Ron Weissman Lessons

I attended a talk yesterday by Ron Weissman. Ron Weissman is an angel investor at Band of Angels. He was a professor at Brown University, but left to join Steve Jobs at NeXT. He’s worked in tech companies and in Venture Capital for many years.

He shared some lessons he learned from Steve Jobs.

  • Micromanagement by walking around – Don’t stay in your office isolated from everyone else. Know what people are working on.
  • Intense focus – Focus means saying no. It might mean turning away a big customer if it takes away focus from your broader customer base.
  • Clean Sheet Thinking – Don’t get married to your past. Be willing to move in a new direction
  • Be 10x better – Be top 1-3. What can you do that you are obviously 10x better to the customer? It can be a number of things: amazing product, barriers to entry, availability of information, ability to create buzz, access to customers, etc.
  • Hire Different – Don’t focus on credentials. Evaluate how they can contribute.

He also talked about what he looks for in investments using the acronym DUMB.

  • Domination – Can answer the question how they will dominate the market
  • Unusual – Many business models are the same. Show how it is different. You can also prove this with traction and metrics.
  • Metric-Driven: What are the internal metrics that will drive your finances?
  • Business-Driven: Many companies with great technology and great products fail. Need to know how you are going to build a successful business.