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How I built this

How I built this

Take an idea and make something tangible out of it. This is the entrepreneurial journey. Guy Raz interviews innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists to create a narrative of their journey from spark to movement in a hugely successful podcast on NPR and now a book called How I Built This.

How I Built This is an inspirational book that works as a practical guide on the entrepreneurial journey.

After interviewing hundreds of founders and CEOs, Raz says they’re just like you and me – people.

They all have sleepless nights and fear of midnight. Most of them feel like scammers at some point. They are not natural superheroes; They are all Clark Kents. The only difference between them and you right now is that when the opportunity arose, they went to the phone booth and put the cloak on. You made the leap.

Raz has drawn the lessons from the shows and structured them to “follow the path we took when we saw their entrepreneurial hero’s journeys from the call to start their business, to the tests and trials of their growth phases, to the goal of being ripe have pursued global brands that we know today. “His goal is to“ pull back the curtain on entrepreneurship, shed light on the black box of entrepreneurial success and create an architecture in which one can think creatively about building something, be it an idea, a movement or, of course, a business . “

Business consulting and life lessons are embedded in these stories of entrepreneurs. If the business trip doesn’t do anything else, it teaches you a lot about yourself. Here are some of those lessons:

The interface between personal passion and problem solving is the place where good ideas are born and lasting companies are built.

Passion is important, but the problem with passion itself is that it can lead you into rabbit holes that only matter to you or problems that only you have.

There are many things that are scary but not dangerous. And there are things that are dangerous but not scary. And these are the things that get you. Failure is scary. Wasting your life is dangerous. It confuses fear with folly, risk for recklessness.

They knew their ideas would work because they knew their stuff.

The truth is that virtually no business is the creation of a single individual, but rather the product of a partnership or even a group of co-founders.

The lows in a startup are so low that few can endure them alone.

Bootstrapping is about using other non-monetary resources to solve problems that you would otherwise hire someone else to solve or throw money on – resources like your time, efforts, your network, as well as your own Talent and your ingenuity.

Really knowing your story – knowing the why – is often the bridge between founding and funding.

It’s a story that exposes the reasons for the company’s existence and sometimes even explains how both the company and the founder managed to be successful for as long as they have been.

Unless you have to give up 5, 10, 20 percent of your business before you are sure what it will look like, you shouldn’t, for people who never care as much as you and your partners don’t take that money .

There is only one reliable way to develop word of mouth: you have to make a really good product. Actually, that’s not exactly true. It just can’t be really good. It has to be so good that someone has to recommend it.

Everyone went out of their way to stay alive, to make it another day, to get their product on the shelves, to get customers in the door, to pay sellers, to get investors to send checks write. All in the hope that when you stand on the balcony overlooking the dance floor below, all you have to do today or tomorrow is one more steady pull that will finally get you out and through.

First Andreessen Horowitz said to him, “What usually looks like good ideas are bad ideas, and what looks like bad ideas are good ideas, because the problem with good ideas is that everyone tries to do them and therefore there is no value can be created there. Second, he said, “You must do what you think is the best person in the world where, given your story, you have a unique proposal to solve a problem.”

The mission is more than just fueling the flames of a fighting spirit when things don’t go your way. It gives your company and you the direction.

The point is, you can do anything right, you can do all the games and still lose the game. The cards are usually stacked against anyone considering starting a business. And yet, if a bounce or two goes your way, you can suddenly get out of the game as a big winner. That’s luck.

The only thing Raz learned from all of the people he interviewed is this:

Be polite; these friendly leaders have friendly companies; this goodness is a powerful tool; This friendliness is free – it costs nothing! – and the return on investment for kindness is higher than that for any financial investment an entrepreneur can make.

As the stories unfold in this book, you will find that all entrepreneurs are good at handling rejection. The entrepreneurial journey is filled with “no”. It is their curiosity that often saved them and set them moving again.

Starting a business is never easy, but if you have it or are thinking about it, you must read this book. (And don’t forget to read the afterword. It’s inspiring and helpful.)

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