Buffett: Founders should have seven characteristics of success

Buffett once said, "My success does not come from my high IQ, but I think the most important thing is rationality. I always compare IQ and talent to the power of an engine, but the output power, that is, the efficiency of work, depends on rationality."


1、 Paranoid

The Eight Liars in the Brain said: "Compared with normal people, delusional patients are at least worse scientists in daily life.

According to the above statement, psychologists have developed a hypothesis: paranoia patients often fail to collect enough evidence before the formation of their beliefs, and quickly deduce immature conclusions on the weakest basis. "

According to this standard, Chesky, who stuck to the business model of "mattress+breakfast" at the beginning, was very consistent. Most investors are a little paranoid, and Chesky has been rejected by them seven times.

Nobody looked after him. Paul Graham, founder of Y Combinator, invested $20000 for this "terrible" idea because "the founders have the belief of immortality and are very imaginative."

2、 Knock to the end

After the success of a small probability event, it is obviously a matter of urgency to look for the reasons for the success in reverse and summarize the various characteristics of the parties as necessary and sufficient conditions.

I think God designed everything for Airbnb, and Chesky just happened to be chosen to complete it. Let's see what kind of people God likes.

Madness, obsession and paranoia are common to almost all such people. Chesky has the following anecdotes before adulthood:

He used to be crazy about hockey. When he was young, he insisted on sleeping with his Christmas present -- a complete set of equipment (protective gear, skates, golf clubs and helmet).

He would go to the museum and copy the painting for several hours. His mother said, "When he was very young, he would not stop at things."

When he was at Rhode Island Academy of Arts, he was the captain of the hockey team. On the eve of his speech at the graduation ceremony, he stood on the stage to watch the staff decorate 6000 chairs in the venue.

Like Steve Jobs? Once he was preparing for the Apple conference, he sweated for 3 days and performed 300 times.

3、 Steal the most powerful person

After becoming the CEO of one of the most dazzling companies in Silicon Valley, in addition to the release of his talent, Chesky also showed amazing learning ability (which may be a more important talent).

Instead of trying and making mistakes, learn directly from best practices.

This is his second secret: self-study on how to quickly go deep into a topic, using the learning method of "going to the source".

Chesky's "fast forward" learning method is:

  1. Research and determine the best resources in a certain field;
  2. Go directly to learn from this person.

He learned the "shipwreck theory" from George Tenet, former director of the CIA: "I must worry about anything below the waterline that may cause shipwreck."

"I must also pay attention to two or three parts that I love very much - although they are not below the waterline, their value-added potential deserves my attention. I really love these areas. If they work well, they will really change the whole company." The three areas are: product, brand and culture.

"I almost personally focus on these aspects. As for other management areas, I will try my best to authorize other senior executives. I will intervene only when there is a leak below the waterline."

Cheeky learned from former US Defense Secretary McNamara that "people who are in war or entrepreneurship can only learn in the most direct way."

Tenet taught Chesky face to face: sitting at different places in the restaurant every day for lunch; The importance of handwritten notes for employees

He met Zuckerberg of FB, Bezos of Amazon and John Donahoe of eBay.

He asked Bob Iger and Marc Benioff how to urge the senior management team to perform more tasks. Ask Sandberg how to improve the efficiency of international expansion.

Chesky is also good at cross-border integration of resources, such as learning from sports agents to recruit, like attracting talented athletes.

As a liberal arts student with no business experience, his solution is:

"Search widely for the best practitioners to crack the leadership."

Cheeky also copied his stolen wisdom to the whole company by:

  1. Launched the "Sunday Night Series" activity to summarize the principles or lessons learned during the week:
  2. Communicate with all employees of the company via email;
  3. Allow new employees to attend 1 hour Q&A meeting every week;
  4. After meeting Buffett, to avoid forgetting, he immediately wrote a 3600 word report to the team members after arriving at the airport;

4、 Go to Sistine to paint murals

Talk with Buffett for four and a half hours.

Chesky's gains are:

  1. It is important not to be disturbed by noise.
  2. Buffett reads all day. He may only attend one meeting every day, and he thinks deeply.

Buffett spoke highly of Chesky: "Even if he doesn't get a dime, he will do what he is doing now."

