Here are some quick notes from a lesser known talk Chamath Palihapitiya gave at the Disruptive Innovation University.
- How do you get a group of people to understand the context of what you are making/doing?
- How do you make decisions that are analytical and measurable to scrub out the anecdotes and lore?
- Is there a systematic way of making your company successful?
Successful companies share a few things in common:
A collection of people with a mission, who embody a similar set of values, that understand the context and are not able to bullshit themselves.
Grit comes from a personalized struggle of something that you care about.
Ask Yourself: What is the limiting resource?
Humans solve problems out of limited resources and boundaries
Twitter — limited your tweets to 41 characters
Facebook — only allowed students to add people from their schools (college first — then primary schools)
There is always a scarce resource somewhere…what is limiting progress?
Moat Principle: Have something that no-one can simply duplicate. “clean water” in a bottle is abundant, but in the past it was scarce.
The abundance of competition is not the path to success.
When you identify a real scarce resource, most people will think that you are crazy. positive signals = bad sign. negative signals/confusion = good sign.
- Identify something that is scarce
- Build an elegant Abstraction — How to implement the idea. Most people who do not understand an idea, simply cannot support it.
Find ways to solve problems in an abstracted way that many can understand.
Get the community to help you develop the product
— Create APIs so that third-party developers can make it excellent.
— Ask users to donate to your company if you want to.
— People have an emotional attachment to things and want to see us succeed.
when you build something correctly, your users become your advocates.
Users are in three states:
people who have never heard about you.
people who have tried your product but have stopped using it.
people who use and love your product.
Any successful company will manage these user state changes.
Chamath’s Rule: Your Idea must create something that becomes extremely abundant and creates parallel scarcity.
Intel —computers abundant ->IBM
Cisco -> computers talking to each other
Windows — Operating systems on top of computers abundant -> Applications for Operating systems ->
Internet -> websites for internet -> services and products for internet
Find the problems and resources that are limited and broken.
Designing leverage into your product
— Measure things
— Try all kinds of random things
— Drain the ego out of running a company (ego and arrogance are poisonous)
You do not need to invent everything.
Here is eBay’s framework:
Acquisition — Get the slowest growth possible and get the people that LOVE it to use it and champion it.
Get the 500 people who love your product versus the many that your product/service could be marketed to.
Create slow, predictable, but high-quality growth.
Monitor how people use the product, and go with that — the Amazon way.
Figure out the AHA/Eureka moment
Ex: for twitter — this person that you care about “follows you”.
Create an emotional moment, that shows users that you care about them.
Ask Yourself: How can you deliver this moment to users as soon as possible? (In seconds if possible)
Try to give them moments like that all the time to create better— engagement.
Use the product yourself. You are your best customer. Until you have true users, aha moments, and repetitive moments, only then can you ask them to make it viral. (predictable growth)
Eliminate the lore.
Most people are bullshitting. stick to the numbers.
Invalidate things not supported by the numbers/data no matter who says it.
Culture Wins over capability every time.