Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Investing in a Bubble Mania Stock Market Trending Towards Financial Crisis 2.0 CRASH! - 9th Sep 21
2.Tech Stocks Bubble Valuations 2000 vs 2021 - 25th Sep 21
3.Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
4.Stock Market FOMO Hits September Brick Wall - Evergrande China's Lehman's Moment - 22nd Sep 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
7.AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
8.Why Silver Price Could Crash by 20%! - 5th Oct 21
9.Powell: Inflation Might Not Be Transitory, After All - 3rd Oct 21
10.Global Stock Markets Topped 60 Days Before the US Stocks Peaked - 23rd Sep 21
Last 7 days
How to Get Rich in the MetaVerse - 20th Jan 21
Should you Buy Payment Disruptor Stocks in 2022? - 20th Jan 21
2022 the Year of Smart devices, Electric Vehicles, and AI Startups - 20th Jan 21
Oil Markets More Animated by Geopolitics, Supply, and Demand - 20th Jan 21
WARNING - AI STOCK MARKET CRASH / BEAR SWITCH TRIGGERED! - 19th Jan 22
Fake It Till You Make It: Will Silver’s Motto Work on Gold? - 19th Jan 22
Crude Oil Smashing Stocks - 19th Jan 22
US Stagflation: The Global Risk of 2022 - 19th Jan 22
Stock Market Trend Forecast Early 2022 - Tech Growth Value Stocks Rotation - 18th Jan 22
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: Are We Setting Up For A 'Mini-Crash'? - 18th Jan 22
Mobile Sports Betting is on a rise: Here’s why - 18th Jan 22
Exponential AI Stocks Mega-trend - 17th Jan 22
THE NEXT BITCOIN - 17th Jan 22
Gold Price Predictions for 2022 - 17th Jan 22
How Do Debt Relief Services Work To Reduce The Amount You Owe? - 17th Jan 22
RIVIAN IPO Illustrates We are in the Mother of all Stock Market Bubbles - 16th Jan 22
All Market Eyes on Copper - 16th Jan 22
The US Dollar Had a Slip-Up, but Gold Turned a Blind Eye to It - 16th Jan 22
A Stock Market Top for the Ages - 16th Jan 22
FREETRADE - Stock Investing Platform, the Good, Bad and Ugly Review, Free Shares, Cancelled Orders - 15th Jan 22
WD 14tb My Book External Drive Unboxing, Testing and Benchmark Performance Amazon Buy Review - 15th Jan 22
Toyland Ferris Wheel Birthday Fun at Gulliver's Rother Valley UK Theme Park 2022 - 15th Jan 22
What You Should Know About a TailoredPay High Risk Merchant Account - 15th Jan 22
Best Metaverse Tech Stocks Investing for 2022 and Beyond - 14th Jan 22
Gold Price Lagging Inflation - 14th Jan 22
Get Your Startup Idea Up And Running With These 7 Tips - 14th Jan 22
What Happens When Your Flight Gets Cancelled in the UK? - 14th Jan 22
How to Profit from 2022’s Biggest Trend Reversal - 11th Jan 22
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: Are We Ready To Drop To 4400SPX? - 11th Jan 22
What's the Role of an Affiliate Marketer? - 11th Jan 22
Essential Things To Know Before You Set Up A Limited Liability Company - 11th Jan 22
NVIDIA THE KING OF THE METAVERSE! - 10th Jan 22
Fiscal and Monetary Cliffs Have Arrived - 10th Jan 22
The Meteoric Rise of Investing in Trading Cards - 10th Jan 22
IBM The REAL Quantum Metaverse STOCK! - 9th Jan 22
WARNING Failing NVME2 M2 SSD Drives Can Prevent Systems From Booting - Corsair MP600 - 9th Jan 22
The Fed’s inflated cake and a ‘quant’ of history - 9th Jan 22
NVME M2 SSD FAILURE WARNING Signs - Corsair MP600 1tb Drive - 9th Jan 22
Meadowhall Sheffield Christmas Lights 2021 Shopping - Before the Switch on - 9th Jan 22
How Does Insurance Work In Europe? Find Out Here - 9th Jan 22
MATTERPORT (MTTR) - DIGITIZING THE REAL WORLD - METAVERSE INVESTING 2022 - 7th Jan 22
Effect of Deflation On The Gold Price - 7th Jan 22
Stock Market 2022 Requires Different Strategies For Traders/Investors - 7th Jan 22
Old Man Winter Will Stimulate Natural Gas and Heating Oil Demand - 7th Jan 22
Is The Lazy Stock Market Bull Strategy Worth Considering? - 7th Jan 22
METAVERSE - NEW LIFE FOR SONY AGEING GAMING GIANT? - 6th Jan 2022
What Elliott Waves Show for Asia Pacific Stock and Financial Markets 2022 - 6th Jan 2022
Why You Should Register Your Company - 6th Jan 2022
4 Ways to Invest in Silver for 2022 - 6th Jan 2022
UNITY (U) - Metaverse Stock Analysis Investing for 2022 and Beyond - 5th Jan 2022
Stock Market Staving Off Risk-Off - 5th Jan 2022
Gold and Silver Still Hungover After New Year’s Eve - 5th Jan 2022
S&P 500 In an Uncharted Territory, But Is Sky the Limit? - 5th Jan 2022

