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March 2017

Heat Warning: Phoenix Startup Scene on Fire

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phoenix startup week

I had a great time speaking at (get the slides here) and attending Phoenix Startup Week (PSW). As always I learned a lot. This is the first of several articles I will share with you on what I found insightful. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from PSW:

  • “You live every day, not just once. You only die once. What do you want to do on your journey?” – Olenka Cullinan of Rising Tycoons
  • “A career grows out of who we are. Who we are doesn’t grow out of a career.” – Marianne Williamson
  • “Don’t worry about people stealing your idea, 99% of people won’t even do their own stuff.” – Kolby Kolibas

Having lived in both Phoenix and Silicon Valley, I have been impressed with the growth of the startup scene in Phoenix. Kent Dicks provided some great stats on why Phoenix is rising in the startup ranks.

  • 84% less expensive than San Francisco
  • 69% of ASU and UofA grads stay in Arizona
  • 5th largest city
  • #4 in tech jobs
  • #9 happiest city
  • #1 in Entrepreneurial activity
  • 75% of starts are self or angel funded
  • 20+ in startup capital
  • 33 accelerators
  • 42 coworking spaces
  • $595M of VC in 11-13

If you want a great list of software companies rising out of the startup scene checkout: http://greghead.com/gregslist-arizona-software-companies/

Tim Crown, founder of Insight (a local Phoenix Company), gave a great talk and some gold nuggets of advice.

  • No business he started was success where he thought it would be. You figure it out as you go.
  • Culture is huge. You need metrics that align strategy to actions. People want to be on the success train.
  • When interviewing, he acknowledged that the relationship was temporary, and asked what help them further their career.
  • Three boxes: keep, start and stop

Until next time, cheers!

Gratefully,

Guy
Inspire * Be Inspired * Create Amazing Experiences 

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Jeff Bezos: Lessons from Amazon

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bezos amazon lessons

I recently watched a great interview with Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. Amazon is an incredible company that grew from online book sales, CD sales, all retail sales, devices (like the firestick), automated warehousing, prime shipping, and so much more. Jeff Bezos has even spun out a rocket company, Blue Origin, which competes with Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Bezos runs Amazon and all his companies by three principles:

  • Long-term thinking: They are in it for the long game. They optimize things that aren’t likely to change, like people wanting things less expensively and faster.
  • Customer-Centric: The customer is at the center of all their thinking. As Warren Buffet says, Amazon knows how to delight customers.
  • Invention Focused: They realize that new breakthroughs start small and they foster them. They make innovation core to their business. They realize they can’t prosper long term, just by milking the prize cows.

He does some things that are common to GoogleX run by Astro Teller. They put milestones on a new invention and let people self-select what they will work on (maximizing passion). Amazon knows that every new business starts as a loss and grows slowly. A new $5M business in a $5B business is nothing. As a startup, $5M is a great start. They understand this.

Jeff doesn’t think like most businesses. He is so customer-centric, he believes profitability is not their customer’s problem. He doesn’t make customer’s pay for Amazon’s inefficiencies. Amazon does price for profit margin; Amazon prices for price competitiveness. If they can’t figure out how to make money and be competitive, they will stop selling the product. Amazon worries about their customers, not their competition. Amazon knows that customer trust is hard earned and easily lost. They make hard promises like one-day delivery with Amazon Prime, and they keep it.

There are many great lessons here for new and mature businesses.

Gratefully,
Guy

Inspire * Be Inspired * Create Amazing Experiences 

Buy the Potential book now.
Learn more about Karmas.
Book Guy to speak at your next event
When you need The Guy: @theguybieber [email protected]