Apr 6, 2010

Big companies hire extraordinary people to do ordinary things

Big companies hire extraordinary people to do ordinary things. Entrepreneurs hire ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

This was the punch line Mike O'Donnell began his open floor Q&A addressing all manner of topics pertaining to entrepreneurship.

Actually, there's quite a bit of truth to what he is saying. Having worked in a large organization, it makes perfect sense. And actually makes me quite worried regarding my summer employer, which is a very large bank. The positive will be that there should be more opportunities for me to experiment, fail, and receive coaching in such a large and matrix organization. Yes, I think that's how I will look at it. As an ocean of opportunity.


Here's what I got from entrepreneurship and leadership from hearing Mike:

1) On financing - Money is never the limitation. There is always a surplus of money chasing good ideas.
2) On opportunity - Entrepreneur is someone who sees opportunities everywhere. Problem is he’s not passionate about everything.
3) On salesmanship - He sells the future. He loves to sell the unknown.
4) On finding advisors - Nobody you hire should want a job, those you hire should want wealth.
5) On hiring – Don’t hire, contract out over test period and fire if they don’t perform.
6) On leadership – Without a galvanizing event (deadline) people won’t get anything done; it’s the way we are built.
7) On creativity – Companies have to be able to dismiss earlier ideas. This is creative destruction. (Incidentally, according to Marissa Mayer of Google, CEO Schmidt believes good ideas that someone spent time creating must have some kernel of useful truth in it, and therefore should not be dismissed.)
8) On product – Many entrepreneurs think of application or product. Don’t . Think instead of platform.
9) On question to ask – Does it scale? Test is, does it make money when you sleep.
10) On optimism – Be wildly optimistic. Investors love optimism.
11) On process – a. does it scale? b. prototype, c. referenceable account, d. galvanizing event, e. contract instead of hiring (bootstrapping).

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