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Setting Up Your Own Business - 10 Lessons for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Personal_Finance / Business Dec 20, 2013 - 06:13 PM GMT

By: Casey_Research

Personal_Finance

By Jeffrey Tucker

One of my favorite web spaces is meetinnovators.com. It interviews startup entrepreneurs, people who created something new and made it successful. Through casual conversation, it investigates their thinking, mode of working, trials and tribulations, breakthroughs, and visions of the future. Just hearing these people talk gives you a real lift.


Major media don't usually cover this world, which is strange because the technologies we use and the businesses we trade with define a major part of our lives. The trouble is that most people just take it all for granted.

"Of course there's an upgrade." "Of course there's an app." "Of course I can make a video call from a wireless device to a person on the other side of the world for free!"

I recently caught up with an old history professor, and it would have made sense to talk about big ideas (about which we both really care). But actually, and very quickly, we gravitated to more interesting stuff. We talked about technologies: operating systems, smartphones, cloud vs. local software, servers and databases, tablets and laptops, moving on to social networks, email clients, download sites, and, of course, games!

This prattle had us engaged for an entire hour, and then I had to leave. I wonder if it occurred to this man, whom I recall as ideologically uninterested in economics, much less free enterprise, that all the stuff we talked about are benevolent gifts to us resulting from capitalist acts?

People love talking technology these days. And we should similarly love the world of commerce for giving technology to us through entrepreneurial drive and innovation. It does so much to better our lives. Commerce is ultimately responsible for the dramatic increases in global living standards since the world opened up after 1989.

Startup entrepreneurs deserve much of that credit. They are not only the creators of new products and services, things that improve our lives at the margin every day. They are also the major driving force of new jobs in a market environment that is otherwise rather stagnant.

Comparing startup culture to politics is a study of opposites. In politics, people promise things ("Healthcare for everyone!" "A world without immorality!") and just hope that constituents will believe that pulling a lever will bring change. It never happens, but it doesn't matter, because there is no real test, no real accountability. Politics lives on tricks coming and going.

In enterprise, you have this test—both an inspiring North Star and a wicked crucible. It's called profit and loss. Every day a business must face that test. To make it, you need to persuade people that you have something or can do something sufficiently valuable for your customer to surrender real property in exchange for your product. You must get more back in property than you surrender to make whatever you're selling. One dollar over costs and you are growing. One dollar under costs and you are sinking. The balance sheet rules the day and determines winners and losers.

Politicians and bureaucrats never face such a reality check. In this sense, they are completely unhinged from reality. Their revenue is ensured, and their jobs are based not on sales but manipulation and position.

Listening to all these interviews with techy entrepreneurs, I'm reminded of a series of books I read a few years ago about Gilded Age entrepreneurs. It was a different time and they had different tools—and they had far fewer struggles with government than we have today—but the motivations, methods, and impulses are the same.

Here is a list of 10 features of enterprise that entrepreneurs exhibit or discover in the course of their great adventures.

