The role of good luck in startups, also an important ingredient

Wednesday, 4 November, 2009

While skill, motivation, and some money are essential for starting up any new business, the part that luck plays is often vastly underestimated, writes Paul Graham.

Actually the best model would be to say that the outcome is the product of skill, determination, and luck. No matter how much skill and determination you have, if you roll a zero for luck, the outcome is zero. These quotes about luck are not from founders whose startups failed. Founders who fail quickly tend to blame themselves. Founders who succeed quickly don’t usually realize how lucky they were. It’s the ones in the middle who see how important luck is.

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Poetry to my ears, corporate mission statements remixed

Wednesday, 17 June, 2009

If reading corporate annual reports or mission statements isn’t your thing, perhaps seeing them presented as poetry would make them a tad more palatable?

Corpoetics is a collection of “found” poetry from the websites of well-known brands and corporations. I visited various company websites, found the closest thing to a Corporate Overview, then set about rearranging the words into poetry.

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Rockband’ism: more companies need to rock n roll

Tuesday, 9 December, 2008

Henriette Weber is on a mission to make companies behave like rock bands. I think rockband’ism is something I could become enthusiastic about…

Now when I say rockbands – I don’t mean the puke-y, drunky, nasty stuff that some people would highlight is also a part of rockbands. Therefore I have created my own word “rockband’ism”. This word is the definition of a childhood dream version of being in a rockband – the feeling of being more respected and loved and cool, than a cockroach or a suit on the floor of a company.

Imagine solving management problems by asking “what would a rock band do?”

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A 1400 year old company must be doing something right

Friday, 5 September, 2008

Japanese temple building company Kongo Gumi was established in 578AD and ceased trading in 2007, after being overwhelmed by debt, and an apparent downturn in the temple building industry.

Aside from the inauspicious final chapter however, what was the key to remaining in business for almost a millennium and a half?

Other than favourable economic and trading conditions, family ownership seems to have played a big hand in their longevity, as it has for a number of other long running enterprises.

Undoubtedly family business represents the most lasting type of business. The expert in family business, Professor Willian O’Hara, in one of his books mentioned about family business the following: “Before the multinational corporation, there was family business. Before the Industrial Revolution, there was family business. Before the enlightenment of Greece and the empire of Rome, there was family business.”

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