Andrew Wilkinson

Best quotes by Andrew Wilkinson

Co-founder of Tiny. Owners of Dribbble, MetaLab, and many others. Buying, starting and investing in wonderful internet businesses since 2007.

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1

3 Boring but Extremely Effective Life Hacks: - Being married to a calm and happy/contented person - Living in a small city with no traffic and less stimuli - Having kids (fewer options, instant joy by looking at them, inability to think about work 24/7) Boring is good.

2

Our brains are designed for: - 1 to 3 tasks per day 🔥💧🦌 - A social group of less than 50 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 - Most time spent silent in nature doing a task 🌲🌲🌲 - No awareness of anything happening outside of 5 square kilometers 🧭 No wonder we’re all miserable.

3

As a CEO, your job is actually to do nothing. CEOs who actually perform duties within their companies are failing. Your job is to set strategy and culture, delegate, and incentivize. Same goes for executives. You are just more focused mini-CEOs, who report up.

4

Important life advice: Write shorter emails.

5

There are four types of entrepreneurs: 1. Innovators - the person who invents the burrito 🌯 2. Remixers - the person who creates Chipotle 🌶 3. Scalers - the person who scales it to 100+ locations 🏢 4. Optimizers - the person who dials in margins and process 🔧

6

How to run a profitable company: Revenue - Expenses ——————— = Profit IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure expenses are lower than revenue.

7

Most product-focused CEOs think that if you build it, they will come ⚾️ In reality, if a tree falls in a forest and there's nobody around to hear it....nobody hears it 🌲🌲🌲 Marketing matters.

8

Another example of pricing insanity: Every day you will buy a coffee that you pee out 3 hrs later for $5. Then a few hours later, you’ll complain about how $5/mo for Slack—the way you do your work, which makes you thousands a month—is too expensive.

9

If you want to become a pro soccer player, you go play soccer every waking hour. In the same vein, if you want to get good at business, you need to DO BUSINESS, not sit in a classroom for 4 years reading about business.

10

It took me 15 years to learn this, but here’s how to hire people: Hire someone who has done the exact task you need completed for another company, ideally at a slightly larger scale. Make sure they jive with your team/not a jerk. Not someone with potential It’s that simple.

11

The goal of an entrepreneur should be to do nothing but route opportunities to the right people on your team. Build a system and make yourself a human router 🚏 When I get stressed at work, it’s because I’ve failed to build a system and have tasks I can’t route to someone.

12

Asking a busy person if you can hop on a call and pick their brain is like asking someone you barely know to help you move.

13

There's an old saying: Measure twice, cut once. Too many entrepreneurs misunderstand this... They measure 8 times, then never cut. Analysis paralysis. Cutting without measuring is better than never cutting at at all. Perfect is the enemy of good.

14

Saying you want to "learn to code" to get into tech/start a startup is like saying "I want to learn how to lay bricks" when you're interested in becoming a real estate developer. You don't need to learn to code. You need to understand how it all fits together.

15

I love how VCs criticize founders who derisk by giving themselves a market salary or taking secondary, yet none of them are willing to give up their 2% management fee.

16

It is INSANE how much sleep dictates my take on the whole situation. Yesterday: 5-6 hrs of poor sleep. EXTREMELY anxious, projecting disaster all day. Today: 8 hrs. Excited to dig into work, grab the wheel, and figure this out. Sleep defines everything.

17

Nice clothes make you LOOK successful, but I’ve found in reality the most successful people I know dress the worst. They don’t care. They aren’t trying to impress anyone. It’s the sales people who dress well. The people who need something from you.

18

“Hire the best people you can and leave them alone” –Tom Murphy

19

It's weird how everyone I work with, including lawyers, bankers, etc seems just as productive...if not more. Remote work = how to take an 8 hour day and achieve it in 4-5 hours, with time left over to play with your kids and cook dinner.

20

How to know you’ve hired the right executive: You don’t worry about their part of the business anymore.

21

"Stop complaining about problems. Problems are the definition of business. The people who do best in business aren't the people with the least problems, they're the people who solve their problems better and have more fun doing it with better people." –Danny Meyer

22

It’s a huge competitive advantage to just speak in normal, non-douchey terms with founders. PE firms: “We are a $1.5BN mid market 10-year fund focused growth fund specializing in B2B SMB” Us: “We own a bunch of profitable internet businesses. We’d like to buy your company.”

