Think Like an Entrepreneur

by Kurt Jonach posted in Notable
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Robert Greene thinks like an entrepreneur
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The technological changes that will force you and I to think differently about how we live and work have already happened. It helps to think like an entrepreneur.

Keys to Mastery

It’s extraordinary how Robert (48 Laws of Power) Greene’s new book “Mastery” sums up new ideas from Lean Startup methodology, such as Rapid Prototyping and The Pivot. Here’s an excerpt:

Let us say you have an idea for a new product. You can design it on your own and then launch it, but often you notice a discrepancy between your own level of excitement for your product and the somewhat indifferent response of the public. You have not engaged in a dialog with reality, which is the essence of the Current. Instead, it is better to produce a prototype–a form of speculation–and see how people respond to it. Based on the assessments you gain, you can redo the work and launch it again, cycling through this process several times until you perfect it. The responses of the public will make you think more deeply about what you are producing. Such feedback will help make visible what is generally invisible to your eyes–the objective reality of your work and its flaws, as reflected through the eyes of many people.

Robert Greene

Get Your Idea Out There

Product development methodologies such as rapid prototyping and continuous deployment involve getting your entrepreneurial idea out there, in front of real people, and responding to what you learn by fixing what doesn’t work.

Rapid prototyping is one reason Google products spend so much time in beta. Continuous deployment is the reason why your Facebook is always evolving.


In the Lean Startup model, an experiment is more than just a theoretical inquiry; it is also a first product… By the time that product is ready to be distributed widely, it will already have established customers. It will have solved real problems and offer detailed specifications for what needs to be built. Unlike traditional strategic planning or market research process, this specification will be rooted in feedback on what is working today rather than in anticipation of what might work tomorrow.

Eric Ries
The Lean Startup

The Pivot

Eventually, any entrepreneur exhibiting true leadership will have to decide whether to press on amidst challenges, or start off in a new direction. Pivoting is what turned Andrew Mason’s original idea into Groupon. Pivoting is probably what Groupon is doing today.

One of my favorite pivots is when Mike McCue (today of Flipboard) pivoted a product called Tellme away from consumers toward the enterprise. Consumers simply weren’t ready, but Microsoft liked the idea.

The Next Big Thing

In fact, startups that are focused on enterprise are getting attention from venture capital and angel investors alike. Entrepreneurs at a recent TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco were told, “It’s shocking we don’t see more engineers and entrepreneurs interested in enterprise.”

Enterprise companies that are locked into overpriced, underperforming software and hardware solutions are often hesitant to change due to switching cost, and are perhaps unlikely to risk dealing with small, unknown startups. At least one angel investor says all that is about to change: “We’re about to see a trillion-dollar transfer of wealth in Silicon Valley”

My advice: Follow the money.

About Kurt Jonach

Founder + CEO of Forthmedia. Kurt imagined and created the Forthmedia blog.

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