Five secrets for startup success

We can learn much from those people who have successfully pursued their passionate purpose. One of them is Bob Metcalfe.

During the recent StartupCamp4 at ITEXPO 2011 in Austin, Radish Systems was one of five companies chosen to present our pitch to an audience of 500 telecom professionals and a panel of three judges. It was an honor (and a little intimidating) to have Bob Metcalfe – inventor of Ethernet, founder of 3Com, author of Metcalfe’s Law, Venture Capitalist, and Professor – as one of those judges.

Before he took on the task of analyzing the pros and cons of each startup plan, Metcalfe offered the following advice and wisdom to a spell-bound audience.

Learn from Steve Jobs. Have the courage to FOLLOW YOUR HEART and INTUITION. Do what you LOVE. Live each day as if it were the LAST – someday it will be. See Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Address in what some have called the best video on YouTube.

A startup’s NETWORK is its secret weapon. The fate of a startup is a function of the networks it forms.

Successful start-ups have: (a) founders who do not let their ego get in the way of the company’s success, (b) focus, (c) sufficient funding, (d) good technology/product, and (e) good leadership. The success of the company is more important that having a certain person run it.

The five most important qualities for a startup CEO are: (a) has a lifestyle that brings forth great ENERGY, (b) knows how to WRITE, (c) can SPEAK, (d) has the ability to PLAN, and (e) can SELL. Being a CEO is like running a marathon, not a sprint.

The richest companies get money from CUSTOMERS, not from investors.
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Theresa M. Szczurek, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Radish Systems, is a serial technology entrepreneur. The story of her last start-up, which sold for more than $40 million in less than six years, is included, along with her strategies for success, in the Amazon-bestseller Pursuit of Passionate Purpose: Success Strategies for a Rewarding Personal and Business Life.,, and @TheresaSzczurek on twitter.


Categories: Company Perspectives, Management & Leadership