17 entrepreneurship points to ponder and practice

Inspiration for Business as Mission

This past summer I taught a university course in entrepreneurship.  I love to use videos of the great entrepreneurs and thought leaders of our time.  Here are seventeen quotes from some of those we studied.1

“First get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats, and then they can figure out where to drive it.”
Jim Collins, Good to Great

“The companies that I really admire the most are the ones that have a deep visceral understanding of why people use their service, and they figure out ways of making money that are completely consistent with how people are feeling and what they are doing at the time.”
Ben Silbermann, Pinterest“Every startup should address a real and demonstrated need in the world. If you build a solution to a problem lots of people have, it’s so easy to sell your product to the world.”
Kevin Systrom, Instagram“I’m here to build something for the long-term. Anything else is a distraction.”
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook“To me, business isn’t about wearing suits or pleasing stockholders. It’s about being true to yourself, your ideas and focusing on the essentials.”
Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group“You have to be very nimble and very open minded. Your success is going to be very dependent on how you adapt.”
Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp“If you can’t feed a team with two pizzas, it’s too large.”
Jeff Bezos, Amazon“Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect.”
Jack Dorsey, Twitter“Anything that is measured and watched, improves.”
Bob Parsons, GoDaddy“The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.”
Marc Benioff, Salesforce“Always deliver more than expected.”
Larry Page, Google“Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.”
Howard Schultz, Starbucks“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.”
Sara Blakely, Spanx“Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case, you fail by default.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter“The common question that gets asked in business is, ‘why?’ That’s a good question, but an equally valid question is, ‘why not?’”
Jeff Bezos, Amazon

“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.
Marissa Mayer, Yahoo

1    Mavenlink blog, Feb 6, 2017

Larry Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures

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