Jun 8, 2021

Lessons From The Start-Up World

Andrew D. Ellis avatar Andrew D. Ellis
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“If you want to beat the S&P 500, start thinking of the index as a filter and not a benchmark. It’s the starting line; not the finish line.” Andrew D. Ellis, Founder, ThinkingLonger, LLC

Visionaries know “why;” functionaries know “how;” and customers know “what.” Start-ups fail without all three.

If you build a better mousetrap, no one will want it if they’re perfectly happy with the mousetrap they have.

If you want to sell “new, special” vitamins, you better have a lot of money to cover losses until enough people get an insatiable appetite for those vitamins.

Businesses never want to upgrade. They will get by until they can’t.

Businesses won’t spend money on the incremental.

The customer isn’t always right – but it is only the customer that matters.

Lawyers cost a lot but don’t add value; at best, they memorialize it or defend it.

Accountants cost a lot and measure value, but only at a particular moment in time.

Marketers cost a lot, but never want to take responsibility for sales failures.

Salespeople cost a lot, but aren’t useful if they don’t know why a sale did not close.

IP without execution is like an arrow without a bow.

If you’re lucky enough to find a person with a bad headache, you damn well better have an aspirin to sell them.

A final few thoughts on headcount:

  • Businesses should always reduce headcount unless they can’t.
  • Employees should always expect employers to reduce headcount.
  • Some employers are more decent than others; when push comes to shove, don’t expect start-up employers to be decent.
  • But, I’m still here. Can you imagine that?