People ask me all the time, 'How can I become a successful entrepreneur?' And I have to be honest: It's one of my least favorite questions, because if you're waiting for someone else's advice to become an entrepreneur, chances are you're not one.
The companies that fully capitalize on the promise of the Internet will be those that look at their businesses as more than building and selling products and services. In the virtual economy, collaboration is a new competitive imperative.
It used to be that you would do things yourself... you felt you had to have control and you could not necessarily get the other things from other partners. But now... it is much easier to connect suppliers and customers... we no longer have these closed business systems, we have more collaborative business systems.
The speed of the Internet provides a fundamentally different perspective on how business relationships occur...The approach relies on collaboration, not on competition... on sharing information, and understanding what we as businesses do best.
The key to using the Internet to extend and build relationships is to view ownership of information differently — you need to bring customers inside your business to create information partnerships... relationships become the differentiator, more than products or services. Businesses become intertwined.
If you had asked me seven or eight years ago whether there is such a thing as a company that's growing too fast, I probably would have said no. All growth is good and you cannot grow a company too fast. But we learned that this is absolutely not true — there is a level of growth that is not only too fast but dangerous and deadly to a company.
I believe there's an inverse correlation between the quality of the information you have and the amount of inventory you need. Most businesses tie up a tremendous amount of assets anticipating things that may not happen. If they had a system that was customer demand driven, they would be much more efficient.
Real entrepreneurs have what I call the three Ps (and, trust me, none of them stands for 'permission'). Real entrepreneurs have a 'passion' for what they're doing, a 'problem' that needs to be solved, and a 'purpose' that drives them forward.