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Archive for April 28th, 2015


Entrepreneurial Wisdom from Bill Gross

What’s most important for the success of your project?

Is it the team? funding? timing? idea? business model?

Recently I heard Bill Gross, one of the most brilliant entrepreneurs of this century, offer a compelling answer – one that changes my views on the formula for success.

This blog is a summary of Bill Gross’ excellent talk.

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5 Key Success Factors

Bill investigated how five key factors affected the success of the 125 companies in his portfolio at Idealab and 125 companies outside of his portfolio.

The factors he considered were:

    1. The Idea: How New is It? Is there a unique truth in the idea? Are there competitive moats you can build around it?
    2. The Team and the Execution: How efficient is the team? How effective is it? How adaptable?
    3. The Business Model: Do you have a clear path to revenues?
    4. The Funding: Can companies that can out money-raise others succeed where the others would fail?
    5. The Timing: Are you too early? Just early? Too late. Right on time? Did that matter a lot?

    Of these 250 companies, Bill picked 10 in each category: five companies that turned into billion-dollar companies, and five that everyone thought would be billion-dollar companies but failed.

    The question: Which variables accounted more for successes?

    What was the MOST Important Factor?

    The No. 1 thing that mattered was TIMING.

    Timing accounted for 42 percent of the successes relative to failures.

    No. 2 was team and execution.

    No. 3 was the idea.

    No. 4 was business model, and last was funding.

    The Explanation

    Funding: Much to the disappointment of the venture capital business, funding as a key success factor came in last. As Bill explains, “Funding mattered the least because you can make a company succeed even if you don’t raise the money.”

    Business Model: The business model ranked low because you can start without a business model. Take Facebook and Twitter, both of which launched without a revenue model.

  1. Some of the best companies add their business model after they find product market fit and demonstrate rapid growth.Idea: You morph the idea. The market is going to change your idea. Here Bill Gross quotes the famous business philosopher, boxer Mike Tyson: “Everybody has a plan until you get punched in the face.”

    As Bill points out, the way the market actually reacts to your first product is a lot like getting punched in the face. Your plan may be good, but it’s going to change.

    Team and Execution: The team is the one that has to look at the market and adapt their product to what they see. If you don’t have a good, complementary team, it’s just not going to happen. But, it’s not the most important factor.

    So why did timing come out on top?

    Timing is Everything

    Sometimes you might have a great idea, but the market just isn’t ready for it. And sometimes, the timing is just right to launch your business.

    Take Airbnb as an example – everybody thinks Airbnb is an incredible business model.

    It is a good business model, BUT “the Airbnb model” had been done multiple times before Airbnb became successful.

    One of the things that accounted for Airbnb’s huge success is that it came out right when the huge recession hit around the world… People needed extra money badly. People were willing to rent out their rooms or their homes.

    Similar timing helped Uber.

    SpaceX was founded and then the Columbia Space Shuttle accident left the U.S. without a reliable launch vehicle.

    So what can you do about it?

    Knowing how critical timing and market acceptance is to your business, what do you do?

    Two options…

    First, you should actually look at your business, the uptake of your product, and the dynamics of the marketplace of your customer to see if they are really ready for what you have.

    If not, adjust your offering to be what they actually need, right now.

    Second, adjust your burn rate (how much money you spend) so you can last long enough so you’re there when the market is actually ready for what you have

  2. Let’s create a world of abundance

    It’s incredible that we now have the data to analyze and rank order the success factors of startups.

    Beyond timing, funding, team… there are many others worth considering, including the proper use of exponential technologies (e.g. 3D printing, cloud computing, A.I., sensors, etc.) and use of the crowd (crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, etc.).

    This is the sort of content and conversations we discuss at my 250-person executive mastermind group called Abundance 360. The program is ~88% filled. You can apply here.

    Share this email with your friends, especially if they are interested in any of the areas outlined above.

