It’s about the game

March 13, 2010

Wallstreet: Money Never Sleeps is soon out on theaters across the globe. In the trailer you can hear Gordon Gekko say “it’s about the game”.

Doing startups is also all about “the game”. The game of scoring. The game of beating the leaders. Beating the best on the market. Scoring by being the sharpest tool in the shed.

Be clear on the mission you have and let everything else fade away.


Why breaking the laws and rules are not creative

March 6, 2010

Many people talk about “think outside the box”. I have started to follow the crowd who say “think inside the box”.

The real creative genius shows itself when you can operate under strict situations and still accomplish miracles.

I even create my own regulations, for me and for everyone I deal with. Tim Ferriss started that trend.

I have rules for more or less everything now. One girl I am chatting with on msn asked me if I was a weirdo or something. She asked “isn’t it hard living your life that disciplined and regulated?”. I said “No, actually, it is very liberating to have all these systems and rules in place. It makes me think less on mundane stuff and it gives me a good excuse to say no to many things and a good excuse to do some other things”.

For example let me give you an idea of systems I have:

-I check emails only at 12 (lunch time) every Monday- Friday.

-I only take business calls between 12 (lunch) and 15 pm, Monday-Friday

-I only give business associates 5 minutes to talk on unscheduled telephone calls. When the 5 minutes are up the call is over. No matter what.

-I only talk on the phone for 15 minutes with business associates if they have scheduled the meeting beforehand and if they have a clear agenda for the call. Otherwise the 5 minute rule is applied.

-I never take face-to-face business meetings. If a meeting is needed I will always send a proxy.

-I only check my Facebook account Friday evenings at 18pm – 19pm.

-I only do banking errands (only online, never physical) on Friday evenings at 18pm-19pm.

-I only do msn chatting sessions Monday-Sundays at 9pm-10pm.

-I never do in person consulting unless I receive at least 1222 USD per hour. And I only do consultancy via telephone/msn chatting session or via email. Never face-to-face (value is not in showing up, value is in delivering results).

There you go, a couple of my own regulations. Try doing whatever you want to accomplish, but do it within the rules of society, within your own regulations etc. That is truly what creativity is all about. Doing the seemingly impossible.

As some money gurus say: Think about yourself as paralyzed/handicapped. What then? If you could not move any other part but your head, your mouth and other facial functions, then what would you do to accomplish whatever you dreamt off? Impossible is a reasonable thought, but it is the wrong thought in this exercise. Just because you are living a handicapped life, or a severely limited life (in terms of resources etc) doesn’t mean you are off the hook. It just means you need to be much more creative and resourceful. Ok? Go ahead, conquer and divide. And please, people, comment. I don’t bite. How can I be of service if I do not get any feedback from you? If I can help you see the world from a slightly new point of view, then why not use it? Until next time…


Jack Welch and how he hires CEO’s

February 27, 2010

Jack Welch is by far one of the best CEO’s in the world history. I watched a youtube interview Thursday this week and what I remembered especially from that interview was how he hired people. This method works equally as well for CEO and COO hiring cases as they do for simpler positions.

It is simply this: line them up (like investment bankers sell companies by lining up bidders) and ask them “why?”. Why should you choose them as your next CEO or COO? Let them sell themselves to you, never the other way around as is usually done.

According to Welch you can never, and should never, be the one who presents to the employee prospects why they should join you. Why you are the best on the block. It will bite you in the ass sooner or later. Because they will see you as a weak manager. Only weak people beg. Strong people demand (or create criterias for others to follow at least).

This goes hand in hand with what I have written about customer sales. Set the price, set the stage and let the customer qualify to do business with you. You can help them along with loan credits etc (only as long as they are credit worthy of course), but never sell out (lowering prices etc). Never act weak. Jack Welch has more credit to his name than me. He is, after all, one of the greatest CEO’s in the history of the business world. If you don’t believe me, believe him.

As you can see, more or less all the information I present here, on this blog, is what the richest guys are already doing in practice (and have been doing for centuries and will continue doing for centuries). They use disqualification methods to build negotiable strength. If you are not in negotiable strength (no matter what the subject. It could be love, sex etc as well as money) then you are toast. Then you will be the dog. You will be the one everyone spanks. To be a winner requires stopping being a follower and a wimp.

Jack Welch also brought up another thing that is also in line with the investment banker reference above. He said: always have a succession strategy. Which basicly means: Have a lot of other CEO’s on stand-by if you need to remove the CEO you have (someday the CEO you have will start to have an ego-trip. They all do. That is the day you bring in the next winner).

Jack Welch mentioned one interesting thing in the interview regarding why companies pay such hugh severance packages (golden parachutes) to CEO’s. It was because of a very bad succession strategy. If you have no other CEO star to put in place, then you have a very bad negotiable position. I know you can all agree with that. So line those stars up and let one of them shine until the ego-trip becomes too big and then fire that ass and bring in the next star on the scene. That will keep your CEO’s and COO’s humble enough, longer. So that you don’t have to change the position all too often. You want to instill that fear in the top dogs. Never let yourself be hostage to the managers.


Do business with the greatest partners of the world!

February 20, 2010

In the beginning you may start with no cash, no credit and no reputation (or even a bad reputation). But over time, as you gain cash strength, gain credit strength and a very good reputation in the marketplace. When you reach that level, start investing as much as you can in doing business only with the world leading suppliers in marketing, sales, customer service, logistics etc.

