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13 Quotes Every Entrepreneur Needs To “Get” To Succeed

  1. “Shallow men believe in luck…Strong men believe in cause and effect. [via Ralph Waldow Emerson].”
  2. “Of the six people who started PayPal, four had built bombs in high school.”
  3. “A startup is a team of people on a mission, and a good culture is just what that looks like on the inside.”
  4. “If your product requires advertising or salespeople to sell it, it’s not good enough.”
  5. “It’s always a red flag when entrepreneurs talk about getting 1% of a $100 billion market. In practice, a large market will either lack a good starting point or it will be open to competition so it’s hard to ever reach that %1. And even if you do succeed at gaining a small foothold, you’ll have to be satisfied with keeping the lights on: cut-throat competition means your profits will be zero.”
  6. “The most contentious question in business is whether success comes from luck or skill…Steve Jobs, Jack Dorsey, and Elon Musk, have created several multibillion-dollar companies. If success was mostly a matter of luck, these types of serial entrepreneurs probably wouldn’t exist.”
  7. “Forget ‘minimal viable products’—ever since he started Apple in 1976, Jobs saw that you can change the world through careful planning, not by listening to focus group feedback or copying other’s success.”
  8. “Long-term planning is often undervalued by our indefinite short-term world.”
  9. “Founders only sell when they have no more concrete visions for the company, in which case the acquirer probably overpaid; definite founders with robust plans don’t sell, which means the offer wasn’t high enough. When Yahoo! offered to buy Facebook for $1 billion in July 2006, I thought we should at least consider it. But Mark Zuckerberg walked into the board meeting and announced: “Okay, guys, this is just a formality, it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. We’re obviously not going to sell here.’”
  10. “A startup is the largest endeavor over which you can have definite mastery. You can have agency not just over your own life, but over a small and important part of the world. It begins by rejecting the unjust tyranny of Chance. You are not a lottery ticket.”
  11. “Once you think that you’re playing the lottery, you’ve already psychologically prepared yourself to lose.”
  12. “Every startup is small at the start. Every monopoly dominates a large share of its market.Therefore, every startup should start with a very small market. Always err on the side of starting too small.”
  13. “Everybody has a product to sell—no matter whether you’re an employee, a founder, or an investor. It’s true even if your company consists of just you and your computer. Look around. If you don’t see any salespeople, you’re the salesperson.”