Innovation & Creativity

What the greatest technology investors say about Innovation & Creativity

INNOVATION & CREATIVITY POSTS (11 posts)

The following is a list of the post titles by author under this topic.  Scroll further down this page to find the actual blog post by your selected author.   Author’s posts appear in reverse alphabetical order.  For example, following this list, Peter Thiel’s posts appear towards the beginning of the blog page, and Jason Calacanis’ post appears towards the end of the blog page.   

JASON CALACANIS  (1 post)

Jason Calacanis: Probably 95% of Successful Businesses Pivot

DAVID COHEN  (1 post)

David Cohen:  Many Successful People are Deliberate about Randomness

BILL GROSS  (3 posts)

Bill Gross:  The Biggest Entrepreneurial Lesson

Bill Gross:  Lessons from Flops

Bill Gross:  Balance Entrepreneur's Strengths

REID HOFFMAN & BEN CASNOCHA (1 post)

Reid Hoffman & Ben Casnocha:  Entrepreneurial Hustle: Get Resourceful or Die

MARK SUSTER   (1 post)

Mark Suster:  Successful Entrepreneurs have these Qualities

PETER THIEL   (4 posts)

Peter Thiel:   Courage is in Even Shorter Supply than Genius

Peter Thiel:  Answers to Contrarian Questions  Look into the Future

Peter Thiel:   A New Company’s Most Important Strength

Peter Thiel:   The Single Most Powerful Pattern in Successful People

 

 

The Single Most Powerful Pattern in Successful People

Peter Thiel General Partner Founders Fund and former entrepreneur

“[] this book [Zero to One] offers no formula for success. [] because every innovation is new and unique, no authority can prescribe in concrete terms how to be innovative. Indeed, the single most powerful pattern I have noticed is that successful people find value in unexpected places, and they do this by thinking about business from first principles instead of formulas.”   Peter Thiel, Zero to One, copyright 2014, pg 2-3

Answers to Contrarian Questions Look into the Future

Peter Thiel General Partner Founders Fund and former entrepreneur

“Our contrarian question- What important  truth do very few people agree with you on? – is difficult to answer directly.  It may be easier to start with a preliminary: what does everybody agree on? [] If you can identify a delusional popular belief, you can find what lies hidden behind it: the contrarian truth.” 

“The most contrarian thing of all is not to oppose the crowd but to think for yourself.”

“The business version of our contrarian question is: what valuable company is nobody building?  This question is harder than it looks, because your company could create a lot of value without becoming very valuable itself.  Creating value is not enough – you also need to capture some of the value you create.” 

“Most answers to the contrarian question are different ways of seeing the present; good answers are as close as we can come to looking into the future.”  Peter Thiel, Zero to One, copyright 2014, pg 12, 22, 23, 6

A New Company’s Most Important Strength

Peter Thiel General Partner Founders Fund and former entrepreneur

“A new company’s most important strength is new thinking []. This book is about the questions you must ask and answer to succeed in the business of doing new things [].  Because that is what a startup has to do: question received ideas and rethink business from scratch.”   Peter Thiel, Zero to One, copyright 2014, pg 10-11

Successful Entrepreneurs have these Qualities

Mark Suster Partner Upfront Ventures and former entrepreneur

 Suster believes successful entrepreneurs have these qualities:  “1. tenacity, the most important [].  2. street smarts []” including “[] know[ing] [] how customers buy and how to excite them [], [an ability to] spot opportunities that aren’t being met and [] design products to meet these needs. []”. “3. ability to pivot []” which “[] might just be a totally different business model.[]”  “4. resiliency  []. 5. inspiration [].  6. perspiration [].  7. willingness to accept risk []. 8. attention to detail [].  9.  competitiveness []. 10. decisiveness []. 11. domain experience []. 12. integrity  []”.    Mark Suster, Entrepreneur DNA, December 15, 2009;http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/entrepreneur-dna/ What Makes an Entrepreneur (2/11) – Street Smarts December 16, 2009

http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2009/12/16/what-makes-an-entrepreneur-210-street-smarts/

What Makes an Entrepreneur (3/11) – Ability to Pivot December 17, 2009

http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2009/12/17/what-makes-an-entrepreneur-310-ability-to-pivot/

Entrepreneurial Hustle: Get Resourceful or Die

Reid Hoffman angel investor, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman LinkedIn and Partner Greylock & Ben Casnocha entrepreneur

“[Entrepreneurs’] ability to [hustle] well can comprise a competitive advantage.  Entrepreneurs, forever operating with constraints, are the kings and queens of hustle []”. You can’t study in a textbook the “[] entrepreneurial opportunity-generating strategy of [] hustle.”

