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30 Days Of Genius Blog: Kevin Rose

What do high end watches, coffee, and news aggregation have in common? Kevin Rose, of course. An advocate of trying new things and creating your own path gives some tips on going from zero to one and beyond.

I have taken his interview on 30 Days of Genius with Chase Jarvis, extracted the information, and used it to answer common questions by readers just like you, who are looking to take their lives to the next level, or at least a different level than the one they are on.

Please enjoy.

How Can I Make Sure My Business Is A Success?

There are no guarantees in life, especially the life of an entrepreneur. But that is part of the fun.

I don’t want to say that there are steps, because each person has their own path, but one thing you should consider as a first step is, are you ready to put in some serious work? Because there is nothing easy about starting a business. Hopefully you are coming from a place of passion, because passionate work does not feel like work. It’s hard, stressful, time consuming and everything in between, but it doesn’t have that 9–5 feel. That makes sense, because you should be running this business from 5–9 until it gets off the ground.

Use you 9–5 as your base salary. Pay the bills, keep a roof over your head, but take all of the extra money and put it in to your side gig. This will be a nights and weekend project until you can build it up enough to see if there is something really there. You may have to do things over and over to make them work. Failing is learning and learning is building a better business or product. Failing can be fun if you are working on the right project.

Remember these three things: try, fail fast, and iterate.

Notice that “try” is the first thing. There are so many people that don’t ever take that leap of faith. At some point, you are going to have to.

Practice looking out 6 months, 9 months, 3 years, and 5 years. If it works, what does it look like? Are there things that you can do now to help reach those goals down the road?

How Will My Business Fail?

1. More money going out than coming in.

People think starting a business is very expensive. Throughout your development from zero to one it may be costly, but not as much as people think. Expenses, lawyers, over production, etc. Launching a business is not that complicated. Keep it small and manageable. Build slowly.

2. Permission.

If you are looking for permission, you may never get it. Keep in mind that if you are doing something really big, it is going to be different. You will be presenting something that is outside the box, and people may not “get it.” If you are relying on permission from your friends, co-workers or investors (watch out for taking too much money), you may never receive the “permission” you are looking for. The best founders I have ever worked with see something before anyone else. If you think you have that insight, who cares what anyone else thinks? Take the leap!

3. Social pressure.

This is not completely different from #2, but it’s from your loved ones. There are not many people that truly understand what having a great idea is, let alone what to do with it. People are comfortable with structure, and starting a business may be planned out, but it’s not secure in any sense of the word. They are looking out for your best interest, but in a framework that makes sense to them. Unless you come from a family of entrepreneurs, that framework may not include what you are doing. Social pressure is tough. You need to be too.

If you are lucky enough to have a partner, in business or life, that has the same vision as you, that is a true blessing. It is even more of a blessing if they will challenge you along the way. That will bring out your best.


Err on the side of saying no.

Be honest without being an asshole.

There is always another story on the other side of things.

When you try to get unstuck is when you will get yourself more stuck.

Kevin Rose Links

Chase Jarvis Links

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