Steve Jobs’ #1 Mistake: How Picking The Improper Business Track Almost Cost Him His Best Achievement


Steve Jobs was certainly one of the best entrepreneurs of the last 100 years – and certainly one of the luckiest. His biggest mistake could have destroyed Apple. Luckily for him, he got a second likelihood.

Jobs’ biggest mistake was that he didn’t insist on control when he co-founded Apple. Perhaps:

· He had no selection firstly and was willing to risk being fired from Apple.

· He was not finance-smart and didn’t know methods to launch Apple while staying on top of things – the best way Walton, Gates, Dell, Bloomberg, Bezos, Zuckerberg and 94% of unicorn-entrepreneurs did with their ventures.

· He didn’t mind losing control because he didn’t expect anyone to fireside him.

Jobs lost control because he chosen the mistaken business track, which is the trail used to start out and construct the enterprise and was fired from the corporate he co-founded. The #1 lesson for you is to select the precise business track to your enterprise. Unlike Jobs, you might not get a second likelihood.

What’s the precise business track to your enterprise – and for you? How will you find it? These are questions that each one entrepreneurs should ask themselves.

Business Tracks for Unicorn-Entrepreneurship

The 4 business tracks include:

· Small-Midsized Business (SMB) Track: Most entrepreneurs fail or construct small-midsized businesses. These businesses might be built on existing trends or on emerging trends. They’re on the perimeter of the trend and will not be the central players that dominate the industry. The query for small-business entrepreneurs is whether or not they can construct a unicorn – in the event that they need to achieve this – through the use of the precise strategy and skills. VCs are normally not curious about ventures with small goals.

· Product-Based Unicorn Track: Within the sample of 85 billion-dollar entrepreneurs I financed, interviewed, or analyzed, 1% built product-based unicorns (The Truth About VC). VCs are early financiers in these ventures and these product-based unicorns are led by skilled CEOs hired by the VCs. This track relies on a product whose potential is clear even before the enterprise is launched. Such products are mainly within the biotechnology and medical device industries. For instance, a proven cure for cancer can attract financing to turn out to be a unicorn. Genentech followed this strategy through the use of VC after the technology was proved.

· Strategy-Based Unicorn Track: 5% of the billion-dollar entrepreneurs within the sample were unicorn-starters, where entrepreneurs launch the enterprise and prove the strategy’s unicorn potential before looking for VC. The VCs replace the entrepreneur with knowledgeable CEO since the entrepreneur has not proven leadership skills. This track requires entrepreneurs to have startup skills to develop and prove the unicorn strategy. Entrepreneurs like Pierre Omidyar (eBay) and Jobs I (when Steve Jobs co-started Apple and was fired) fit this category.

· Skills-Based Unicorn with Entrepreneurs in Control: These unicorns are began by billion-dollar entrepreneurs and built by them – the founding entrepreneurs kept control of the enterprise. 18% used late VC after Leadership Aha and stayed on as CEO. 76% built their unicorn without VC, stayed as CEO, reduced dilution, and kept more of the wealth they created. VC-delaying billion-dollar entrepreneurs include Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos. VC-avoiding UEs include Sam Walton, Michael Dell, and Michael Bloomberg.

Jobs was supremely lucky that not one of the CEOs of Apple between his departure from Apple and his return knew what to do with Apple. And when Apple was about to fail, the board asked him to return. And he went on to construct certainly one of the world’s biggest corporations with the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad.

MY TAKE: It’s possible you’ll not be as lucky as Jobs. Without finance-smart skills, your potential unicorn might not be built, or it could be taken over by the VCs and the CEO they hire and should never turn out to be a unicorn – 94% of billion-dollar entrepreneurs stayed on top of things compared with 6% who were replaced by skilled CEOs. You’ll keep little or no of the wealth created by your enterprise since you will likely be diluted by the VCs and the CEO. Unicorn-entrepreneurs who were removed as CEO kept a smaller share of wealth created than VC-Delayers and VC-Avoiders. Learn methods to grow and to maintain control as 94% of Unicorn-Entrepreneurs did.


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