Permission and Trust, Part 1

In the podcast series, Seth Godin’s Startup School, Seth Godin gave a guided tour to a group of highly-motivated early-stage entrepreneurs on some of the questions they will have to dig deep and ask themselves while they build up their business. Here are my takeaways from various topics discussed in the podcast episodes.

  • When starting a business, figuring out how to get from where you start to where you need to be is If there is no such path, there is something wrong with your business structure.
  • Questions about the business model can include: how much does it cost to make a sale? What is the lifetime value of a sale? Do you make a product that people need to buy just once in their whole life? That is a very different than if you make a product that people will buy every day forever.
  • The answer to the question of “could you make a profit?” needs to be built into the business structure. Also, the question of “how do you maximize the lifetime value of someone who is expensive to reach?” For example, if your business normally delivers product or service via a one-time transaction, maximizing the lifetime value can take on multiple dimensions. One dimension is to deliver great Another dimension is that the reputation of your great service will spread when your customers tell others. When that happens, your future customer acquisition costs also go down due to the satisfied customers.
  • Another critical question for the entrepreneurs to ask is, “How do I apply what I have learned in the workshop and apply to the business structure which I was already committed to? Can I ignore the parts that will not work for my business?” Unfortunately, that is the wrong way to approach the problem.
  • Entrepreneurs by their nature are bullheaded and committed because we can easily fail if we are not strong-willed. However, we can sometimes get hung up on and confuse between sticking with the right path and sticking with the wrong path. There is a lot of things we can do for our businesses, but falling in love with an archetype or the only vision you have in your head is not the way to do it.
  • Another critical statement to think about is “While it is possible to build the perfect entrepreneurial project, but I cannot do it because I do not see it.” The remedy to this hang-up is that you must start before you can see the end. Before we can see how the end plays out, we need to build the fundamental building blocks and put them in place. The building blocks, for each day, give us some success, which can lead to more success and get us to somewhere. It is about “did this move or interaction I made permit me to survive to make another one?” Can I keep piling on these interactions one after another so that they can form a virtuous cycle?