Platform lesson #8: Instrument your platform for data-driven decisions

William Edwards Demming, the American who helped Japan rebuild itself after World War II, famously said: “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” This is still a lesson most companies haven’t fully incorporated. Once a platform gets a certain amount of traction, the opportunity to make data-driven decisions presents itself. This is incredibly … Read more

Platform lesson #4: Don’t integrate new functionality too quickly

Any solution aiming to stay relevant needs to continuously integrate new, innovative functionality. The main reason is that functionality commoditizes over time so that if we wouldn’t add new features, the entire product or platform would commoditize and become irrelevant. Commodity software isn’t necessarily useless, as proven by quite a bit of open-source software, but … Read more

Entrepreneur lesson #10: It will take twice as long, if you’re lucky

One company I worked with analyzed the businesses they had tried to build over the years. Their analysis showed that the most successful business inside the walls of an already highly successful company took, on average, 7 years to reach 50 million in revenue. And this was with the entire weight, network and customer base … Read more

Entrepreneur lesson #2: Build it and they’ll come is setting yourself up to fail

Entrepreneurs are, by definition, irrational optimists who have strong confidence in what they’re pursuing. Even if all of us can have bouts of doubt, entrepreneurs are managing these doubts and focus on executing on their convictions. The risk, however, is that you start to believe in your own convictions so hard that you fail to … Read more

10 intra/entrepreneur lessons I learned the hard way

Over thirty years ago, I started my first company. Since then, I’ve started more companies, acted as an angel investor in more than ten ventures and as a board member or advisor in several others, and interacted with numerous founders and entrepreneurs. In addition, I’ve collaborated with intrapreneurs inside large organizations trying to get innovations … Read more