23rd December 2020

Learnings from "That Will Never Work"

That Will Never Work by Marc Randolph.  Again, random picture.
These are just a bunch of things I found interesting and wanted to keep a note of to look at them later on. It's mostly direct quotes from the book.

1 . " Epiphanies are rare. And when they appear in origin stories, they are oversimplified or just plain false. We like these tales because they align with a romantic idea about inspiration and genius...."
"... But the truth is usually more complicated than that. The truth is that for every good idea, there are a thousand bad ones. And sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference."

2. "There are bad ideas. But you don't know an idea is bad until you have tried it."

3. Loved the part where one of Netflix's employee infiltrated into online forums and group as a cinephile. He joined the conversations and created a base for him, where eventually occasionally alert users about Netflix, a new company in the block. More of word-of-mouth technique in my opinion and a lot of current companies do try this I think.

4. "People want to be treated as adults. They want to have a mission they believe in, a problem to solve, and space to solve it. They want to be surrounded by other adults whose abilities they respect."

5.
"...a startup is a lonely place. You are working on something that no one believes in, that you've been told time and time again will never work. It's you against the world. But reality is that you can't really do it on your own. You need to enlist help. Bring others around to your way of thinking. Let them share in your enthusiasm..."

6. "...how startups typically run in early days: you hire a bunch of brilliant people to be jacks-of-all-trades. Everyone does a little bit of everything. You are hiring a team, not a set of positions."

7. "Pursuing the impossible is a setup for pratfalls and comedy, drama and tension. Also absurdity."

8. "Radical honesty is great, until it's aimed at you."

9. "In a place where you're evaluated solely on the quality of your work, no one really cares about your appearance."

10. " The most powerful step that anyone can take to turn their dreams into a reality is a simple one: you just need to start. The only real way to find out if your idea is a good one is to do it. You'll learn more in one hour of doing something than in a lifetime of thinking about it."

Randolph's Rules For Success

1. Do at least 10% more than you are asked
2. Never, ever, to anybody present as fact opinions on things you don't know. Takes great care and discipline.
3. Be courteous and considerate always - up and down.
4. Don't knock, don't complain - stick to constructive, serious criticism.
5. Don't be afraid to make decisions when you have the facts on which to make them.
6. Quantify where possible.
7. Be open-minded but skeptical.
8. Be prompt.

Anurag Krishna 2020