10 rules of entrepreneurship

Reid Hoffman, co-founder/chairman of LinkedIn and partner at Greylock Partners, recently spoke to the South by Southwest Interactive Conference in Austin.  During his discussion he shared his Top 10 rules for entreprenuers, a few of which we list below.  Although some may be geared a little more towards very early stage companies, take a minute to enjoy his entire list at Greylock’s blog.

  • Build an amplifying network of advisors.
  • Develop flexible persistence - the sense for when to stay committed to your vision and when to pivot in the face of new realities.
  • You are at least partially wrong about your product.  Launch early enough that you are embarrassed by your first product release, and find out how people are using it.
  • Aspire, but don’t drink your own Kool-Aid.  …[A]lways look for good perspective on how you are doing. It is very easy for creative innovators to get caught up in their own story rather than learning where they should be headed.
  • The best product doesn’t always win; great distribution is even more important.  How will you get your product in the hands of millions or hundreds of millions of people?

Hoffman then adds a little sauce to the dish, urging entrepreneurs to feel free to ignore rules set by other people.  They’re “guidelines, not laws of nature” since entrepreneurs are, by nature, inventors who make new rules.

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