I travelled to my native Finland last week to speak to a 3,000 strong startup crowd at the awesome Slush conference in Helsinki. I was on right after the Finnish Prime Minister and got to share five lessons from my journey as an entrepreneur to a crowd that had more than doubled from last year.
Entrepreneurship is not just about discovering the next big thing, it's about the idea that we can build a stronger, brighter future by taking risks and daring to dream big dreams and give all you have to make them reality. I work to infuse those ideas into EA every single day so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to speak at this event and meet so many talented people who are looking to truly disrupt the industry.
Here are the five lessons I shared:
1. Dare to Dream Bigger –Don’t just set out to create a good company, take on an industry. Have a dream, dare to make it bigger and pursue it relentlessly.
2. Recruit the Best Global Talent – Having the best talent from around the world will ultimately be what gets you to win. It has in my experience been even more important than the best strategy. The best teams will shape and adapt the strategy over time.
3. Fail Faster – Failure is a natural part of creating something new. The trick is to figure out how to fail as possible. I shared how at Playfish we deployed our first title, “Who Has The Biggest Brain?”, in just a few months in order to figure out if the idea would even work. It also helped us identify how best to build future products.
4. Focus – Keep your business simple. Focus by deciding not just what to do, but what not to do. The less offices, products and business models the better. De-focus is the mind-killer. Avoid it at every cost.
5. Build a Community – It takes a village to raise a child and it takes a community to raise a successful startup. Listen to investors, advisors, other entrepreneurs and students and continue to give back. It is the best way to secure the best talent, as well as understanding where the world is heading next.
Here's the replay of my talk, I'd love to hear from you – what would you add to my list?