Monday, December 1, 2008

Neil Senturia’s commandments.

Neil Senturia’s commandments for new ventures.

- Understand your customer’s pain and find a way to alleviate it.

- “If we can get just X% of this market” isn’t a very compelling story.

- Investors have short memories.

- “No” is a way station on the road to “Yes.”

- You have to have a working product, not just a good idea.

- Timing is more important than anything.

- You can’t go fast enough.

- Be aggressive but don’t take unnecessary chances.

- The golden rule is that the guy with the gold rules. Never, ever run out of money.

- Return all phone calls. Attend all meetings. Everything matters.

- Don’t be limited by reality.

- When you’re small, get big people to help you. Team up with strong partners.

- Answer all threats. Improve your position and pose a counter threat.

- Play for the initiative. If you have it, maintain it.

- Cut your losses but lose as little as possible.

- When you dance with the devil, dance quickly.

- Rely on your own powers. If you can’t see the power of your opponent’s move, there probably isn’t any.

- Out-hustle the other guy.

- Try to develop with threats, but don’t threaten pointlessly.

- When you can’t decide, accept.

- Choose a plan and stay with it.

- To gain time, you usually have to sacrifice.

- Remember Einstein - time slows down as speed increases.

- Build your company around great technology and great people.

- Don’t let brilliant, talented people leave.

- If you’re going broke, keep it to yourself.

- Either be really well liked or don’t be liked at all.

- Being on the edge of success is half an inch from disaster.

Senturia was a founder and CEO of Atcom/Info, mohomine, Soflinx, and currently heads up Blackbird Ventures with his wife and fellow investor, Barbara Bry.

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