23

One universal thing every failed or failing entrepreneur I’ve met has in common: They don’t read 📚📖 Most pain can be avoided by adopting best practices and learning from the mistakes of others.

24

To a CEO with a hammer, everything looks like a nail: Sales CEO: We'll SELL our way to the goal Marketer CEO: We'll MARKET our way to the goal Product CEO: We'll FEATURE our way to the goal Finance CEO: We'll STRUCTURE our way to the goal Magic = CEO who delegates all 4 well

25

It’s amazing how 15-20 minutes of high intensity exercise, meditation, or sauna can take me from Anxious Wreck to Chill Level 10.

26

It seems like every activity humans enjoy is about one thing: Creating a flow state. Quieting the mind enough to focus on a single thought or task. Less flow state = bad day More flow state = good day

27

One of the most undervalued qualities is pace. There's nothing better than working with people who urgently think about what comes next, and push to get there. Analysis paralysis kills good ideas.

28

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the last 5 years, it’s this: Starting companies is really hard. Tweaking existing companies to make them better is much easier and sometimes just as fun.

29

Compounding happens slowly, and then all at once.

30

The #1 litmus test for whether to do business with someone: Do you feel mentally exhausted after talking to them? It can be subtle sometimes. I might even think "wow I really liked that person!" after the meeting, but notice that I feel mentally bagged...

31

An underrated and often overlooked quality we *always* look for when hiring: Scrappiness. Does the person naturally keep forward momentum going when small obstacles get in their way? Do they quickly figure out best practices? Do they default to yes?

32

Delegation is the single most impactful skill you can learn as an entrepreneur. But it’s SO hard... Who wants to delegate something and have their customer get subpar product or service? It’s brutal at first 😭 Inevitably, when you delegate any new task, you get let down.

33

The key to making good decisions, is making fewer decisions.

34

It's hard to pay someone to think like an owner.

35

I have never seen a management consultant (fractional CTO, strategy, etc) work out. Ever. Consultants work for management, so their goal is to make execs like them and keep them around as long as possible vs. speak truth to power regarding problems. Just hire good people.

36

Skeptics of remote work sound like skeptics of music streaming in the early 2000’s: “Can’t replace in-person collaboration around a white board” = “Can’t replace the experience of walking around the record store choosing the perfect album”

37

You don’t always need to have an opinion.

38

The ultimate team productivity hack: stop talking to your team so much. Leave them alone. Let them get stuff done and solve their own problems.

39

We never had venture funding, or even access to bank debt, in the early days. Because of this, Chris and I were maniacal about keeping costs down. We'd negotiate EVERYTHING. Furniture. Credit card fees. Software. Leases. Coffee beans. Paper. You name it, we negotiated it.

40

My favorite Munger line is: “Fish where the fish are” It’s so simple. Fish in a lake crowded with expert fishermen and you’re unlikely to catch many fish. Fish in a quiet fishing hole off the beaten path with few competitors and ample fish and it’s hard NOT to do well.

41

I totally empathize, but nothing bothers me more than when the CEOs of companies we invest in stop sending updates. It's often because things are going poorly and they don't want to share bad news, but that is precisely when they should be tapping their investors for help.

42

It is insane how pricing works.... Netflix charges $7/mo for unlimited video entertainment. Substack authors charge $7/mo for a newsletter. Financial research newsletters charge like $199-400/mo!

43

The ultimate test of whether you own a high quality business? The CEO can go on vacation for 3 months unannounced, and everything keeps on running smoothly.

44

The best CEOs follow The Pareto Principle: What drives 80% of the results with 20% of the effort? K.I.S.S. 💋

45

Entrepreneurship is just delegation. Investing is its most extreme form.

46

Tried and true strategy for connecting with important and interesting people: 1. Figure out their email (Hunter/VoilaNorbert/etc) 2. Send them a 1-2 line (max!) email You'd be surprised how many respond. I've met some incredible people this way.

47

My Most Hated of All Things: When people insist on calling you to deliver what could otherwise be a one sentence email.

48

Outcome ≠ Effort

49

We love giving founders, early employees, and CEOs liquidity. You’ve worked your head off for 5 years. Why not buy a house or do something nice for your family? We did it twice this month. I don’t want our leaders incentivized to take big risks. I want them happy and calm.

50

Something I've observed: The MOST successful people I've met (billionaire entrepreneurs/investors) are usually much more gracious and humble than VERY successful people who are on their way up. Maybe something to do with insecurity. An ounce of success is worth a pound of ego.

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