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About the Episode
Today’s guest was a partner at the VC firm DFJ where he spearheaded over two dozen investments and realized eighteen exits. He shares his extensive knowledge on startups, entrepreneurship and how to use probability when starting your business. Also, listen to the part of the show when we talk about what he refers to as the “smiling no”.
Using Probability When Starting Your Business
Putting yourself in the right situation for success is important but what do you factor, in terms of probability and statistics, in making these decisions? Warren shares that entrepreneurship is making decisions under uncertainty so you never really know. You just need to trust your intuition. In doing Thuuz, Warren looked at how big the sports industry and wondered why no one was investing in it. Well he saw that it was a very difficult industry so there weren’t a lot of success stories: market dynamics are challenging, contractors are locked down for many years, and there was a lot of money involved, but he saw that the opportunity was so big that he believed that they will find a way.
On the other side of the spectrum, when he came up with the idea, he ran it down with his group, launched a beta version with a listing full of friends, and just got awesome feedback. It was a combination of validating the opportunity and the consumer demand and just enjoying the adventure with friends. So even if it didn’t work out, he knew that the journey will still be awesome. That’s why we jumped in and did it.
What is a “Smiling No”
When people start to tell you ‘no’, you should just smile because you know that you are on to something unique. Most people just don’t get it right off, they just don’t see it. Think that if they tell you ‘no’, that that is just one less competitor out there. Just trust your gut and have faith that the bridge will be built by the time you get to the other side.