-at 23 started a travel agency, he lost everything. “always bolster your business with plenty of capital”
-at 34 sold second startup, Morris Air, to Southwest Airlines where he was fired after five months “always be your own boss”
-at 39 founded JetBlue. He was ousted by his board
-in 2008 he started Azul. Raised $235 million and invested $13 million of his own money
-“All of us have failures. What matters isn’t what happens to you in life. What really matters is how you react to it”
-how to succeed in airline business: “Have the best product. Have the lowest cost. And kill’em with frequency”
-Neeleman makes $200,000 a year with no stock options
-Herb Kelleher “Don’t think about shareholders. Think about crew members. The crew will take care of the customers. The customers will take care of the shareholders”
-“When things are going south, communication should increase” his mistake in dealing with JetBlue’s board
-He owns 15% of Azul but has voting control, so board can’t oust him. “I’ve set it up so I can’t get sucker-punched again”
-“The stock price doesn’t lie” regarding JetBlue -40% in three years
Games: $1.1 billion (-6%)
Hardware: $401.7 million (+5%%)
Software: $531.3 million (-15%%)
Accessories: $169.6 million (+6%)
Xbox 360: 451,700
PlayStation 3: 304,800
TOP 10 GAMES (by SKU)
Title / Platform / Publisher / Release Date / Units sold
1. Red Dead Redemption / 360 / Take-Two Interactive/ May-10 / 582,900
2. Super Mario Galaxy 2 / Wii / Nintendo / May-10 / 548,400
3. Red Dead Redemption / PS3 / Take-Two Interactive/ May-10 / 380,300
4. New Super Mario Bros. / Wii / Nintendo / Nov-09 / 200,900
5. Just Dance / Wii / Ubisoft / Nov-09 / 174,800
6. Wii Fit Plus (with Balance Board) / Wii / Nintendo / Oct-09 /
7.Toy Story 3 / DS / Disney Interactive Studios / Jun-10
8. UFC 2010: Undisputed / 360 / THQ / May-10
9. Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 / Wii / Warner Bros. / Jun-10
10. UFC 2010: Undisputed / PS3 / THQ / May-10
-communicate effectively on day one. Sent a letter to the troops, to the commanders. And you just echo it and re-echo it in every forum, in every communications opportunity you have
-learn and adapt, tell the truth
-best leaders? foundational level of sheer physical fitness, soldiering is still an outdoor sport. A certain degree of mental toughness, integrity, sheer professional expertise (technical and tactical competence), but what separates the stars. judgement – hugely important
-Ulysses Grant vastly under-rated. Great book by Jean Edwards Smith, Grant. Bruce Catton, Grant Takes Command. He just had sheer determination
“..the importance of writing. I’ve explained that it’s integral to learning, that to write well you have to read well, and that to read well you have to think hard. Thinking hard is how we learn” – Douglas Brown
How has your study of Jobs and Apple helped you in your job as a venture capitalist?
Extraordinary, rare companies like Apple in those first two or three years have some common traits. The individuals will be different, the businesses will be different, the decade will be different, but the purpose, the drive, the sense of mission, the intelligence of the founders, those will be common. If you have been around the start of success, it’s far easier to recognize it again.
From a WSJ article, psychological stress can take a physical toll on many body systems, causing for instance:
-increased blood pressure
-increase heart rate
-weakened immune system
-increased sensitivity to pain
To keep stress under control by:
-regular, balanced meals
-maintaining social connections
-cognitive behavioral therapy
Sell cheap and tell the truth, don’t cheat no-body, and don’t take no kickbacks. When she made a sale, “Deliver it before they change their mind.”
Advice to graduating students, “First, honesty. Second, hard work. Next, if you don’t get the job you want right away, tell them you’ll take anything. If you’re good, they’ll keep you.”
Keynes said, “It’s not bringing in the new ideas that’s so hard. It’s getting rid of the old ones.”
Keynes said, “Better roughly right than precisely wrong.”
Einstein attributed his mental success to “curiosity, concentration, perseverance, and self-criticism.” By self criticism he meant becoming good at destroying your own best-loved and hardest-won ideas. If you can get really good at destroying your own wrong ideas, that is a great gift.
How do you distinguish the truly great talent from the rest?
The right people don’t need to be managed. The moment you feel the need to tightly manage someone, you’ve made a hiring mistake. The right people don’t think they have a job: They have responsibilities. The right people do what they say they will do, which means being really careful about what they say they will do. People who take credit in good times and blame external forces in bad times do not deserve to lead. End of story.
Almost across the board, people are worried. As a rock climber, the one thing you learn is that those who panic, die on the mountain. You don’t just sit on the mountain. You either go up or go down, but don’t just sit and wait to get clobbered. If you go down and survive, you can come back another day.
I don’t care how hard this period is. You have to have the combination of believing that you will prevail, that you will get out of this, but also not be the Pollyanna who ignores the brutal facts.
-Target a specific niche: solve a very specific problem
-Stay flexible: be willing to change
-Never under-estimate the competition
-There are no shortcuts: hard work