Entrepreneurial Wisdom


Learning from the mistakes of others can be one of the single biggest *shortcuts* on the path to success. Here are some recent remarks from some entrepreneurs who have “been there and done that.”

Build a Strong Team of Generalists Who Can Specialize – Avichal Garg

Find team members who complement each other but who can jump in to do anything. For example, if you are building a team of engineers, find great engineers, some of whom think about the front-end, some about the back-end, some about speed, but all of whom can jump in wherever and whenever needed to build a part of the product.

Do the Simplest Thing Possible – David Weekly

You’re probably pretty smart so you’ve probably built out a very elaborate scheme / architecture / process for achieving world peace while becoming fabulously wealthy. Drop it. This big-picture kind of stuff is pure intellectual masturbation. Instead, ask yourself, almost as a joke, what the absolute simplest possible version of the idea would be – challenge yourself to something you can do in a day. You may be surprised (positively or negatively!) by the results.


Bigger than You – Sumaya Kazi

Surround yourself with people smarter than yourself. It can only breed success.



Don’t Worry if You Don’t Have All the Answers – Craig Walker

People will try to poke holes in your ideas from every angle. Regardless of your answers, you can’t convince everybody it’s the greatest idea in the world. Just keep working and executing. The answers will come or you’ll learn to make adjustments on the fly.

Passion & Failure – Angie Chang

Most importantly, be passionate about your startup and enjoy it while it lasts! A failure can prove positive if you succeed in learning from your mistakes along the way.

Put Community First – Tara Hunt & Chris Messina

This is something that in practice is very hard to do when you have budgets and bills to deal with, but for the long term viability of your project, you really do need to put community in the lead of all your decision. Now, to be sure, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you bend to every whim of your community, but that instead, you act as a gatekeeper to what gets in and what experiences your community has. You are your community’s first and last line of defense and if you side with anyone *but* your community, you’ll shortly thereafter have no community to advocate for.

Drink Your Own Artificially Flavored Fruit Beverage – Matt Curry

You should be using your own product on a daily basis as an end user would. If you find some user interface element awkward or are constantly thinking, “if only we had this feature”, then chances are your users are saying the same thing. The great thing is since this is your site you can fix it and make everyone happy.

The above “words of wisdom” are courtesy of the interviews from Center Networks.

By Micah Davis

6 Responses

  1. This is a really powerful blog entry Micah. A couple of these quotes have become my reality on ventures – hard lessons. In fact one of these is making think I should move on from one particular venture. I have saved your blog in my delicious.


  2. Stephen…glad to hear that you got something out of the quotes. Indeed, many choices can be tough to make but they are typically the ones that determine the results. Best of wishes in your current ventures.


  3. Great entry… Thanks for pulling that together. there are many folks out there who can benefit from this and I am going to try to get them to read it.

  4. David…thank you for your kind words. I look forward to sharing some more info and experiences that you and others will find beneficial.

  5. Christopher

    very sensible post

  6. Love your site. It’s very informative and well put together. I’m working on a site right now called last supper sociology. I’m trying to get as many people as possible to take part in this study of what is most important to people. Please feel free to check it out.

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