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Get Up and Get Going!

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Ironically, entrepreneurs who should have this bias toward action often can't get going. They are victims of engineering creeping elegance where they always want to add one more feature. Or they are marketing people and they need that external validation. They want to prove that there's the market. They have to read one more consulting study. Or they're trying to get a focus group to prove that the product works. They need one more focus group, one more test week, one more something. It's a bunch of crap. So here's the three recommendations about getting going. The first is you've got to think different as an entrepreneur. Your goal should not be to do something 10 or 15 or 20% better. It should be to do something 10 times better. It should not be a slightly better Apple 2. It should not be a slightly better MS-DOS. It should be a completely different operating system. Think different. Build the product or service that you love. I moderated a panel on Saturday where a venture capitalist from Sequoia was on the panel. And he said that the best source of entrepreneurial talent for Sequoia, the best places and companies to fund, are people under 30 years old who are solving a personal problem. Hence, Google. Hence, Yahoo. Hence, Cisco. That's the kind of sweet spot for a venture capitalist. Think different. Don't just do the 15th thing. Think different. The second point about getting going is, do not be afraid of polarizing people. You know, many people are afraid to polarize people that "My God, some people might not like what we do." And so they try to create this product or service that everybody likes. That is impossible. You should not be afraid of polarizing people. I'm not saying you should go and intentionally piss them off, but you should not be afraid of polarizing people. The ideal situation is where some people really love your product and some people hate your product, but very few people feel sort of disinterested or neutral towards your product. You know, something like the Toyota Scion xB. You either love that design and you think it's very cool, or you think that's a refrigerator on wheels. But there is nothing in the middle. There's nothing in the middle. Same thing with the MINI Cooper. Same thing with the Murano. Same thing with the Macintosh. Same thing with the Harley Davidson. Either love the product or hate the product. But don't be afraid to polarize people. And the third point is, you need to find a few soul mates. I think there's a vast myth about entrepreneurship that it's Steve Jobs changing the world single-handedly, Bill Gates changing the world single-handedly, Richard Branson changing the world single-handedly, Anita Roddick changing the world single-handedly, Mary Kay changing the world single-handedly. It's not true. It's not true. You need soul mates. You need, I think, ideally three people in a founding team. Because when one person falls down, you need the other two people to pick you up. And when one person is cold, you need other people to hug you and keep you warm. It's very hard to keep yourself warm. It's very hard to hug yourself. All right? So find a soul mate. For Bill Gates, there was Steve Ballmer. For Steve Jobs, there was