I use a top-ten list format for all my speeches, and I would love to begin this book with a top-ten list of the most important things an entrepreneur must accomplish. However, there aren't ten there are only five,
Great Ideas for Starting Things
1 MAKE MEANING. The best reason to start an organization is to make meaning—to create a product or service that makes the world a better place. So your first task is to decide how you can make meaning.
2 MAKE MANTRA. Forget mission statements; they are long, boring, and irrelevant. No one can ever remember them—much less implement them. Instead, take your meaning and make a mantra out of it. This will set your entire team on the right course.
3 GET GOING. Start creating and delivering your product or service. Think soldering irons, compilers, hammers, saws, and AutoCAD—whatever tools you use to build products and services. Do not focus on pitching, writing, and planning.
4 DEFINE YOUR BUSINESS MODEL. No matter what kind of organization you are starting, you have to figure out a way to make money. The greatest idea, technology, product, or service is short-lived without a sustainable business model.
5 WEAVE A MAT (MILESTONES, ASSUMPTIONS, AND TASKS). The final step is to compile three lists: (a) major milestones you need to meet; (b) assumptions that are built into your business model; and (c) tasks you need to accomplish to create an organization. This will enforce discipline and keep your organization on track when all hell breaks loose—and all hell will break loose....