Brian Cauldfield on 7 random thoughts on Entrepreneurship at #turingfest  

1. You've got to change something if you want to create a great (rather than good) business
- customer expectation;
- basis of competition
- economic structure of industry (e.g. apple with music, amazon with books)

2a. Innovation is not about tech spending

There is no correlation between technology R&D and sales. Start-ups have a tendency to think otherwise

2b. Innovation is not invention

There is always a social context. Innovation is not synonomous with creativity, you still have to execute to innovate and you have to sell

3. Where are the big bucks?

If you have an idea, you might be right, you might be wrong.  You might also be inside the consensus or outside.  If you have a wrong idea that is inside consensus, then its a nice place to be.  If you are right and inline with consensus then likely to be lots of other companies so you'll maybe do OK but probably not brilliant.  If you are right and outside of the consensus then that's where the big bucks are.  If I'm  wrong and outside the non-consensus then I'll hear "I told you so" and Mrs Barlow will probably divorce me :)

4. It's Hard!

You'll make mistakes, even second time round you'll make mistakes.   "He who innovates will have enemies in all those who are well off under the old order and only luke warm supporters in those who might be better off under the new".  

5. Innovation requires grumpy people

Hooray, there's hope for me!  Great entrepreneurs will think "this is crap, why has nobody done this better, I can't believe it, what have they have been playing at".  This equates to passion. Build something you are passionate about, not what you think investors want

6. The "lean" myth

It will not work in all circumstances.  Especially sceptical about "I'm lean, I don't need funding". If you want a breakthrough global scale business, you will have to take external finance.  (Caveat: 100% of equity selling for $20 mill is OK!).  But Facebook still took in $8 billion of external cash before its IPO.

7. Enterprise is back

These are the metrics that matter: Lifetime value, Cost of customer acquisition, retention vs churn, time to get customer to profitability, average selling price.

And the easier way to predict and achieve these numbers may well be by aiming for enterprise customers rather than more fickle consumers. This is the salesforce success.  And the market is underestimating the potential - beating analysts expectations.
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