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Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs - East Message Board › "LESSONS & LIES about Startups"

"LESSONS & LIES about Startups"

Group Organizer
San Jose, CA
Our speaker for Thursday 20 Jan was Jack Herrick - founder & CEO of - a Wiki-based How-To guide.  Prior to starting wikiHow, Jack was co-owner and co-CEO of Under Jack's leadership, eHow became the world's most popular How-to site and was acquired by Demand Media. Previous companies Jack co-founded include Luminescent Technologies, a computational semiconductor lithography technology company &

LIE #1: Most Advice you get is BS
a) People > 30 dont have any creative ideas. b) People < 30 can’t be a good CEOs or managers. c) You have to have started or worked at a Startup. d) You have to been in Business before. e) You can do it all on your own. f) you have to Fail, before you Succeed.

Lesson #1: Increasing your probability of Success by:
- having worked at a Startup to know what they go thru. Ideally, one with a similar product like yours
- Being 1st to Market – which gives you a head start
- Pick a good Co-Founder. Criteria: 1) you get along real well with, 2) ideally, has strengths where you have weakness, 3) has same passion for the business as you do, 4) will hang in there thru tough times
- Ask your Customers, Listen to them & Give them what they want

LIE #3 You need Investors to succeed
- If you have too much $$, it’s too easy to waste it
- Don’t give away too much of your power or the Investors will try to run your company

Lesson #3 It’s not about getting using others Money.

It’s about creating and bringing to people, a product/service that makes a significant contribution to their lives. If you Bootstrap your business, and start to succeed, you’ll get more Investor attention

LIE #4 You have to be a Risk Taker, or Hard Working, or Well Connected, or Super Smart, or a Tech Wiz, or Young, or etc, etc, etc.

Lesson #4 Your Passion is your most important Quality. Are you committed to doing whatever it takes, to bring your idea to market?

LIE #5 You have to catch the Next Wave or don’t swim.

Lesson #5 Where are the best Markets to be in?  Maturing Markets that are leveling off in their growth, if you can find a good niche. Emerging Market, if you can still ride the upswing to some good growth. Future Market is best, if you can get in a the bottom and ride it to the top.

WIKI-HOW is a collaborative effort to build and share the world's largest, highest quality How-To guide. Like Wikipedia, WikiHow is a wiki, in that anyone can write or edit a page on the site. Thousands of people from all over the world have collaboratively written about 100,000 How-To articles. With over 25 million people a month visiting WikiHow, they are the 150th most popular site on the web.

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