Tony a lucrat in firme legendare, precum General Magic, Philips, Apple, pe urma si-a infiintat propria firma, Nest, pe care a vandut-o in 2014 lui Google cu 3,2 BUSD.

A creat produse revolutionare precum iPod, iPhone, Nest Thermostat si a investit in zeci de startup-uri cu produse care de care mai vizionare.

Are destule povești și sfaturi despre leadership, design, startup-uri, mentorat, luarea de decizii, greșeli devastatoare și succese incredibile pentru a umple o enciclopedie.

Este o carte excelenta, o lectura obligatorie pentru un “tech founder”, dovada fiind faptul ca am subliniat aproape pe fiecare pagina o idee remarcabila ce merita retinuta si aprofundata.

Ai aici aproape tot ce ai nevoie ca atitudine si cunostinte pentru a fi un fondator de succes, dar mi-e teama ca adevarul sfaturilor neconventionale ale lui Tony nu poate fi inteles doar citindu-l si ca ai nevoie de experienta a cel putin un startup, de la idee la exit, ca sa le intelegi profunzimea.

Sunt foarte multe ganduri valoroase in carte, o sa spicuiesc doar cateva ca sa va faceti o idee de ce merita cumparata si citita cartea:

  • “The best way to find a job you’ll love and a career that will eventually make you successful is to follow what you’re naturally interested in, then take risks when choosing where to work. Follow your curiosity rather than a business school playbook about how to make money. Assume that for much of your twenties your choices will not work out and the companies you join or start will likely fail. Early adulthood is about watching your dreams go up in flames and learning as much as you can from the ashes. Do, fail, learn. The rest will follow.”
  • “What you do matters. Where you work matters. Most importantly, who you work with and learn from matters. Too many people see work as a means to an end, as a way to make enough money to stop working. But getting a job is your opportunity to make a dent in the world. To put your focus and energy and your precious, precious time toward something meaningful. You don’t have to be an executive right away, you don’t have to get a job at the most amazing, world-changing company right out of college, but you should have a goal. You should know where you want to go, who you want to work with, what you want to learn, who you want to become. And from there, hopefully you’ll start to understand how to build what you want to build.”
  • “Any job working with your heroes is a good job. The key is persistence and being helpful. Not just asking for something, but offering something. You always have something to offer if you’re curious and engaged. You can always trade and barter good ideas; you can always be kind and find a way to help.”
  • “Your job isn’t just doing your job. It’s also to think like your manager or CEO. You need to understand the ultimate goal, even if it’s so far away that you’re not really sure what it’ll look like when you get there. That’s helpful in your day-to-day—knowing your destination lets you self-prioritize and make decisions about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. But it’s also bigger than that. You want to make sure the direction you’re headed in still feels right—that you still believe in it.”
  • “Management is a learned skill, not a talent. You’re not born with it. You’ll need to learn a whole slew of new communication skills and educate yourself with websites, podcasts, books, classes, or help from mentors and other experienced managers.”
  • “Helping people succeed is your job as a manager. It’s your responsibility to make sure they can become the best versions of themselves. You need to create a setting where they can surprise you. And where they can surpass you.”
  • “And I want to make it very clear: hating your job is never worth the money. I need to repeat that: hating your job is never worth whatever raise, title, or perks they throw at you to stay.”
  • “Networking is something you should be doing constantly—even when you’re happily employed. And don’t think of networking as a means to an end—as a tit-for-tat exchange where if you do someone a favor they may do you one in return. Nobody wants to feel like they’re being used. You should talk to people and make connections because you’re naturally curious. You want to know how other teams at your company work and what people do.”
  • “Your product isn’t only your product. It’s the whole user experience—a chain that begins when someone learns about your brand for the first time and ends when your product disappears from their life, returned or thrown away, sold to a friend or deleted in a burst of electrons.”
  • “Every product should have a story, a narrative that explains why it needs to exist and how it will solve your customer’s problems. A good product story has three elements:
  • It appeals to people’s rational and emotional sides.
  • It takes complicated concepts and makes them simple.
  • It reminds people of the problem that’s being solved—it focuses on the “why.”
  • “The story of your product, your company, and your vision should drive everything you do.”
  • “To maintain the core of your product there are usually one or two things that have to stay still while everything else spins and changes around them.”
  • “You need constraints to make good decisions and the best constraint in the world is time. When you’re handcuffed to a hard deadline, you can’t keep trying this and that, changing your mind, putting the finishing touches on something that will never be finished.”
