DNA of a Founder | The book

The special traits and capabilities of company founders

The startup world is growing at phenomenal rates across the globe. Opportunities are plentiful and there is so much to innovate and improve that almost all founders have a huge chance to get their business take off. Yet less than 10% make it – and with the growing number of startups the success rate declines. People learn to read, write, calculate, learn about history, biology and philosophy. Yet, there is no school on earth that teaches what entrepreneurship really means, how an innovative idea gets created and how such an innovation is successfully brought to market. The author, a five times entrepreneur, is not claiming to have an all encompassing answer – but tries giving answers to the most burning questions of young founders.

This book is about what the most amazing founders did or do to build a disruptive, global, billion dollar company in nearly no time – no matter where they came from, no matter what school they visited and who their parents were. It’s about the traits most entrepreneurs have in common. It’s about breaking rules, ignoring what was or is and relentlessly creating a new future.

Enjoy this podcast - advanced Entrepreneurship in 20 Minutes.

DNA of a founder – A Silicon Valley perspective

While startups are scattered all over the planet, and startup ecosystems in New York, London, Berlin, Zurich, Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai host thousands of startups, the most innovative companies still come from Silicon Valley. What makes this valley so special? What are the common traits of the best entrepreneurs? What can we learn from top entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs cultures and how can we get the success rate from startups further up?

This book provides deep insights into the entrepreneurial spirit of the best entrepreneurs and explores the common traits of top founders. It shares practices, mind set, cultures and ways of thinking for every founder to consider.

This book is about building billion $ companies – and how everybody can d it. It is about the fact that successful innovation is not about the actual innovation but how to bring it to market. The only way to make innovation a great value for a company and the whole society is when it reaches the maximum possible number of users. Otherwise it remains to be a hobby.

  • Rationalizing that the gap between top entrepreneurs, making millions or even billions and those who just hope to get there is gigantic. It’s giving all and everything or better looking for a good job.
  • Uncovering the real mystery of the Silicon Valley spirit, its culture and the way this plays into relentless execution.
  • Exploring the fabric of the worlds best entrepreneurs – and the fact that neither top class education, nor top level social background, not even the availability of capital makes them special. It is something much simpler, almost magical.
  • Diving into leadership concepts that matter: Thought Leadership, Team Leadership, Market Leadership. How to get there. How other kids got it done long time before they reached the age of 30.
  • Getting to understand what a real “stellar team” actually means. What needs to be stellar and how to find those exceptional co-founders.
  • Looking at bold thinking, big visions and how to look at a future that is 10 years out. More so how to literally create part of that future.
  • Building something from absolutely nothing. Forming and shaping a business concept and finding out how successful it may become.
  • Market Validation, team formation, initial prototyping and getting the base for a business within 3 month and not needing a single penny.
  • Creating a disruptive business model. What is a disruptive business model anyway and how can you check if it will be disruptive.
  • Understanding when you need to protect your IP, how and when it maybe actually a really bad idea to protect it too much.
  • Developing a zero budget go-to-market strategy. Startups are notoriously underfunded and can’t afford mondaine marketing campaigns. Yet some found ways with little to no money to make a big splash.
  • Traction, traction, traction. Entrepreneurs will hear that at almost any investor conversation. Building traction is a daunting task to some and the most intriguing play for others. In the end, it is about understanding how to do it, what it really takes and how to build it up from scratch.
  • Growth hacking plays right into the traction topic – yet it has some fine nuances every entrepreneur needs to know.  Growth is the ultimate, the most factual and the most important KPI of all KPIs. Huge growth is challenging but the one challenge that also attracts everybody an entrepreneur likes to attract.
  • Getting funded is for most inexperienced entrepreneurs the number one challenge. Yet there is no reason giving it such a priority. Setting the real priorities rights makes fundraising a result of the previous effort. Is fundraising the main effort – it will never go right.
  • Going global is an essential part of a whole success complex. It’s more than a personal or a company success. Going global is the ultimate economic success of the country one goes global from.

Entrepreneurship and growing startups successfully is mostly about business not so much about the product you build. Investors invest in people and their business – not in technology and their products.

How the best of the best think, inspire, execute and literally create the economy of a country

For over 50 years, the most relevant technology products came from Silicon Valley. A small area in Northern California. We know about hidden champions from all corners of the world who dominate a small subset of an industry segment. But the foundation of our future technology still today comes from Silicon Valley.

Most of the foundation technology came from other parts of the world. But the commercial success, the success of the founders, the company, and the society this all happened in was and still is the Bay Area. Neither the rocket, nor the transistor, or the first computer, or the telephone, or the Internet or the electric automobile or pretty much any other technology was first developed there. Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and other countries have been the big contributors to the rise of the global technological development. But the final product, the production and the sales of those products have not been conducted in the original countries. The countries are proud of their creators and the creation, but they have absolutely nothing from that success.

Today, companies don’t even have to move to California – they get simply acquired by US or Chinese companies and can stay where they want. The economic rise and technological influence however vanishes away. Germany let Kuka, one of the top robotics companies go to China. The UK let DeepMind, probably the most advanced AI companies on the planet go to the US, only to name a few.

The US was the first and still today the only country that fully comprehended the economic value of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for a country. Most countries in the world know how important innovation is and throw billions to stimulate innovation creation. The US government doesn’t spend anything – but it creates continuously the environment to make it the most attractive country to tech entrepreneurs – up until recently. Just in the last two years, South Korea, Vietnam and Singapore turned around and proactively creates a ever more attractive environment for entrepreneurs from inside and outside the country.

The correlation between the attractiveness of a country and the needs and dreams of entrepreneurs is not part of the book but without understanding the inner works of successful entrepreneurs creating an environment that is thought to be ‘attractive’ makes no sense in the first place.

The author

Axel Schultze is a visionary and very successful entrepreneur. He is a published author, patent holder, was named one of the globally most influential startup accelerators in 2015, won the SF Entrepreneur Award in 2008, chaired the SaaS Channel Committee at the SIIA, was an early adviser of LinkedIn in 2003 one of the first executives authoring a blog, a beta user of Twitter.

Other books

  • Innovations Paradigm

    2019 | Innovations Paradigm gives stunning new insights, methods, examples, and guidance to innovative thinking, and consciously created disruption.

  • Channel Excellence

    2007 | Channel excellence describes techniques to build a highly successful, global distribution sales channel. The author, Axel Schultze built one of the world’s largest distribution channel.

  • Magnetic Bubble Memory Technology

    1982 | A book about a hot technology in the early 1980’s. The technology was used at NASA, the Space Shuttle and other bleeding edge technologies. The technology was later displaced by highly compact non volatile silicon chips.

(C) Copyright - Axel Schultze, 2018 - Advanced Entrepreneurship