This is what Jeff Bezos, Amazon creator and billionaire said about the book rework. The book is awesome indeed. B below the 10 contrarian takeaways will be ready for you.
Learn From Your Successes
Learn from your failure is common advice, while learn from your successes is better advice. Failure is not a prerequisite for success. A Harvard study shows that already successful entrepreneurs has a better chance for success when starting their next thing. You should strive to build on what already works. A point worth adding here, is the brilliance in learning from other people’s successes. This is why you should read books. You can take the wisdom from other people’s successes and built on that. You can turn it into your own thing.
Sound Like You
Trying to sound like a big company when you are actually small, is ridicules. Stand up for who you are and where you are. A big asset of a small company is the ability to be able to communicate simply and directly – without too many formalities. People likes authenticity, so just be you. Don’t remove your personality from what you are doing.
Give People a Backstage Pass
People love seeing behind the scene material from businesses or jobs if it is presented in a nice way. People are curious of how things are made. Letting people into your life, will make it easier to form a bond with them, which in turn will benefit your business. Show them your flaws, history, the process of your work and everything that will put a more personal image on the business. There are enough sterilized brands out there.
Stay Small and Lean
You should force constraints on yourself. Having less forces us to be creative and prevents us from focussing on anything else than what is most important. It is the swing that matters, not the golf club.
What really matters is focusing on the content, the customer, the product and your goals. Not which tools you use to get there. If you can get the same result with less expensive equipment, that is the way to go. At least in the beginning. Use whatever you have or can afford cheaply, to get going.
This is very good advice for the starter. It is pretty common in all sorts of activities to blame the equipment instead of your own performance and skills. It takes a conscious effort not to do this as it is second nature for most.
Be a Curator
A Curator is a person in the charge of a museum or art collection. His job is to keep the collection great by saying no, and only accepting the most important items into the museum. In the same way, we should cut away everything that is not important. Less is more. Throw less at the problem. The authors give the example of the TV show Ramsay’s kitchen nightmare. Ramsey always cut the menu when trying to help a restaurant with problems. The solution is never to add more. Trimming down the menu, and making it more simple is what he does first. Less is the solution.
“Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein.
Don’t Wait for Perfect
Launch whatever you are working on before you are comfortable doing so. Focus should be on getting the core features done and then launching. Much will be learned from this, as costumers will give feedback on what is really important. This is better than spending time working on stuff no one will appreciate. Whatever you are working on can be perfected along the way. People like when you show your weaknesses and raw sides. We can have success with much less than we realize sometimes. I took the advice, and launched this site, billionairebookclub.net, which was way less than half done.
Being able to focus all your mental energy on your work for hours in row, is critical. Interruptions will take you out of the flow and destroy your creativity. Things can’t get done when you are constantly going “start-stop-start-stop”. Get in to the alone-zone. It is like deep sleep. It takes time to get to this state and interruptions will spoil it. You should consider using the early hours or the late hours of the day for work, this will give you some uninterrupted time in the alone-zone.
Don’t Be a Hero
We humans has a bias called the commitment and consistency bias coined by psychology professor Daniel Kahneman. This bias makes it very hard for us to let go of something we already invested a lot of time and resources into. We are committed. However, if it becomes clear that it is not worth to spend more time on your project, write of the investment, both of time and money, and get on with it. The fact that you invested in this project with your time and money in the past, does not justify further investment now.
Your Estimates Suck
Realities never stick to best case scenarios. The truth is, that we do not have a clue what will happen far out in the future. Planning is guessing. Plans let the past drive the future, it hinders flexibility and the ability to act on opportunity. When your write a plan, keep it short and don’t plan too long into the future. “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson.
In a book with the title “Thinking Fast and Slow” the author Kahneman, shares studies documenting that even expert forecasters, are not any more precise in predicting the future, than totally random people. We think we know, but we don’t.
Give Away Something For Free
This advice draws on one of the principles of persuasion i mentioned in this article, namely reciprocity. When you give something out to potential customers, it is very likely they will come back for business as the want to pay you back for your generosity.