  • “The joke is that it takes twenty years to make an overnight success. In business, it’s more like six to ten. It always takes longer than you think to find product/market fit, to get your customers’ attention, to build a complete solution, and then to make money. You typically need to create at least three generations of any new, disruptive product before you get it right and turn a profit. This is true for B2B and B2C, for companies that build with atoms or electrons or both, for brand-new startups and brand-new products.”
  • “You make the product. You fix the product. You build the business. Every product. Every company. Every time.”
  • “The best ideas are painkillers, not vitamins.”
  • “Not every product idea has to come from your own life, but the “why” always has to be crisp and easy to articulate. You have to be able to easily, clearly, persuasively explain why people will need it. That’s the only way to understand what features it should have, whether the timing is right for it to exist, whether the market for it will be tiny or enormous.”
  • “Throwing darts at a wall is not how you pick a great idea. Anything worth doing takes time. Time to understand. Time to prepare. Time to get it right. You can fast-track a lot of things and skimp on others, but you cannot cheat time.”
  • “But there’s nothing that prepares you for starting a startup except working at a startup. So go get a job. Find a startup or small, nimble company with founders who know (more or less) what they’re doing.”
  • “You need a working knowledge of each discipline—not to be an expert in each, but to understand who you should hire, what their qualifications should be, where to find them, and when you’ll need them.”
  • “Spend your time at your startup job understanding the business you’re helping to build. And then go get another job—this time at a big company. That’s the only way to get a handle on the problems and challenges that bigger companies face, especially those beyond the product—the organization, the processes, the governance, the politics. The more you can observe how each type of company operates, the fewer questions you’ll have when you start your own.”
  • “That’s what you need when you’re going to start a company or start a huge new project—a coach. A mentor. A source of wisdom and aid. Someone who can recognize a brewing problem and warn you about it before it happens. And someone who will quietly inform you that it’s dark right now because your head is jammed up your own ass, and who will give you a few tips to quickly remove it.”
  • “Every time you raise capital, you should think of it as a marriage: a long-term commitment between two individuals based on trust, mutual respect, and shared goals. Even if you take money from an enormous venture capital (VC) firm, everything ultimately comes down to the relationship you form with a single partner at that firm and whether your expectations are aligned.”
  • “So you should always pay very close attention to how a VC treats you when they should be on their best behavior—when you’re getting along in the process and it seems like you might come to an agreement. If they start screwing around with you then, it should always ring alarm bells in your head. “
  • “Always start the pitching process when you don’t actually need money. You want to be in a position of strength, not buckling under the pressure and making bad choices.”
  • “Every time I left, I’d hand the reins over to a different person who reported to me. It’s your problem now, buddy! It was a time for the team to step up and learn to do what I did. Vacations are a great way to build a team’s future capabilities and see who might step into your shoes in the years to come. Everyone thinks they can do your job better—until they actually have to do it and deliver. So even if you’re in a high-stress job, you need to take vacations. They’re important for your team.”
  • “Just remember, there’s no perfect assistant who will be able to read your mind immediately. You want someone who learns fast, only needs to be told once, and who, over time, can anticipate your needs and fix problems before they ever hit your desk. It can take three to six months for them to get a handle on how to be most helpful, but then it truly feels like you have a new superpower. It’s like you’ve gained another limb, or another six hours in the day.”
  • “There are moments where you simply cannot function as a human, never mind a leader, and you need to recognize them and walk out the door. Don’t make a bad decision because you’re frustrated and overworked—get your head on straight and come in fresh the next day.”
  • “The source of all Nestiness—the key to our success—was the human beings we hired, the culture they created, the way they thought and organized and worked together. The team was everything.”
  • “Growing that team the right way—breaking down who we needed, how to hire them, how to build team processes and ways of thinking—was just as important as building the right product.”
  • “The best teams are multigenerational – Nest employed twenty-year-olds and seventy-year-olds. Experienced people have a wealth of wisdom that they can pass on to the next generation and young people can push back against long-held assumptions. They can often see the opportunity that lies in accomplishing difficult things, while experienced people see only the difficulty.”