    If you’d like to view Bill Gross’ incredibly eloquent talk (which he gave both at DLD and TED), here is a link to Bill’s talk. It’s brief and very worth your time:

    We are living toward incredible times where the only constant is change, and the rate of change is increasing

Patsy Z shared on FB via Peter H. Diamandis

There is nothing more successful than an idea whose time has come!! Indeed…

What’s most important for the success of your project? Is it the team? funding? timing? idea? business model?
Recently I heard Bill Gross, one of the most brilliant entrepreneurs of this century,…

How Future architecture looks like?

We’re entering a new age in architecture — one where we expect our buildings to deliver far more than just shelter.

We want buildings that:

1.  inspire us while helping the environment;

2. buildings that delight our senses while serving the needs of a community;

3.  buildings made possible both by new technology and re-purposed materials.

In my TED Book, The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings, I compiled an architectural cabinet of wonders to celebrate the most innovative buildings of today and tomorrow.

Here are 10 of them, including a reindeer viewing station, an inflatable concert hall and a very clever housing complex.

The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings by Marc Kushner (TED Books/Simon & Schuster) is available now. Watch his talk: Why the buildings of the future will be shaped by … you.

Saudi monarchy is planning to displace prophet Muhammad tomb in Medina.

The green-domed Mosque will be destroyed and the supposed corps of the prophet will be buried in an anonymous location in the cemetery of al-Baqi.

This cemetery contains the corps of many of the Prophet’s family members which were displaced in 1970.

In 1924, as the victorious Saudi Wahhabi troops entered Medina, all the stones on the graves and shrines were removed so that the pilgrims have no idea who might be buried in any location.

L’Arabie saoudite projette de déplacer la tombe du Prophète de l’Islam, Mohammed(s) !

Un plan d’aménagement de la Mosquée sainte de Médine, second lieu saint vénéré par les Musulmans après la Kaaba à La Mecque, fait polémique en Arabie Saoudite.

Visité chaque année par des millions de musulmans du monde entier, pendant le pèlerinage notamment, le tombeau du Prophète de l’Islam Mohammed (p), logé sous le Dôme vert, sera démoli et son corps déplacé vers le cimetière al-Baqi pour y être enterré anonymement !

Le cimetière contient déjà les corps de plusieurs membres de la famille du Prophète Mohammed (s), dont celle de son père qui y a été déplacée dans les années 1970.

En 1924, ce sont toutes les pierres tombales qui furent enlevées, ainsi les pèlerins ignorent qui est enterré à cet endroit !

L’objectif recherché par les autorités saoudiennes est d’empêcher toute visite du tombeau du Prophète Mohammed (s), que les Wahhabites d’Arabie saoudite assimilent à de l’« idolâtrie » alors qu’elle est une pratique appréciée par les musulmans de toutes les écoles islamiques, qui se réfèrent à une citation prophétique faisant l’unanimité !

Andrew Johnson, du journal britannique The Independant, rapporte que ce plan fait partie d’un document de consultation de 61 pages, élaboré par l’universitaire et docteur Ali ben Abdelaziz al-Shabal, de l’Université islamique Imam Mohammed ibn-Saoud à Riyad, et distribué à la Commission de la présidence des deux mosquées saintes du pays (« Committee of the Presidency of the Two Mosques »).

Révélé par un autre universitaire qui en critique le contenu, le document mentionne la destruction du Dôme vert et des chambres entourant la chambre funéraire du Prophète et qui autrefois, étaient occupées par les épouses et les filles du Prophète de l’Islam (s).

Pour le moment, rien n’indique que les propositions figurant dans le document aient été validées. Mais pour le docteur Irfan al-Alawi, directeur de la Fondation pour la recherche du patrimoine islamique (« the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation »), la moindre tentative risque de créer des troubles parmi les Musulmans !

Il ajoute que les alentours de la Mosquée sainte du Prophète de l’Islam (s) ont déjà été détruits et que la Mosquée sainte est entourée de bulldozers…






April 2015

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