Carlos Brito of AB-InBev: Three Things Make for a Good Leader (by stanfordbusiness)
- leaders can be formed/trained
- 3 things make a leader a) delivering results regularly b) doing it with the team and c) doing it right, so it’s repeatable
- how do you lead? a) have a dream and convey it to team.
- many of the keys to success are very simple. the difference between the best and the good is whether you actually do it .
- owners are the best because owners are responsible for all the consequences. they have to earn it every day.
- know the difference-makers. know the must-haves.
- you cannot build a great company if you believe in short cuts. there are no short cuts.
Leadership Speaker Series: Les Wexner - Builder of The Limited Brands/Stores
- read about leaders to becomes a better leader
- a complete leader has 3 characteristics a) whole person b) an educator c) a catalyst and sponsor of change
- leaders need to use influence, rather than authority to cause change
- patient decision-making: allow yourself to think things through. understand when exactly you need to give an answer, and say you’ll get an answer to them before that date. be patient in decision-making. allow yourself to sleep on it. there is always some difficulty, some unintended complexity that’s difficult to predict immediately.
- leaders really learn from their lessons
Howard Schultz (4/4/11) - How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul
- everything matters. attention to detail. 6 of 8 or 5 of 7 is failure.
- only attribute you can build with consumers is trust. a long term relationship.
- what does it mean not to be a bystander
- andy grove “only the paranoid survive”
- “get big and stay small”
- during times of crisis, you need to narrow your focus, know what business you’re in, what is your core purpose, what are your values? you can’t fight all battles.
Dennis Crowley (by kevinrose)
- Just teach yourself what you need to know to accomplish your goals. Don’t let your degree be limiting.
- Ship and get feedback.
Birchbox - go way above and beyond to do anything and everything for the customer to make them absolutely love you.
Birchbox: Advice To Founders
Move fast by trying stuff and testing it, learning, and moving on.
One thing I’ve learned, however, is the importance of ensuring your test and the results are as correctly done as possible.
Awesome video from Systrom.
Key take aways:
- Put your product out there fast and get feedback and quickly adapt.
- Nail your beta by using it to build demand for your upcoming product. Ensure your beta testers can have an awesome experience by themselves.
- Be able to answer the 3 problems your product solves. Balance the magnitude of the products you’re solving with focus and frequency.
Drew Houston at Startup Bootcamp.
So many takeaways, but the most basic is this: even though he’s so young, Dropbox is his 6th startup. He has failed in some form 5 times before Dropbox.
If you’re at all interested in building companies, know that even the people who are most successful, seemingly flawless people have tried and failed a few times.
I need to take this advice as well.
Ron Conway at Startup School 2011.
He talks about the characteristics of and stories about defining entrepreneurs.
No other person has more stories or expertise in this area. Watch and enjoy.
Mark Zuckerberg at Startup School 2011 (by johncdavi)
This is a great video. Simply by listening, you glean that he just thinks differently; somewhat reminiscent of Steve Jobs.
- The biggest takeaway for me: It is important, in and of itself, to think differently and to do things differently than what others are doing to solve similar problems. Be able to articulate exactly why and how you are different from others. Have that be a constant reminder.
- You know that he’s got a massive vision. At 6:10, he talks about conversations from sophomore year in college, when he would have conversations with friends about the direction in which the world was moving. They envisioned an API that made everything you did online social. When you think about it, that’s huge. The lesson: have a huge, huge vision.
- Management and building a company share the same principles as engineering = take a problem and decompose it into smaller problems. When you do this, you’ve thought the problems through and there is clarity in the output, whether it be in the code or in the management structure.
- Inflection points in social software: In the same way CD-ROMs faded away in the face of internet based software, we are reaching an inflection point where most of the connections on the web have been established. That being the case, web products that are not social are going to fade away in the face of web software where your friends are there with you and fundamentally involved in the product experience.
- “The point of Facebook is not to use the features of Facebook,” According to Zuckerberg, “it’s to connect and share with the people in your life.” Lesson learned: tie the use of your product to the meaning you’re bringing to the world and let that be the message people come in contact with with interacting with your product.
- This is obvious, but you must do only what you love; what you are fundamentally passionate about. Approach the opportunity from the long term perspective. Get into it for the long term.
Web 2.0 Summit: Vic Gundotra and Sergey Brin, ” A Conversation with…” (by OreillyMedia)
Extremely impressed at Vic’s answers. Not sure if it’s true, but it sounds like they are approaching things intelligently.
- Anytime someone talks about rolling something out slowly, saying we’re taking our time, “trying to do it right”, regardless of whether it’s going well, it sounds like you know what you’re doing.
- It’s endearing when a person takes ownership over an issue. Vic took personal blame for Google+ being unavailable for Google Apps users.
- Behind all the polish from a public speaking perspective, he still was not able to answer the key question which every consumer-facing product head has to answer: how is regular usage of the product looking? Are people using your product more and more? Not a good answer there.
This is so good. Will add commentary soon.
Read it here.
- Parker users the word ‘experience’ 11 times in his email, using phrases like ‘you’ve built an amazing experience,’ ‘the details would have resulted in the wrong user experience,’ ‘you nailed the core experience around which everything else can later be built,’ ‘the bias toward web apps over desktop apps has lead to a broken user experience,’ ‘you have surpassed the product experience we built at Napster in so many ways,’ and the list goes on. Yes, he refers to features, but it’s all about the experience those features come together to create. Importance is on the user experience you create.
- Core values of a product are the themes of your product narrative. What are the characteristics of the core user experience? He articulated them to be a) convenience, b) speed/responsiveness, and c) sampling/discovery of music. This is obvious, but defining the characteristics of your core user experience, *rather than tactical features*. These are the section titles of the narrative of your product, below which you have chapters, which are the interactions and experiences, and then, finally, features that paragraphs of text. That sort of hierarchy allows you to back into features rather than start with them, ensuring a cohesive story.
- Product sequencing. Parker says, “You’ve done a great job with sequencing. You nailed the core experience around which everything else can later be built…As product designers we can never have exactly what we want, when we want it. We have to start by understanding the really important parts and build that core functionality first, then build additional features around that core. Getting serious leverage in the marketplace (distribution) is the most important first order goal.” Having a vision is one thing. Defining the best way to get there so that you bring the essence of what you want to bring to the world to light, while achieving your first order goal of distribution is the hard part.
- How to pitch getting involved. There’s something to be said about concise emails when reaching out to people. Sure. Then you have this two thousand word essay wordily articulating how Parker, possibly only outside of Ek himself, has thought more deeply and accomplished more in digital music than anyone. This pretty paves the way for what Parker then calls an ‘offer of assistance.’ I’ll provide it verbatim. “Let me know how I can be helpful to you with Facebook, platform, viral optimization, investment, etc. I’m eager to participate in all these ways and more.” Lesson here: if you really do have value to offer, if you really do have passion for people you are trying to work with, convey it. Be a little more concise than Parker, though, and know that you’re not Sean Parker. At least not yet (so you may not get a response, etc).