  • “Different people think differently and every new perspective, background, and experience you bring into the business improves the business. It deepens your understanding of your customers. It illuminates part of the world that you were blind to before. It creates opportunities.”
  • “Another good interview technique is to simulate work—instead of asking them how they work, just work with them. Pick a problem and try to solve it together. Choose a subject that both of you are familiar with but neither is an expert in—if you pick a problem in their domain they’ll always sound smart; pick a problem in yours and you’ll always know better. But the subject doesn’t matter nearly as much as the process of watching them think. Get on the whiteboard, draw it out. What kinds of questions do they ask? What approaches do they suggest? Do they ask about the customer? Do they seem empathetic or oblivious?”
  • “You’re not just interviewing to see if a person can do the job required of them today. You’re trying to understand if they have the innate tools to think through the problems and jobs you don’t see coming yet—the jobs they can grow into tomorrow.”
  • “An asshole at a tiny startup can be the end of the startup. But assholes can ruin teams and products at any stage of growth, at any size company. The bigger the team, the easier it is to sneak in and start poisoning the well.”
  • “Culture arises organically but then needs to be codified to be maintained.”
  • “Everything that needs to be created needs to be designed—not just products and marketing, but processes, experiences, organizations, forms, materials. At its core, designing simply means thinking through a problem and finding an elegant solution. Anyone can do that. Everyone should.”
  • “Design thinking forces you to really understand the problem you’re trying to solve.”
  • “The people who notice the problems around them—and then dream up solutions—are mostly inventors, startup founders, and kids. Young people look at the world and question it. They’re not worn down by doing the same stupid thing a thousand times—they don’t assume everything has to be the way it is. They ask “why?”
  • “The best marketing is just telling the truth. The ultimate job of marketing is to find the very best way to tell the true story of your product.”
  • “Building a product is like making a song. The band is composed of marketing, sales, engineering, support, manufacturing, PR, legal. And the product manager is the producer—making sure everyone knows the melody, that nobody is out of tune and everyone is doing their part. They’re the only person who can see and hear how all the pieces are coming together, so they can tell when there’s too much bassoon or when a drum solo’s going on too long, when features get out of whack or people get so caught up in their own project that they forget the big picture.”
  • “The best salespeople are the ones who maintain relationships even if it means not making money that day.”
  • “There are a lot of movies about terrible sales cultures – Boiler RoomThe Wolf of Wall StreetGlengarry Glen Ross. They’re sensationalized, but not by much. The hypercompetition often breeds the kind of ego-driven, boozy, locker-room backslapping where everyone ends up at a strip joint, trying to drink each other under the table.”
  • “There’s nothing exactly like being a CEO, and nothing to prepare you for it—not even being the head of a huge team or division of a company, firmly in the C-suite.”
  • “The CEO sets the tone for the company—every team looks to the CEO and the exec team to see what’s most critical, what they need to pay attention to”
  • “You don’t have to be an expert in everything. You just have to care about it.”
  • “I read a study the other day that said that the brain patterns of entrepreneurs thinking about their startups are extremely similar to those of parents thinking about their children. [See also: Reading List: “Why and how do founding entrepreneurs bond with their ventures?”] You are literally a parent to this business – you love it like you birthed it, like it’s a part of yourself.”
  • “Everyone needs a boss to be accountable to and coaches who can help them through difficult times—even a CEO. Especially a CEO. That’s why businesses have a board of directors—typically just called “the board”—where members are directors of the company.”
  • “But a startup with five smart friends is a completely different beast than a company of 100, never mind 1,000. The job and responsibilities of an early founder and later-stage CEO are polar opposites. Not every founder is cut out to be a CEO at every stage of a company.”
  • “In the end, there are two things that matter: products and people. What you build and who you build it with. The things you make—the ideas you chase and the ideas that chase you—will ultimately define your career. And the people you chase them with may define your life. It’s incredibly special to create something together with a team. From nothing, from chaos, from a spark in someone’s head, to a product, a business, a culture.”
  • “The thing holding most people back is themselves. They think they know what they can do and who they’re supposed to be, and they don’t explore beyond those boundaries. That is, until someone comes along and pushes them—willingly or unwillingly, happily or unhappily—into doing something more. Into discovering a well of creativity or willpower or brilliance that they never realized they had.”

PS. Mutumesc Dragos Gavrilescu ca mi-ai facut-o cadou si m-ai facut s-o citesc.

Cartea nu a fost inca tradusa la noi dar o puteti cumpara de aici: