Luke Johnson the founder of Pizza Express and FT columnist is giving the Keynote address at this month’s Capital Enterprise meeting at the Centre for Entrepreneurship. So I thought I would blog about an address given by L:uke Johnson at the J & J Digital Health Masterclass LSO St Luke’s, London, 20 Nov 13.
So here are Luke Johnson’s 20 Maxims:
1. Desire for AUTONOMY, freedom not independence, control of your own destiny is most entrepreneur’s prime motivation.
2. Entrepreneurs need OPTIMISM for they are essentially risk takers who sacrifice security for thrills.
3. Entrepreneurship is not a ZERO-SUM ACTIVITY; inventors add creativity and create wealth that drives improvement for very many.
4. Industries and economies move in CYCLES, UK macro-economic decline may be unavoidable but to individual entrepreneurs; what matters is their own micro-economy
5. Take on PARTNERS; it is always a team that succeeds
6. DOMAIN knowledge is inherent; real experts with a technical understanding of their industry are essential.
7. The best investors have a CONCENTRATED PORTFOLIO, a tiny number of companies in sectors they know. (LJ has investments only in 6 companies).
8. LEADERSHIP essential. Leaders’ job is to hire and motivate managers and to invest capital intelligently. They delegate and choose what actions to back.
9. PATIENCE with the money; all serious businesses take 5-10 years to mature. Entrepreneurs need investors and managers who are prepared for the journey.
10. Influence of ROLE MODELS; need good role models to influence them.
11. OBSESSIVES: Entrepreneurs are workaholics who fail to get work/life balance right, mono-maniacs, but their ambitions must be accommodated by talent, diligence and discipline.
12.EXECUTION is more important than theory. Often the business plan is not carried out; Strategy is less important than people who DO and FOLLOW THOUGH.
13. WORK HARD; not a place for get-rich-quick merchants. Entrepreneurs have little patience with those who want to sell out before the business really succeeds.
14. Most of the financial returns come at scale. So aim BIG and don’t give up half way through.
15.Most entrepreneurs are RESTLESS, poor at the status quo, like a dynamic environment. So best if they partner with someone who is happy with managing the admin.
16. Most impressive businesses have adopted KAIZEN, the art and science of continuous improvement, endlessly making small improvements from bottom to top, with a permanent openness to change.
17. Business success is built by a TEAM, not single people. The genius boss is very unhealthy, as is the CEO being paid 500 times more than the lowest paid.
18.PHILANTHROPY is part of the mix. Give 1 day per week to the community. You learn and improve from engaging with others outside your own business.
19. LIFE-LONG LEARNING is vital and the secret to a happy existence.
20. ENTREPRENEURS really matter; they create new jobs, they bring innovation and they pay taxes for others to benefit.