October 9, 2005

Intel’s Gordon Moore schools entrepreneurs…

Filed under: Start-up First Aid,Technology — Administrator @ 6:06 pm

…This weekend the Financial Times ran an article entitled, “A wealth of influence: they have a combined worth of more than US$320bn…” Essentially, it was a list of the 25 most influential business people in the world.

…A couple things I noticed: (1) everyone was smiling because their personal wealth was x billions of US$ and (2) Gordon Moore, Chairman Intel, had the best quote…

…Moore said, “Failures are not something to be avoided. You want to have them happen as quickly as you can so you can make progress rapidly…” Well, I think that is one of the smartest things I’ve ever read…

…Keeping with this “failure” theme I thought this was a good time to introduce Don Dodge; he doesn’t know I’m writing about him (strange how that can happen, huh?) but Don is part of Microsoft’s Emerging Business Team out of Boston. I read his blog regularly and I think he has a lot of very interesting things to say…

…What makes Don relevant to us is that he was part of the team that rolled out Napster and has been kind enough to write down four simple lessons he learned from his experience at Napster. I think each lesson can be applied to a host of Chinese start-ups…

(1) Never get too far ahead of the market. Creating new markets, new business models, and value propositions is very difficult and takes lots of time and money. Pioneers are usually unsuccessful, the fast followers make most of the money.

(2) Understand who your customer is, what problem you solve, and how much they are willing to pay for it. Sounds simple enough but you would be surprised how many start-ups get excited about their technology innovations and forget about the basic business proposition.

(3) Never start a business focused on solving a big company’s problem. They don’t know they have a problem…and they are probably right. That is how they got to be so big in the first place. The record labels didn’t know they had a digital distribution problem and were not interested in our solution to it.

(4) Test your assumptions before spending lots of money. Interview your potential customers. Understand what their top 10 problems are. Don’t try to convince them that you have a solution to a problem they don’t know they have. Take a survey of 100 potential customers. Ask them to list their top 10 problems, without prompting from you. If you don’t see your problem area listed…move on to another problem.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Copyright © 2004 - 2012 | Ymer Venture Capital Asia (Hong Kong) Ltd.