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Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs - East Message Board › Lessons from "The Social Network"

Lessons from "The Social Network"

Peter
Wiz4.biz
Group Organizer
San Jose, CA
 

11 Lessons of “The Social Network” - 2011


Presented by Peter, Organizer, Silicon Vy Entrepreneur Meetups 1/11

The movie "The Social Network" – which is about the founding of Facebook – has inspired many to start or grow their entrepreneurial idea. Here are the lessons I see from watching the movie. If you havent already, go see it !!!

1. Sometimes there are more important things in life than going to School. I'm not putting down formal education, but the education of real life can be more important and you can learn what you need later. Bill Gates (MicroSoft) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) both left college to pursue their dreams once they had the vision. Here are some other surprising billionaire college dropouts: Steve Jobs (Apple), Paul Allen (Microsoft), Michael Dell (Computers). People like Richard Branson (Virgin), Walt Disney, Milton Hershey (Chocolate), and Henry Ford didn't even go to college. The lesson here is, when you find your passion, let the inspiration of a great idea help you to soar to new heights of creativity & fulfillment. Share your dreams with anyone who’ll listen. If they catch your passion, ask them to be partners, hire them or use them as advisors.

2. It's not about “Who has an idea, but who can Execute it. There's not that many original ideas. We all get great ideas. It's all about who can take it to market. Facebook happened because Mark had the vision, confidence & discipline to make it happen. So if you have a big idea, you should figure that you probably aren't the only one. Your job is to get busy, making it happen.

 3. Change can happen Fast. "From idea to execution" doesn't have to be forever. Mark is living proof that with enough vision, talent & hard work, you can change your life in a few weeks. If you have a great idea, don't wait on it. Throw yourself into it. Ideas, once executed, have a way of pulling you up out of your current circumstances and elevating you to a whole new level of living that you were never aware of before. In any relationship, business or personal, if you want it to blossom, show up, go for it !!! Your time, research & focus are valuable elements to make your dream come true.

4. Figure out how to be of Value/Service.  Facebook's popularity and quick rise has nothing to do with Mark’sprogramming skills. He could have easily programmed a million different sites. But the site he chose to program provided so much value to the users, that the product sold itself through the strongest way possible: “word-of-mouth”. Facebook unites us. It allows us to express ourselves. It helps us keep in touch with the world and our loved ones. If you want to grow your business, figure out how your product can solve problems and be of service. This is the key to your success. Everything else is just minor details.

5. Content & Community 1st, Revenue 2nd.  I was totally inspired by Mark’s decision to not go for ads in the beginning. One of the best lessons in the movie is, that if you have some-thing cool, don't sell out too quickly. Yes, we are all entrepreneurs and we want to make a buck. Keep your product cool. Put out the best content, build a large community of trusted consumers & users. If you focus on that, the numbers will naturally grow. “When traffic grows, revenues will flow."

6. Visualize success as your final result.  One of the great things about "The Social Network" is that from the beginning, you know that success is on the other end of Mark’s efforts. That gives a wonderful perspective for the viewer, because we know that no matter what struggles he went through, the end result was success. This is a great view to take on your life. No matter what struggles you have in your life, see it all working out and that success will be your end result. It might work on idea one or idea 10,000 (ie, Thomas Edison), but the important thing is to keep success in mind and know that is how your story will end – if you choose it to be.

7. When you have a great product, money finds you. When you've created a great product that gives great value and is of service to your consumers, they will tell their friends. If you keep delivering the same high level of value and also constantly improve the value you are giving, money will find you. Money will find you from your consumers as well as your investors. Investors want to invest in companies with momentum and a story. Because of the Internet and relatively low costs and barriers to enter into many businesses these days, investors want more than an idea. Consumers can't buy an idea; they can only buy hard goods and services. Focus on making the product as amazing as possible and it will begin to sell itself. Let money chase you; don't chase the money.

8. Not getting what you want can be a blessing. Sometimes we are meant for greater things. Many times, creativity is born in the anger of rejection. See the events of your life as playing out perfectly, and if you aren't getting what you want, try to detach and see the bigger picture. From now on, see not getting what you want as a gift from the universe, that leaves room for something much greater to enter. Don't sit around and mope; get creative! Make something happen. Instead of thinking "poor me", figure out how you can create what you want. Who knows, that one person rejecting you could be the start to your own multi-billion-dollar, world-revolution-izing venture.

9. Focus, young Jedi. I love how after getting an inspiration for Facebook, Zuckerberg totally dove into the creation of it. He was so focused and dedicated, that he changed his life forever in less than a month. How many of us can say that? If you have a great idea that lights you up, don't fear what will happen, if you focus all your energy on that. What we think about expands; what we focus upon expands -- focus on your idea! Give yourself over to it and let the journey of following your idea take you to the promised land. You can be sure that on the other side you will be a stronger and wiser person.Don't take your ideas lightly. Nurture a burning desire to make it happen, yesterday. Time waits for no one. Get busy, getting busy. The universe respects focused & bold action. You'll be sur-prised how much progress you can make, when you focus on one thing at a time.

10. Not everyone is going to be happy with you. You are going to ruffle some feathers, if you want to fly. To be successful, you need to develop a shield that reflects the negativity that you will certainly encounter, as you rise. When you stand up and begin to shine, you become a target. Who gives a damn about the negative opinion of others. Get used to critics & haters. Sometimes they have really good things to say and can help you grow. Keep your mind open. Remember that your haters are still watching and can be your top fans.

11. Don't screw over your Friends.  Money changes people. Don't be that person. Make your friendships more important than money. Money comes & goes, but friendships are priceless. You don't want to be the person who is sitting on top of the money pile all alone. Put the top value on building strong relationships and less value on money. Amazing people and love are priceless. Don't take these very precious resources for granted. They make life worth living.

 
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