Seizing Opportunity

What the greatest technology investors say about Seizing Opportunity

SEIZING OPPORTUNITY POSTS (6 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, Mark Suster’s post appears towards the beginning of the blog page, and Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha’s posts appear towards the end of the blog page.   

REID HOFFMAN & BEN CASNOCHA  (5 posts)

Reid Hoffman & Ben Casnocha:  Curiosity

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

Reid Hoffman & Ben Casnocha: What Sets Great Entrepreneurs Apart

Reid Hoffman & Ben Casnocha:  Achieve Big Success:  Be Contrarian and Right

Reid Hoffman & Ben Casnocha:  Better To Be in Front of a Big Change than Behind It 

 MARK SUSTER  (1 post)

Mark Suster:  Go “Fat” after Hitting Product/Market Fit

Go “Fat” after Hitting Product/Market Fit

Mark Suster Partner Upfront Ventures and former entrepreneur

“[Suster] believe[s] that most companies can exist in the experimentation mode for 3-4 years. They should start “lean”.  If they hit a product /market fit (meaning you suddenly see a massive uptick in usage and/or revenue) then these companies need to go “fat”.  [Otherwise] industry titans around them will eat their lunch.”  Mark Suster, Changes in Software & Venture Capital- Part 2 of 3, June 29, 2011;  

http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2011/06/29/changes-in-software-venture-capital-part-2-of-3/

Note:  ‘Lean’ means minimizing resources as in the Lean Startup strategy espoused by Eric Ries author The Lean Startup.  ‘Fat’ means allocating significant resources to fulfill the mission.   

Better To Be in Front of a Big Change than Behind It

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

 “Plan A is what you’re doing right now. [] Within a Plan A you make minor adjustments as you learn; you iterate regularly.”

“[] [Should] you decide you need to make a bigger change, that’s when you pivot to Plan B. [] It’s changing direction or changing your path to get somewhere based on what you’ve learned along the way.”

“How do you know when to pivot from Plan A [] to a Plan B? [] You’ll rarely know for sure when to pivot or when to persist in what you’re doing.  In general, a lesson from the technology industry is that it’s better to be in front of a big change than to be behind it.  But the question of when to shift exactly is a question of both art and science, intuitive judgment combined with the best feedback or data you can collect []. [Expect] both good luck and bad luck along the way that will open and close unexpected windows of opportunity.

The common presumption is that you shift to Plan B when something isn’t working.  That’s frequently the case but not always. What you’re doing now doesn’t have to be failing for it to make sense to shift. [] If you find that the grass really is greener somewhere else, go there!”  Reid Hoffman & Ben Casnocha, book The Start-up of You, pg 58, 68, 70-71

 

 

 

 

Achieve Big Success: Be Contrarian and Right

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

 “Warren Buffett [the acclaimed investor] has a mantra:  “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”  It’s a competitive edge for him. [] In public market investing, as in many things, you achieve big success when you’re both contrarian and right.”  Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha; The Start-up of You book,  pg 183

 

 

What Sets Great Entrepreneurs Apart

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

“[] what sets the great entrepreneurs apart from the pack is not a high tolerance for risk per se, but their ability to judiciously assess and manage it.  They strategically pursue only those opportunities with enough upside to justify the possible downside.  It’s one of the key skills that makes entrepreneurs successful.

 [] “[I]f you are not genuinely pained by the risk involved in your strategic choices, it’s not much of a strategy,” says Reed Hastings [CEO] of Netflix.”  Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha, The Start-up of You book, pg 176 

 

 

 

 

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)

 

 

Curiosity

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

“There’s one [] mind-set that must be “on” [] to power all the other opportunity-seeking behaviors: curiosity.  Entrepreneurs brim with curiosity: they see opportunity where others see problems, because while others simply complain, entrepreneurs ask Why?  Why the heck doesn’t this annoying product/service work as well as it should?  Is there a better way? And can I make money off it? [] For entrepreneurs this mix translates into supreme alertness for new business opportunities”.   Reid Hoffman & Ben Casnocha, The Start-up of You (book), pg 147