Ben is an author, a leader, a hip hop fan, and one of the best investors to ever live. He has built businesses through ups and downs, written multiple books, and he is not afraid to tell people what they need to hear instead of what they want to hear.
Here are 16 of our favorite takeaways from studying Ben and his investment philosophy.
CEOs aren’t born. The most successful CEOs you recognize have been built through more years of decisions, mistakes, and pressure than most people cannot comprehend.
The only thing that can train you to run a company is running a company. MBAs thinking they can come in and turn a business around are delusional (according to Ben).
Managers have one skill: make things extremely clear. Creating unnecessary complexion is a great way to create internal frustration from your team.
Experience and skills are two totally different things. Most VCs sitting on boards have experience.
Involve multiple people in brainstorming but make the final decision solo. Consensus-based decisions tend to sway the process away from strength and towards weakness.
Your lens determines your perspective. Good leaders look for alternative narratives to create a more informed opinion.
Feedback is a dialogue, not a monologue. If people get comfortable talking about what each other are doing wrong, then it will be very easy to talk about what the company is doing wrong.
Flowers are cheap; divorce is expensive. Ben got this advice from his father, and the lesson is about tradeoffs we all make in life. For him, it was a wakeup call to delegate more in order to have more time to spend on the things that matter.
We started our careers in venture. After about a week, we had a realization.
We had no idea what we were doing.
Turns out, we weren’t alone.
Junior VCs don’t get training. You’re forced to figure it out on your own.
Learning the rules, tools, and players takes FOREVER to learn. That’s why we made the ultimate VC resource library to speed up the learning curve.