Why? Well, you know why. Why should you do business with mediocre companies when you could seemingly well do business with the best of companies? Why go through the hassle of doing business with mediocre companies ( even though they might be the cheapest in town) when you could buy yourself less headache by cooperating with the leading sources?

Tim Ferriss looks at it more or less the same way. He says: choose the best guy on any subject. Anthony Robbins says the same thing. He says: Go and read the leading book on a subject and you will become an expert in that field in a lot less time than if you where to read every second rate book. I totally agree. Go to the leading source and cut away the rest. Focus on quality.

If you want to become the best marathon runner in the world, then go and learn from the world champion in marathon. Find the marathon runner who’s record has never been broken (or find the one who holds the current world record in marathon). It is common sense (and as you probably know, common sense is seldom common).

So if you want to build a perfect company: find the world leading suppliers of whatever you need and the pay the price (it will be high, but you sure will get results).

As I mentioned above: if you start from scratch on everything (cash, credit and reputation), then build up your strength first and then quickly advance so as to remove all the headaches. Believe me: if you want to sell a company for a high sticker price, having great suppliers and a well oiled machine is a preferred thing. Even if you do not want to sell your company it is preferably better to have the best guys in the world take care of you than having to manage mediocre suppliers who always seem to need you to do the work for them, no?

Remember: the best company to own is the company that requires close to no input from you in regards to time, energy and money. Your company should be there to support your dreams and your lifestyle (not the other way around). Like a trust fund (remember those trust fund babies). While you are living the luxurius lifestyle on a remote carribean island then the company of yours shall be humming along with the best suppliers of the world.

Your job? Give the suppliers clear directives on what shall be done (this should take no time at all. One email a month should be more than sufficient. Let every supplier you deal with have direct access to a budget account and let your equally as world leading accountant keep track of spending).

Until next time, try it. And remember: your job as the entrepreneur is to act as the chief architect. You are God over your own corporate world. You just need to act as the Creator and let the sharp people do the mechanics.


Extreme bootstrapping

February 14, 2010

Starting a company does not have to be expensive. It is more about being highly selective about how much it should cost to purchase much needed items.

Many people (I have been one of them for a long time until I changed my own mindset) who start companies act as victims to the suppliers. They say stuff like “well, it sounds great to start a company with a few dollars, but you miss the reality of what stuff really cost to purchase”. The thing is, they are wrong. Horribly wrong. The reason others follow industry norms (or whatever they like to call it) is because they obviously are poor capitalists in the first place.

A good capitalist/entrepreneur knows that you shall sell things for a big price, but purchase all stuff for a crazy low price. A capitalist also know that you shall only purchase quality value from desperate sources. Not the opposite source. Unethical? Well, only you can tell, but that is how you need to think.

That is extreme bootstrapping. The less you have to pay to start something up the less you have to invest. Logical, right? So why do people insist on paying more?

So always start with a total budget. Then list all items you need to have in order for you business to start. Focus on the few quality things you absolutely need to have to start the startup, discard the rest. As the author of Go Big or Go Home said “remove the fluff”. I agree. Remove it. Be cold hearted.

Then you look at your total budget and then you decide what each item on your “need to have” list will cost (the amount you will be willing to pay). Never break the budget.

The sharper you are, the less money you need to have to start your business. The more you do something the better you will be at it. It goes with everything in life. The better you become at something the faster you will do it, the less energy you need to invest and the less money it will cost. Just look at Tim Ferriss, the author behind the four hour work week book. He travels around the world and enjoys a lot of luxury in the process because he is a seasoned veteran of travelling. He knows the tricks of the trade so to speak.

What I want you to do now is: look at your current startup and then look at you projected total budget. Now divide it by 10 and do the same project with that new budget and have the world conform to your budget. It sounds crazy, but you need to think like this. It is not a choice, it is a necessity. Remember what I said above: find the desperate quality sellers and get the stuff you absolutely need at the price you have set as the maximum purchasing price. Think about yourself. Be egoistic .

Today I read about Kevin Rose who founded digg.com. He started a web venture with a top budget of $2000. Other people would have said “no, no. Impossible. It will cost at least $100,000 to launch”. There are so many examples of famous founders who do this all the time. It’s a mindset. Even if you have millions of dollars to invest, avoid it. Invest less and you will reach break even faster and you will not bankrupt your life if all things screw up. You want to minimize monetary risk by doing things as described.

The whole idea is to think like a pauper. Imagine you have no money and you can’t get a job and you can’t receive social grants or anything. It’s you and your imagination that will save you from starvation. How would you go about doing it? You really can start a business with no money. I mean there are cans on the streets right? Collect them and get money for them. Voíla, you are in business. The can collecting entrepreneur. Now save 30% of the money you make from those cans and buy food and other stuff with the remaining 70% (remember to buy from desperate sources so as to stretch every dollar further). Use the 30% to invest in advancement. Invest as you purchase everything else: by stretching every dollar through selective purchase from desperate quality sources.

Take care and do not forget to comment.



January 30, 2010

Certain changes are made at the moment so there will be no real posting this week either (except for this one:)). If you have any comments or wishes in regards to topics that should be borught up, then feel free to comment. Have a great weekend. Hope to be able to increase the quality on this blog until next Saturday.


I challenge YOU…

January 23, 2010

There will be no real posting this week. Instead I want to challenge you readers to post something instead. Post about your own startup problems. How did you handle them? What was the outcome of your solutions etc?

To have your startup story posted, just comment on this post. Don’t forget your email adress so I can reach you.

When I email you, you will recieve my email. Just email your story in a Word file format and I will go through it. The most interesting story is published on the blog.

Take care everybody.