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America’s Most Successful Startups: Lessons for Entrepreneurs by Max Finger, Oliver Samwer

Key Takeaways

  1. Types of opportunities – paradigm shift, new product / business model / me-too product

  2. Opportunity recognition – markets that change and are receptive to change, badly understood (big and misunderstood), fast growing, incumbent players cannot move, little competition

  3. Process of Opportunity Recognition – intuitive, analytical

  4. Seek a mission-critical pain killer, not a vitamin

  5. Be extremely specific in defining your customer

  6. Great entrepreneurs tend to be generalists – breadth > depth

  7. Founders need to understand the market, product, and execution. Need to be focused on value creation, not control

  8. Risk Identification and Elimination – raise money to reduce key risks – market, technical, people, financial

  9. Decision making – the implementor should be the decision maker

  10. Flexibility – In the planning process, understanding the variables is more important than the plan. It is as important to understand the other players’ plans as it is to figure out your own plans

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