SEA Session on Ideation

SEA Session Highlights on Ideation with Mark Randall, Chief Stretegist, V.P. Creativity, Adobe

"Most startups fail from lack of customers, not lack of product."

Mark Randall thinks of entrepreneurship as the “extreme sports of business”; it’s a poor-odds endeavor with high returns. If the business is not successful, stop, repeat. And the CEO is at the bottom of the pile in the business. As an entrepreneur you’re doing all you can to keep – as in not lose – every level of those who are invested in you.

Hiring good people is the single most important factor to success. Look at people’s track records, proven skills, attitudes, and for self-driven, multifunctional “doers”.

Startups = Experiment, Companies = Execute: Evaluate entrepreneurial ideas carefully, like marriage; but do a lot of dating before.

The New Better way to build a business is Customer Discovery, Customer Validation, Customer Creation, and Company Building. Discovery and Validation are the search of the business, Customer Creation and Company Building are the implementation. Have your customer acquisition cost identified before you do anything else.

Key Takeaways:

  • Be very aware of what you’re good at, focus on only those things, and hire others for what you’re not.

  • Ask, “What is the big problem on the horizon that’s going to impact an industry?”

  • Do more “at bats”; take more shots, not less.

  • Don’t take too long on any one idea; you’ll know early on if something isn’t working and when you do, dump it. Don’t waste your shots.

  • We think really big. Start small.

  • Before you tell your boss, go tell a customer.

  • If you can’t articulate it, you’re wasting the listeners’ time.

  • Do great products you like with people you like that bring people joy.

  • Don’t be so focused on business that you have no life and miss the exit.

Mark’s Secret to Joyful Success: "Amplify your unique talents with the skills of a great team, to change the world, creating value for others and meaning for you."