Startups can learn from David (and Goliath story)


ImageWe’re currently in the middle of a Malcolm Gladwell book titled “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants” when it hit us: the lessons here are very relevant to entrepreneurs wanting to disrupt markets.

Take this statement from Gladwell’s interview with Seattle Met:

So do you feel that the speed at which our modern digital age operates is beneficial to the people in the David position?

I do. If you think about the original story of David and Goliath, David has audacity, speed, the element of surprise, expertise, and an unusual weapon. All of those are—in an economy that moves virtually—huge advantages, much bigger than they would have been otherwise. So I do think maybe we are entering a sort of golden age of the David.

Startups are Davids of the digital age. They’re the underdogs of a new world order.  “Smaller,” “faster,” and “simpler” are adjectives that they should be proud carrying.

What have we learned so far reading this book?

1. It’s okay to be a Big Fish in a Small Pond.

2. Full-court press wins basketball games–and not good ball-handling or individual skills. In business, the most obvious solution is often the best solution.

3. Hire the top-notchers from third-tier schools or even beyond that. Top schools are far tougher environments, and unless you can hire the top students–you’re better off recruiting the best students from good and not great schools. Why? The former have better attitudes in life.

*Will add more lessons after we finish reading.

You can also view Gladwell talk about his book in this TED video:

Have a nice day!

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