Hacker News: Important Non-Obvious Business Lessons

Here’s 30 years of experience for you:

1. Few business problems can’t be solved by more sales.

2. Cut expenses when the storm is approaching, not when you’re soaking wet.

3. You can’t eat assets or inventory. Don’t get emotional about what you own, only about your cash balances.

4. Banks are your friend only when you don’t need them. Corollary: One bank for borrowing, one for cash balance accounts.

5. 70 completed calls per week. Not emails, calls. You can do it, start now.

6. Don’t be an asshole: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_No_Asshole_Rule

7. Hire and retain “T-shaped” people. In difficult times those employees execute across multiple domains.

8. Client, vendor or employee drama is quicksand. You assist with a stick or a rope, you don’t jump in with them.

9. Don’t romanticize work & try to avoid romance getting in the way of work.

10. You’re only as happy as your unhappiest child. Prioritize good parenting over work. Good parenting = SOS: Self awareness, objectivity, selflessness.

11. Get a prenup. No, really, do get one.

12. Pay yourself according to a financial model that prioritizes healthy business cash balances, and not your personal desires.

-armc, “Ask HN: Important nonobvious startup/business lessons you’ve learned?Hacker News. May 12, 2022.

I think my favorites from this list are 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, and 11. Except I might reformulate them a bit.

  • Be willing to sell almost anything you own.
  • Banks are never your friend.
  • Don’t be or tolerate assholes.
  • As want to work with As. Bs hire Cs.
  • Avoid drama and learn how to help deescalate.
  • You’re only as happy as the least happiest person in your inner circle.
  • Your romantic relationships will be the source of most of your happiness and/or misery. Choose wisely.

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