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LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman’s Advice for Startups

by Jean-Philippe Maltais | shared from WacondaMarketing

Reid Hoffman says he was a loner when he was at school. Years later he founded LinkedIn, one of the most powerful social network on the planet. So, which tips this business guru has to bring to entrepreneurs? Well Kissmetrics’ blog tells it all in this article about Reid Hoffman’s book The Start-up of you cowritten with Ben Casnocha and released in 2012. Offering a good, a better product than what already exists is not enough to be successful on the Internet. Good is not enough. Your product has to be outstanding to compete. And it has to be new and disrupt the market. But that’s not it. Then you’re going to need a strong distribution.

Here are a few of Hoffman’s major points:

The Start-up of you

1. Don’t enter a crowded market

2. Don’t wait too long, start thin and adjust

3. Act fast, make sure your team is ready to move on with you

4. Take intelligent risks

5. Make plans

6. Don’t be afraid to think big

7. Thinking out the box is OK, you can sometimes break the rules

8. Have a plan … Z.

This is probably one of the most important point : you want to have a plan A, a plan B and… a plan Z. Why? Because there is a good chance that A may be wrong. And that’s ok… if you have another plan.

That’s why I advise you to read about Eric Ries’  Lean Startup methodology wich  is an interesting way of implementing this vision by providing tools in order to continuously test the product. This project was developed by Eric Ries, an entrepreneur and author of the best-seller The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Business. As a business starter or if you want to launch a new product, the first thing you have to do is to create an MVP, a Minimum Viable Product and start to learn how to make it better, simpler and more efficient. Then you’re able to go to and establish a viable business model . The essence of the book is to iterate from a plan A that you think will work to a plan B that work.

Another Great ressource for start-up business ideation would be the The Lean canvas. Hash Maurya shared in 2009 a post called “How I Document My Business Hypotheses” based on his idea of starting-up a business. He then developed his Lean Canvas concept, a way to implement the Lean Startup methodology making it as actionable as possible while staying entrepreneur-focused at the same time.

Where to find your customers

With the always increasing audience on the numeric channels, it’s more easy than ever to get people to see your offers. You can test your ideas and concept buying traffic by the piece withAdwords and display advertising on major publisher sites serving the segment of customer you need. This approach is a great improvement over traditional advertising where you develop a campaign and launch it at large, crossing your fingers that people will buy. In the new age of marketing, we can buy traffic by click or by impression, tweak, improve, rinse, repeat! This is iteration to its best at the service or your ROI. For more information see our page about paid marketing.

The power of the crowd

Crowd sourcing and crowd innovation can also help you to surround yourself with a valuable team of experts for your start-up. You can have a look on clarity.fm to speak with experienced mentors. The platform Angel.co is a good meeting point between startupers and investors.

Crowd funding has become an efficient and smart way to kickstart your idea and transform it into a real product ready to be launched on the market. Check on Kickstarter, Indiegogo. Those are websites where you can sell your concept and gather funds before launching your product thanks to micro-investment.

After giving all these tips and useful tools, I have to ask one more question: what is more important for an entrepreneur than enterpreneurship? So many inspiring ressources are now easily available to help you start or improve your business model.

As a marketing and entepreneurship passionnate I definitely think that sharing skills and ideas is the best way to create inspiration and efficiency in a business environment. When are you igniting your own start up !

If you want more ideas, contact me for a free consultation.

A last word to the reader : Please describe your start-up experience in the comment zone and share this article at large!

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