches in with everything. It's easy for the founding team to say, 'We're flexible. We all help out with everything!' But when it comes to making decisions - that flexibility can spell inefficiency and disaster.
Start-up teams are always in flux, so, like all start-ups, we're always talking to candidates for various key roles.
I design my start-up ventures around my own personal beliefs and values.
Incredibly, oil and gas companies don't have to pay certain environmental costs that amount to small change to them, while an offshore wind project start-up is faced with fees that could mean the difference between building a wind farm and packing up and going home.
As one of the first employees at a small cellular phone start-up called Nextel, I gained firsthand experience in how a business grows from an idea to a company that, at its peak, employed many thousands.
Wikistrat is my ninth start-up, so I've been through this process a few times. You have to go with what works. The power of example is compelling, so model the ideas that you want someone to understand.
Thomas P.M. Barnett
For me, having greek yogurt and some granola is the perfect start-up breakfast because it has many benefits. Its filling, healthy and gives me energy to start my day.
I consistently run into young adults who have quickly turned away from traditional jobs at great companies to try their hand at a start-up. I believe that some of this stems from the desire to strike it big like Mark Zuckerberg, but I also believe it is because starting a company has become far cooler than working in one.
Believe it or not, the first spark for everything I've done today came down to me meeting one person in college who changed my life. A student named Anthony Adams who lived across the hall from me in our freshman dorm showed me what it meant to be an 'entrepreneur' when I saw him launch his own start-up company.
I'm rarely invited to start-up parties, but who cares about their trinkets and apps anyway?
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