This is Buffett's favorite type of manager, which is almost one of the necessary additional conditions for his stock selection. He himself is a similar person. He goes to work happily every day, like Michelangelo going to Sistine to paint frescoes.

About Airbnb, Buffett said: "I really hope this is my idea."

Buffett once said, "My success does not come from my high IQ, but I think the most important thing is rationality. I always compare IQ and talent to the power of an engine, but the output power, that is, the efficiency of work, depends on rationality."

The passion of Chesky for entrepreneurship corresponds to the rationality of Buffett for investment. Applying the engine theory, the continuity of output requires that kind of constant internal energy.

5、 Lead like "liberal arts students"

Cheeky's secret is:

  1. Keep "crazy": "Don't cut your imagination", and don't listen to those who say it is impossible. Security issues, legal challenges and competitors - none of these issues can destroy Airbnb. "The only thing that can destroy the company is that we stop being crazy."
  2. Create culture as evangelical: "If you destroy the company culture, you destroy the machine that creates products." He told employees that their mission was to "design the future world we want to live in".
  3. Management for results should stop, and management should be centered on principles.
  4. Stop making decisions when there is consensus: "In a crisis, making decisions based on consensus often leads to the middle of the road, which is usually the worst decision."
  5. Confidence: "I am fully confident in the leadership of this company and ready to meet any challenges the world may give us."

6、“think bigger”。

  1. Explore "step changes", that is, a single action with great influence.
  2. Integrate artistic sensationalism into products and management.
  3. Dive deep. The biggest challenge Chesky faces is that he needs to deal with massive information during the rapid growth of the company, and he leaps into it like those outstanding CEOs.

6、 Assemble the aircraft in the falling cliff

Graham, the first Airbnb investor, believes that entrepreneurs need to turn off their intuition at some time if they want to succeed in a field that runs counter to their intuition, just as pilots do when flying through clouds.

"If everyone thinks a good idea is good, someone must have made it. Therefore, the most successful entrepreneurs will tend to implement the ideas that only they think are good. Sometimes these ideas may seem crazy to others, and you can't see the results until you arrive at that point."

Chesky's ultimate secret is to jump off the cliff and assemble the aircraft during the descent.

The following quotes from Taleb's book:

"Let's go back to the metaphor of birds. Think about the possibility of the following: a group of people as holy as monks (from Harvard or similar places) Teach birds how to fly. Imagine a group of bald men in black robes in their 60s who speak English, speak technical terms and write many equations. The bird flew. Perfect proof! The guards rushed back to the Department of Ornithology to write a book and report, indicating that the bird had listened to them and flew. An irrefutable causal inference. The Department of Ornithology of Harvard has become an indispensable element of bird flight and will receive research funding from the government for its contribution. "

Taleb wrote with his ever flattering conceit:

"But birds can't write such papers and books, because they are just birds, so we can't get their testimony. At the same time, these" priests "also promote their theories to a new generation of people who don't know the situation before Harvard opened the bird flight course. In this way, no one discusses the possibility that birds can fly without this kind of course, and no one has any power to observe how many birds do not need the help of these great scientific institutions when flying. "

In other words, Taleb is another kind of monk, trying to find another "principle": the flight theory of birds that can fly without theory.

As in this article, it is self contradictory.

7、 It's none of my business

As an opposite person (evasive, pessimistic, trying to build a private fortress), I learned something from Chesky:

  1. Don't be afraid of trouble. a. After trouble comes opportunity; b. To solve problems rather than avoid them; c. Able to dance in chains. Airbnb and Uber are all seemingly troublesome things, and Facebook is no exception;
  2. Reality is not a dead or alive problem with boundary. The known conditions interact with you, which is not a precise and arduous calculation. The question and answer interweave together, which will self resolve and transform each other;
  3. Don't be magnified by nihility. When those huge contingencies come, even if multiplied by a very low probability, they are worth all in. When you give full play to your nature;
  4. Life needs some false correlation (the brain tends to secretly fabricate the "correlation" it expects in unrelated places, that is, "false correlation"), regardless of whether it finally becomes true;
  5. Jump down bravely and assemble the plane in the crash;
  6. Whether you jump or not, whether you have ever burned, the Cliff of Time is waiting there.

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