The 7 Questions | IkarisDaily #44
Tuesday, 25 April 2022
Really sorry about yesterday… Really lost track of time. Nonetheless, I’m back today. Unfortunately, there’s some bad news — my freelance gig is probably not going to work out. It’s been a rough ride with it and it’s not going to happen the way I imagined. It’s not something I’m happy about, but we move.
I’ve been really caught up with travel preparations and stuff too. I did manage to take some time to work on NFT stuff. I’m looking forward to the trip because I have roughly 10 hours of travel there and another 10 back. This means that if I can manage the battery levels on my computer and Kindle well, I can get A LOT done.
I looked at Zero to One today, and this may be the most important chapter yet.
1) Zero to One — Chapter XIII
The 7 questions every business must answer:
Firstly, the Engineering Question — Can you create breakthrough technology instead of incremental improvements? A great technology company should have proprietary technology an order of magnitude better than its nearest substitute. Incremental improvements can often end up meaning no improvements at all for the end user. Only when the product is 10X better, can you offer the customer transparent superiority.
Secondly, the Timing Question — Is now the right time to start your particular business? The wrong timing can mean the end of a very important and potentially valuable business.
Thirdly, the Monopoly Question — Are you starting with a big share of a small market? If you can’t monopolize a unique solution for a small market, you’ll be stuck with vicious competition. Exaggerating your uniqueness is an easy way to botch this question — You can’t dominate a submarket if it is fictional, and huge markets are highly competitive, not attainable.
Fourthly, the People Question — Do you have the right team?
Fifth, the Distribution Question — Do you have a way to not just create, but to deliver your product?
Sixth, the Durability Question — Will your market position be defensible 10–20 years into the future? Every entrepreneur should plan to be the last mover. Start by asking yourself: ‘What will the world look like 10 to 20 years from now, and how will my business fit in?’
Lastly, the Secret Question — Have you identified a unique opportunity that others don’t see? Great companies have specific reasons for success that other people don’t see.
Every great business must address each one of these questions. If you don’t have good answers to these questions, your business will fail. Nail all 7 and you’ll master success.
Social entrepreneurs aim to ‘do well by doing good’. Often, they end up doing neither. What is good, anyways? Who decides? Whatever is good enough to receive applause from all audiences can only be conventional, not even close to a secret. Just as corporations tend to copy each other, so do non profits. In the end, doing something different is what is truly good for society — It’s also what allows a business to profit by monopolizing a new market. The best projects tend to be overlooked, not trumpeted by a crowd. The best problems to work on are the ones nobody tries to solve.
It’s important to note that an entrepreneur can’t benefit from macro-scale insight, unless his own plans begin at the micro-scale. No sector will ever be so important that merely participating in it will be enough to build a great company. The macro need for energy solutions is still real. But, a valuable business must start by finding a niche and dominating a small market.
“Over the past few days, I’ve been having an idea. A web3 idea that brings a very traditionalist industry into the future. If I succeed, this industry would completely skip web2. It’s based on the premise of my family’s business, that I have yet to join (if I do). And, I love that it revolves around web3. The above questions validated that idea. Not fully. There are details I need to figure out and feedback I have to hear. But, I can see the foundations of something big. This is why reading is important. Your brain works in more ways using more ideas.”
Good day. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, and then, leaving at the end of the week. It’ll be extremely fun, this trip. I’m trying to get in a meeting with my friends. It’s a tradition for me to meet all the people that matter before I get on a plane. Just that risk, you know. Anyways, I’ll see you tomorrow!