RE: Show me the money!

Joe Barrera (
Sun, 26 Jan 1997 16:38:21 -0800

Are you using (do you know about) Gordon's book?

- Joe

Joseph S. Barrera III (
Phone, Redmond: (206) 936-3837; San Francisco: (415) 778-8227
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-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Sunday, January 26, 1997 2:11 AM
Subject: Show me the money!

So I've been taking this Entrepreneurs Class at Caltech, and after three
weeks, my notebook has just four recorded observations in it. Thought
I'd share what I've learned about starting a business, for kicks.

1. Good ideas are omnipresent; a good idea alone will not make a
company successful. More important than a good idea, is a good team: a
team that trusts each other, a team that works well together, a team
where each person's strengths complements the group as a whole, a team
without egos, a team whose members can learn from each other. Each
member of the team must respect the chain of command, and work toward a
common goal.

2. There is only one thing venture capital money is good for, and
that is to bring in people who can complement the venture (via
connections, business savvy, or what have you). Never take on venture
capital strictly for the money, because you give up a LOT of control
when you take in VC funds.

3. The best kind of business to start is one that doesn't require
much upstart funding; the quicker you can reach liquidity, the better
your chance of success. This usually means building on top of an
existing infrastructure (ie, Yahoo went from red to black in two years)
rather than inventing one of your own.

4. Make sure you cover your bases. Know your customer base. Know
your market. Know your niche. Know your competitors. Know your
mission statement and know your business plan. Know your exit
strategies. Know your time frames. Know your place in the world.
Because if there is any weak link in the chain, you are going to lose.


People who mind their own business die of boredom by the age of thirty.