1. Business starts with the desire to do something wonderful, not just to make money. This seems to be a universal trait. But it flies in the face of nearly all propaganda you hear about capitalism, which is supposed to be based on greed and material acquisition. Actually it is rooted in the desire to make the world a better place, and you can tell it in the voices of these achievers. Profits are the sign and the seal of a job well done, but not the driving motivation. The dream is what entrepreneurs chase.

2. Most people will tell you a million reasons why you will fail. Before jumping in to make a business, these people will typically survey their friends. Their friends always warn against it. No one will want that product. Someone already offers that product. That's way too risky and it won't work. Why not get a regular job like everyone else?

Finally, the person realizes that he or she has to go it alone.

3. All businesses face the universal terror of uncertainty of the future. The only certainty we have is in looking back at history, at the stuff that already unfolded. What tomorrow will bring is guesswork. You can get close. You can make forecasts. But in the end, humanity is fickle and unpredictable.

And by the way, every single business faces the same ghastly reality of uncertainty. They are all rock climbing with blindfolds on, feeling their way up as they go.

4. You can't really know the market until you test the market. Of course you do market surveys. You ask friends. You look for other examples of success. You follow your own instincts. But surveys, examples, and instincts can't substitute for the live test in which you are asking people to give up their stuff for your stuff. Every success seems like a no-brainer in retrospect ("Of course people want to buy books online"), but this is wholly illusory. You never really know until you try.

5. All entrepreneurs are maniacally focused on serving others. This also contradicts the conventional wisdom that business is mainly self-interested. That cannot be true because the whole impetus of business is to seek out the interests, desires, and motivations of others. It's the only way to discern the path to success. The consumer is king, and the entrepreneur serves.

6. Every business needs dreamers and accountants. The dreamers are the people who imagine a future that doesn't yet exist, a configuration of the world that is different from today. They take nothing and make something of it. That requires a wild imagination.

But more is needed to make any project work. Your balance sheet, along with someone who can skillfully manage and interpret it, is essential. The accountant is always the one with the bad news.

7. Don't try to start from scratch. One of many benevolent gifts of capitalism is that it offers us examples of success. These examples are publicly available to be studied and understood. The best entrepreneurs know how to copy success and then improve the model on the margin, just enough to cause a switch in consumer loyalty or recruit new consumers. You can't be shy about this. Great business people "steal" ideas; ideas are part of the commons.

8. No matter how digital the service or product is, success comes only peer-to-peer. Internet successes do not think of their customers as nodes but as people who need love and care. Nor are customers cash cows; they are real people with real needs and must be treated as such. All appeals are personal appeals. All marketing speaks to individuals.

9. Enterprise is an incredible amount of grueling work. To be an entrepreneur means to be all in. There is no time off. Nothing takes priority, especially in the start-up period. You need fanaticism, a near-maniacal devotion to making sure that all that can go right will go right. Nothing is assumed, ever. These people know that their odds are never in their favor. So they must apply themselves as never before.

10. You never finally win. Enterprise is not like a board game with a beginning and an end. Every day the struggle starts anew. Every season might be your last. And it gets ever harder because the more you succeed, the more people will copy you. They let you do the test run, then copy your methods, tweaking them to enhance efficiency or reduce costs. There is no "final release" in business—not in any business that plans to stay alive.

These points are coming home to me now, having been at work on a new business venture for the past several months. The business is Liberty.Me, a complete social and publishing solution for liberty-minded individuals.

The whole focus is to provide a positive, solutions-based information and communication service for living a freer life. I see a burning need here to use every bit of advanced technology to do something wonderful for a cause I believe in. Yes, I'm sure it will be marvelous. But as a commercial service, there will be a test. It's both thrilling and terrifying. An idea is facing the crucible. As someone told me recently, you will soon be a fool or a genius.

You wonder why prosperity is such a rare feature in the history of the world? It's because merchantcraft is rarer still, attacked often and avoided by all but the craziest people in our midst—the entrepreneurs who dream and work and face the crucible of profit and loss—to bring us what we love.

If you're interested to learn from the life experiences of a successful entrepreneur, read Doug Casey's new book, Right on the Money. In his inimitable, provocative style, the well-known resource speculator provides opinions, anecdotes, and actionable advice on how to become wealthy and protect one's assets from the long arm of the government. Click here to read more.

© 2013 Copyright Casey Research - All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

Casey Research Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in