Business · Management

Altucher: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For Starting And Running A Business

Devin Fee Director of Operations at Chiron Health

August 20th, 2013

I came across this today, and thought it was worth passing along. My favorites below -
  • 7) How much equity should you give a partner? Divide things up into these categories: manage the company, raise the  money, had the idea, brings in the revenues, built the product (or  performs the services). Divide up in equal portions.
  • 9) Should you barter equity for services? No. You get what you pay for.
  • 21) Should I ever focus on SEO? No.
  • 22) Should I do social media marketing? No.
  • 25) Having a powerpoint that doesn't show me arbitrage. I need to know  that there is a small chance there is a 100x return on money.
  • 30) Should I do market research? Yes, find one customer who DEFINITELY,  without a doubt, will buy a service from you. Note, I don't say buy  your product because your initial product is always not what the  customer wanted.
  • 36) What other reasons should one fire an employee? (All points apply)
  • 51) What is the only effective email marketing? Highly targeted email  marketing written by professional copywriters and the email list is made  up of people who have bought similar services in past six months.
  • 56) Should I blog? Yes. You must. Blog about everything going wrong in  your industry. Blog personal stories that you think will scare away  customers. They won't. Customers will be attracted to honesty.
  • 57) Should I care about margins? No. Care about revenues.
  • 59) Should I hire people because I can travel on a seven hour plane  ride with them? Don't be an idiot. If anything, hire people the opposite  of you. Else who will you delegate to.
  • 63) Should I negotiate the best terms with a VC? No. Pick the VC you  like. Times are going to get tough at some point and you need to be able  to have a heart to heart with them.
  • 68) When should I give up on my idea? When you can't generate revenues, customers, interest, for TWO MONTHS.
  • 71) Should I hire a head of sales? No. The founder is the head of sales until at least ten million in sales.
  • 82) Should I expand geographically as quickly as possible? No. Get all  the business you can in your local area. Travel is too expensive  time-wise.
  • 83) How do I keep clients from yelling at me? Document line by line  every meeting and send your document to the client right after the  meeting.
  • 96) Investors want to meet me and customers want to meet me. Who do I  meet if I need money? You should know the answer to that by now.
  • 97) If an acquirer asks me why I want to sell, what should I say? That  you feel it would be easier for you to grow in the context of a bigger  company that has experienced the growing pains you are just starting to  go through. That 1+1 = 45.
  • You create your luck by being healthy and not regretting the past or being anxious about the future.
That's quite a few points, but I clipped those from my Evernote account. The full list is great, too.

Duane Nickull Chief Marketing Officer, Co-Founder at Cheddar Labs

August 20th, 2013

To add some bits to this conversation, here are the slides from a keynote speech I did last year at the Technical University of Vienna entitled Startup Heaven or Hell: 15 years of start-ups, blunders, karma and luck.

Don't repeat my mistakes, it is very expensive.  Learn from them ;-) 

Aravind Nirmal Kumar Formally Informal

August 22nd, 2013

Luckily I have had the privilege of working with James Altucher, wow he is full of energy, ideas and passion.

Alfred Lui UX and Digital Service Designer, Community Builder, Speaker of UX Design for the Internet of Things

August 22nd, 2013

Great find. Thank you for sharing!

Andrew Tischler

August 26th, 2013

Thanks very much for these.

Brent Goldstein

August 27th, 2013

This is really great. I've seen similar advice from veterans, but this is dead to-the-point and cuts through all the bullshit. Get customers, generate revenue, get over yourself and keep getting new ideas. A lot of the best advice is hard to swallow at times because building a business is an emotional investment; this reminds you that being successful means making business decisions.