The founders of Airbnb a short-term property rental marketplace hustled to raise cash by selling cereal, while determining how to scale the business.  “[Investors were impressed with their resourcefulness, enabling them] to raise outside financing, including a Series A investment [Hoffman led at Greylock].”

When Internet radio service Pandora’s business model was threatened with federally-mandated unsustainable cost increases, it organized a lobbying campaign in Congress to buy time to renegotiate royalty payments.  Despite almost 10 years of “lawsuits, unfavorable legislation and [bankruptcy threat], [] resilience [] kept them [alive].” Pandora eventually raised additional Greylock-led financing and completed an IPO in 2011. 

“Both [Airbnb and Pandora] were [] at one point operating with severe resource constraints, [lacking] money,[] know-how, [] connections, [] employees, advisors [and] partners.[] When you have no resources, you create them. [] Caterina Fake the co- founder of Flickr says that the “less money you have, the fewer people and resources you have, the more creative you have to become”.  Get resourceful or die.”  Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha; The Start-up of You book (pg 162-167)

Balance Entrepreneur's Strengths

Bill Gross Founder and CEO business incubator Idealab

“Design a structure around [the entrepreneur’s] strengths, and balance that by hiring complementary skills.”  Gross enjoys working on many different projects, considering himself unfocused--“[] yet for a company to succeed, it needs focus. At Idealab [they] brought people in with skills [Gross] lack[ed]. [They] devised a structure for companies to succeed by staying laser-like focused on their mission, but allowed [Gross] to be involved in multiple companies.”   Bill Gross: Here Are The 12 Lessons I've Learned In My 30 Years Of Being An Entrepreneur, Bill Gross, Chime  Dec. 15, 2011;  http://www.businessinsider.com/bill-gross-lessons-2011-12#lesson-5-recognize-your-strengths-23#ixzz1j68rtWix

Lessons from Flops

Bill Gross Founder and CEO business incubator Idealab   

“[] Though 35 of Idealab's companies have gone public or been acquired, 40 have failed, and Gross says he has learned many valuable lessons from the flops. Among them: It's crucial for company founders to assemble a strong team of complementary talents — not just engineers but socially fluent networkers, logistical wizards, big thinkers. "Where there was strong leadership that came with different points of view, but with mutual trust and respect," [Gross] said, "those companies succeeded more often — it's shocking to me that that is the highest correlation" with a start-up's success.”   Bill Gross,  LA Times article Bill Gross' many business ideas by David Sarno, July 8, 2012;  david.sarno@latimes.com

The Biggest Entrepreneurial Lesson

Bill Gross Founder and CEO business incubator Idealab

“[Perhaps the] biggest, entrepreneurial lesson: All truth passes through three stages. First, an idea is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. Think about it: A breakthrough idea is a crazy idea . . . right until it crosses over to be a big breakthrough idea. You must be willing to face some ridicule and opposition before you can make your idea become self-evident.”  Bill Gross: Here Are The 12 Lessons I've Learned In My 30 Years Of Being An Entrepreneur, Dec. 15, 2011, as quoting German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer;  http://www.businessinsider.com/bill-gross-lessons-2011-12#lesson-12-all-truth-passes-through-three-stages-39#ixzz1j6DvYFem

Many Successful People are Deliberate about Randomness

David Cohen Founder and CEO TechStars, angel investor and former entrepreneur

 “Many [] successful people [] are very deliberate about randomness [like Brad Feld]. [] Brad has regularly held “random days” when he’ll meet anyone to talk about anything [].”  That’s how TechStars arose when Cohen met Feld on a random day.

“Being open to randomness is about more than just taking meetings [].  It’s the idea of trying something you really have no reason to try. Recognize [] that someone you meet or something that you do might ultimately be able to help you in some completely unexpected way.  If you’re not open to randomness, you may miss a huge opportunity [].”   David Cohen, Do More Faster by David Cohen & Brad Feld, copyrt 2011, pg. 109-110

Probably 95% of Successful Businesses Pivot

Jason Calacanis entrepreneur and angel investor

“[] It’s probably 95% of successful businesses pivot.  Nobody gets it right the first time.  By definition because if your first idea is your best idea, then you’re probably not a very dynamic entrepreneur, right?  If you say [] when I was 25 years old [I] came up with my best idea, and I didn’t have another great idea for the next 20 years of my career, something is wrong.”  Jason Calacanis, TWiST Meetup, London vs. Berlin - TWiST #270 @ 45 min., Published on Jun 29, 2012; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_6h8XWfUO8