What’s the best way to identify opportunities?

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Be Nice Or Leave – AVC

I have found that reputation is the magnet that brings opportunities to you time and time again. I have found that being nice builds your reputation. I have found that leaving money on the table, and being generous, pays dividends. I am not saying you should be overly generous or nice to a fault. There’s a limit to everything. But I do think that thinking about others, and trying to make things right for everyone (which is impossible and will dri… (read more)

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Get The Strategy Right And The Execution Is Easy – AVC

If you are working really hard and have a strong team and aren’t getting where you want to go, take a hard look at your strategy. As Arnie told me, once you get that right the execution will be easy.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
How to overcome objections and open possibilities | A Founder’s Notebook

Many times someone makes a suggestion and someone else raises an objection: Person 1: Wouldn’t it be great if we did X? Person 2: Yes, but the problem with doing X is Y. The problem is you’re now at a dead end. The objection means that Person 1’s idea can no longer be discussed. The solution is to flip the suggestion into a question, and incorporate the objection as a constraint: The question to answer: How can we do x in a way that ensures that … (read more)

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Tenacity – AVC

Building and operating a business is not easy. I believe it gets harder, not easier, as the years pile up. That is where tenacity and believing in yourself and your team and your business is required.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
MBA Mondays: When Its Not Your Team – AVC

In all of these situations, it is tempting to think the issue is the team and that turning the team will fix the problems. Team issues are largely scaling issues not growth issues. And it’s critical to be able to recognize which is which because fixing the wrong problem can be devastating to a company.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
The Similarities Between Building and Scaling a Product and a Company – AVC

There is no one right answer. The key is removing the bottleneck so the rest of the system can work again. When it is software, the problem is a bit easier to solve because it doesn’t involve moving people around and the emotions that creates. But that’s what a manager does and good managers do this often and they do it well. It is harder to instrument your team the way you can instrument a software system. 360 reviews and other feedback systems … (read more)

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: Reading between the lines

If you really want to know why someone didn’t like your work, you’re going to have to put a lot more effort into it understanding the person who rejected you. Reading the tea leaves in the rejection letters and one-star reviews is pretty worthless.

Hal Gregersen (Executive Director of the MIT Leadership Center)
Transform 2013 by Turning Goals into Questions

Turning a challenge statement into a challenge question consistently turns the finger of responsibility away from others and back to ourselves. Employees aren’t engaged >> What is causing employees to emotionally check out from their work?

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
How to come up with the right questions to ask | A Founder’s Notebook

(i) Come up with an exhaustive list of questions. (ii) Prioritize them. (iii) Come up with an exhaustive list of answers to the top questions. (iv) Prioritize the best answers. This is extraordinarily powerful

Hal Gregersen (Executive Director of the MIT Leadership Center)
Use Catalytic Questioning to Solve Significant Problems

Step 1: Find a white board or flip chart where your team can do its question-centric work. Step 2: Pick a problem that your team cares about intellectually and emotionally. Step 3: Question everything. Engage in pure question talk, with one team member writing down each question verbatim. Step 4: Decide which questions on your list seem most “catalytic,” or which ones hold the most potential for disrupting the status quo. Step 5: Get to work! Fin… (read more)

Jeff Bezos (Founder & CEO of Amazon)
Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) | Twitter

Your margin is my opportunity.