The One Key Strategy You Can’t Afford To Forget As An Entrepreneur?


“Sex sells,” I told Gill when we pitched him for the first time, “except in the Analog IC business.”

Gill nodded his head in agreement. And four meetings later he gave us a term sheet for $11M.

If only the rest of the investing community was as easy to convince as Gill…

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The Analog IC business was by far the most profitable and least capital intensive segment of the semiconductor market, yet investors rarely funded companies in the space. It’s a decidedly non-sexy business where the less sexy the market, the more likely you are to have success.

Thus the challenge of pitching to investors. Investors would ask us, “Why aren’t you focusing on Apple or Samsung?” We knew better. We knew it was a fools game focusing on Apple and Samsung.

Too often entrepreneurs forget that the successful companies usually are not the companies that follow the latest trend or fad.

Remember a few years ago when it seemed like so many entrepreneurs thought they needed to develop an app for the iPhone? There was even a TV show in 2012 called Silicon Valley (different than the HBO show) about “entrepreneurs” trying to make it big selling apps. Here’s a link: Start-Ups: Silicon Valley.

As Wee Willie Keeler said over 100 years ago, “Keep your eye clear and hit ’em where they aint.”

Wee Willie is one of my entrepreneurial heroes. Willie was a Hall of Fame Baseball player, but I think his greatest achievement was his advice to modern-day entrepreneurs.

If you follow his advice (“Hit ’em where they aint”), you’ll:

  • Have a blue ocean in front of you with limited competitors, and…
  • What you’re doing may be out of favor, and…
  • Your business might not be that sexy, and..
  • You may be zigging when everyone else is zagging.

Most importantly, when you “Keep your eye clear and hit ’em where they aint”, you’ll greatly increase your chances of success.

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