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how to get from an idea to the start, how to find the necessary level of commitment and the courage to be ambitious, how to live with the constant, nagging fear of failure, how to get your team to believe in what you're doing, how to help them maintain that belief, and especially how to help yourself maintain it.
For <key target customers> who look to <key need you satisfy>, <OurCompany> provides <offering> that <key problem it solves>. Unlike <key competitors>, <OurProduct> is/does/uses <key differentiator(s)>.
Technology Adoption Lifecycle Innovators Early Adopters Early Majority Late Majority Laggards Techies: Try it! Pragmatists: Stick with the herd! Conservatives: Hold on! Skeptics: No way! Visionaries: Get ahead of the herd! Source: Geoffrey Moore
“ The CEO has to have great marketing skills -- the ability to position a company and product in the market. That means figuring out what the dogs like to eat and packaging it in a way that's crystal clear to people in a one-minute elevator pitch. That's a skill that 99 percent of people don't have.
Another attribute a CEO has to possess is a certain energy , in terms of vision for the company, to be able to motivate people and be a catalyst for change. It takes a lot of courage to invoke change. It's easier to leave things alone. People are resistant to change; that's their nature. You constantly have to drag them into this change mode, which requires a very strong-willed individual.
It also requires an articulate person , because the best way to drag people is to talk to them and make them see your point. If they don't see your point, they'll put too many obstacles up. They'll make it like a donkey going through cement.” – Bob Ryan
I believed "just 1% of the market" would make sense. But you either get 0% (more likely) or tens of percent (less likely) of any given market.
I believed in the first mover advantage. But there may be nothing such. Google wasn't the first search engine, Oracle not the first RDBMS company and Microsoft not the first operating system company or GUI company.
I believed in our own PR. I.e. when we told the market and the press what we believed in, we started believing in it ourselves when in reality we should have been realists and used the time to ensure that the vision became reality.
I was fooled by flattery. I had told the VCs I could be CEO only in the starting phase and that we then needed a CEO with specific industry experience. Into the game, the VCs made me believe I was so great I didn't need to be replaced. A year later the company was in bankruptcy.
Toxic team member
I didn't remove a key employee from the company when I should have. First he turned unproductive, and then he turned into a saboteur of teamwork and of the company. Throughout all of this I kept telling myself that I could handle it, that things might get better, and that it would be even worse with the person outside the company. I now realize I was wrong.
Pay the price
I wasn't ready to pay for a strategic deal. I was ready to pay reasonably, but not unreasonably. But later I have realized that if a deal is truly strategic, you have to pay whatever it takes, not what you think is fair.
I believed that time and the goodness of people would cure a problem that occurred on the day I took a CEO job. Well, I was wrong. The people in question never turned good (in the way I would define good) and the situation never improved.
I was unfocused. Heck, I always was unfocused, and there is a risk that I still am.