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Seth Godin's Startup School


I recently found Seth Godin's Startup School podcast series.  This podcast series has incredible information for anyone who has considered starting a business.  The podcast series is fifteen episodes.  I am going to post my notes from each episode over the next couple of weeks.  Below is my summary of Episode 1 - Freelancer or Entrepreneur. 

Episode 1 - Freelancer or Entrepreneur

As a contractor/freelancer, you work for yourself, and you only make money when you work.  In contrast, if you are an entrepreneur, you work for yourself, but you also have the potential to start a business that makes money while you sleep. 

The job of an entrepreneur is to build a system that can scale.  You must have discipline to hire people that are better at their jobs than you would be, allowing you as the entrepreneur to focus on scaling and building the company.  

Three things an entrepreneur needs to succeed at starting a company:

  1. You must understand the industry you are going into.
  2. You must be good enough at it to do the right thing.
  3. You must care enough about the project to get hit.

You want to start a business that has a monopoly on what you are providing.

Three types of monopolies

  1. When a company has a monopoly that violates anti-trust laws (i.e. Microsoft, AT&T)
  2. When a company has a monopoly that is protected by patents
  3. When a company has a monopoly on how they provide a service or product because they do it better or different than anyone else
What is a business and what is marketing, and how are they connected?
  • A business creates value.  People are giving you money because it is worth more than it costs to make/do it on their own.  This occurs when you create a monopoly on some aspect of the business (i.e. the story, the brand, the location, customer's expectation, product, etc...)
  • Marketing is telling a story about the value of an entity that resonates with people enough that they want to give you money

If you can master the following, you will have a successful business:

  • Telling your company's story
  • Knowing who to tell the story to
  • Have a product or service that creates value