David Perell

David Perell quotes on business insights

"The Writing Guy". He tweet about business, online learning, and Internet writing.

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Key to hospitality: add a bonus. • If you run a hotel, give people an extra 30-minutes to check-out. • If you run a restaurant, thank guests with a free small dessert. • If you run a bakery, keep small cookies on the counter. Short-term costs create long-term loyalty.


90% of running a business is making a bunch of tiny improvements that nobody notices, but end up being transformative over time. It’s not sexy, but it works.


The core skill of building a business is creating systems for things you do repeatedly


A three-step process to starting an online business: 1) Build an audience. 2) Build a product for your audience. 3) Scale the business with plug-and-play software instead of hiring people. The audience comes first. The product, second. I've seen hundreds of people do this.


There’s an idea in poker called “table selection.” Basically, there are two ways to win more: you can either improve your skills or you can play against weaker players. The metaphor applies to every industry.


A McDonald's franchise owner was once asked what separates the best restaurants from the worst ones. "The bathrooms," he said. If the unsexy stuff is well-run, everything else will be too.


Picking the right game to play is more important than learning to win.


Networking is a bad way to build a network


Business mantra: The hard problems you solve now will become your competitive edge in the future. Hard life now. Easy life later.


My rules for business: 1) Team up with people who work fast. 2) Communicate in long-form writing as much as possible. 3) Do two kinds of planning: weekly planning and quarterly planning. Then, execute. 4) Learning and sharing the best of what I learn is my marketing strategy.


A lesson from Warren Buffett. Industry selection is a competitive advantage. For example, restaurants are notoriously difficult businesses so you should probably avoid them. Look for easier waters instead. The pond you jump in is more important than how well you can swim.


I love the German word: Fingerspitzengefühl The literal translation is "finger tips feeling." It describes somebody with extreme situational awareness, who has strong intuitive instincts in complex situations. They act with tact in social situations and foresight in business.


When starting a company, choosing your industry is 10% of the work but determines 50% of the outcome


If I were running a retail store, I’d have one rule: no customer should ever have to wait in line to buy something. No exceptions.


If you want to start a business, writing online is the best way to start. Writing online makes marketing easier. The people who read your writing now will become your customers in the future. An audience will speed up your path to profitability.


Leaked emails will teach you more about business than most business books


Customer service should be the most innovative team in a business


When you first enter the business world, you look up to people older you and think they’re your ticket to success. Then you realize your peer group is the key.


Silicon Valley is so far ahead in the cutting-edge of business frameworks that you could build a career applying them to other industries


Lessons from running my business: 1) Email marketing is like plumbing. It’s not sexy, but you need it to work. 2) You don’t always need to innovate. Learn from the best, and do what they do. 3) There’s a direct correlation between how hard you work and how successful you are.


Business school of today: Learning about business. Business school of tomorrow: Starting an actual business.


Corporations reward conformists. Startups reward contrarians.


Running a business demands a collection of skills. I’m a designer, educator, entertainer, email marketer, API connector, strategist, recruiter, manager, futurist, web developer, public speaker, customer service representative, audio engineer, podcaster, and also... a writer.


Every business is like an impressionist painting: it looks simple from far away, but chaotic from up close.


I love watching old interviews with successful entrepreneurs. They had nothing to lose back then, so they spoke from the heart. Podcasts and YouTube make this kind of learning possible for the first time in human history. It feels like time travel. What a gift.


Tweets build relationships. Tweetstorms build followers. Email subscribers build businesses.


Good ideas I heard today: 1) Being an investor is as close as you can get to academia in the business world. 2) Extreme pessimism and extreme optimism paradoxically converge to doing nothing. 3) The key to a successful partnership is shared values and complementary skillsets.


Free business idea. A market place for high-quality copy editors. Here’s why it’s worth considering: 1) Most people enjoy writing, but need help with editing. 2) Even in the age of the Internet, it’s surprisingly hard to find good editors. 3) Editors can work 100% remotely.


Social media is fun, but if you want to build an online business, focus on growing your email list


Great brands are built by being consistently good, not by being great some of the time.


You can build a big business with only one marketing channel. Focus first, diversify later.


Meetings are too easy to create. When you add up employee salaries, they cost hundreds of dollars per hour. People should have to pitch big meetings. They should write detailed memos that show effort and clarity of thought. The meeting only happens if the pitch is good.


Best way to acquire a lifetime customer: Make a mistake, and fix it with incredible customer service.


Productize your expertise. Step 1: Gain experience by working for somebody else. Step 2: Start your own consulting business. Step 3: Now that you have experience and extra time, write about what you’re learning. Step 4: Turn that knowledge into a scalable online product.


Everybody talks about growing your email list, but growing your SMS list is probably more valuable because people open every text message and don’t change their phone numbers.


Startup formula for bootstrappers: 1. Solve an existing problem to attract instant revenue. 2. Ask for feedback from customers. Listen to them and improve the product. 3. Steer the company roadmap towards a big market with little competition. Then, keep going.


Train to build your business like Michael Jordan trained to play basketball.


The Direct-to-Consumer commerce wave. Companies with strong brand identities and hyper-efficient ad targeting are unbundling big retail brands. Made possible by: 1. Low startup costs 2. Infinite digital shelf space 3. Targeted advertising platforms


Businesses I'd start if I had the time: 1) A writing app that actually helps people write. Right now, the top writing apps sell because they're simple. But I want to make one that's helpful. 2) A marketplace for writers to meet intelligent editors who double as writing coaches.


If you’re starting an online business, establish your own category. 1) Find your competitive edge. 2) Pick an industry without strong competitors where you can differentiate yourself. 3) Build your name by publishing the best of what you learn. Brand-building 101.


Free business idea: Job boards for influencers. Influencers have big audiences of like-minded people. They attract job seekers, but don’t want to manage technical stuff. Build software. Run customer service. Beatiful design is the cherry on top. Very profitable business too.


For all the praise we give business leaders, I’m surprised by how few speak intelligently about beauty and philosophy


The best way to succeed is to define your own market. Average companies take a chunk of their market. Good companies monopolize their market. Great companies monopolize the market they created. Grow the market. Grow the company.


Silicon Valley has an excellent culture of ideas because so many of the big names would‘ve been academics if startups weren’t so profitable


Two markets with lots of opportunity: 1) The Internet makes solo-entrepreneurship much easier. They'll support companies that help them outsource business operations. 2) The world is aging. Old people need technology that's designed for them. Profitable, but unsexy problems.


Influencer marketing isn't dead. In fact, it's just beginning. When executed properly, influencer marketing is the perfect three-way partnership. 1. Customers get free entertainment. 2. Brands increase their sales. 3. Influencers get paid to do exciting work.


Measure the quality of a brand by the amount of user-generated content you see about it.


Things I believe: 1) Building a business can be a blast and shouldn't feel like banging your head against the wall. 2) Learning to surf the waves of information abundance is a top-5 skill you can learn. 3) You can write much more while spending much less time on your computer.

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