David Ogilvy’s best advice for business

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So, here is David Ogilvy’s best business advice:

1. Remember that Abraham Lincoln spoke of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. He left out the pursuit of profit.

2. Remember the old Scottish motto: “Be happy while you’re living, for you are a long time dead.”

3. If you have to reduce your company’s payroll, don’t fire your people until you have cut your compensation and the compensation of your big-shots.

4. Define your corporate culture and your principles of management in writing. Don’t delegate this to a committee. Search all the parks in all your cities. You’ll find no statues of committees.

5. Stop cutting the quality of your products in search of bigger margins. The consumer always notices — and punishes you.

6. Never spend money on advertising which does not sell.

7. Bear in mind that the consumer is not a moron. She is your wife. Do not insult her intelligence.

David Ogilvy

November 15, 1991ogilvy_letter_blog

Investors Share Priceless Tips for Startups At Seedcamp

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Last Thursday I attended Seedcamp Tel Aviv. Seedcamp is an intensive week long event which is held in London in September and targeted towards young entrepreneurs and startups, organized by Executive Chairman & Founder Saul Klein and CEO Reshma Sohoni. The purpose is to provide tips, mentoring, seed funding and world-class connections for the startups which are chosen out of all that apply. Seedcamp also hosts mini day-long conferences, or “Mini Seedcamps”, around the world including the one I attended in Tel Aviv and upcoming events in Paris, Warsaw, Slovenia and Berlin. Seedcamp Tel Aviv was a mini version of London’s Seedcamp that brought together 20 of the best Israeli startups in seed stage with successful entrepreneurs, developers and investors from Israel and Europe for a day of panel discussions, presentations and mentoring. Yaron Orenstein from the.co.ils, one of the top Israeli technology blogs, organized it here together with Seedcamp.

During the conference, a panel of investors and entrepreneurs including Gigi Levy of 888, Avichay Nissenbaum from Yedda, Saul Klein, Tal Barnoach, Eyal Magen of Gigya and Yizhar Shai of Canaan Partners offered up a few tips for startups looking for investors. If you are a seed stage startup looking for funding, the following tips are essential for your success:

1. Know your numbers. If you are looking for investors it is important to measure your progress in every aspect, no matter how small you are. How much traffic is your site getting? Have you begun earning revenue yet? How have you grown so far and how do you expect to grow in the future? If you aren’t sure what you should be measuring, Dave McClure’s Startup Metrics for Pirates is a useful tool.

2. Talk and listen! Constantly talk to your customers and get their feedback. If your customers aren’t satisfied, investors won’t be satisfied either. Social networks are great tools for creating conversations with your users– blogs, Twitter, Facebook and more.

3. Focus on User Experience. When presenting your startup to investors focus on user experience. If your product utilizes really cool new technology that’s great, but if users aren’t having a great experience then odds are your startup won’t be a success.

4. Put your product out there. Investors are much more likely to invest in a product that is out there being used than they are to invest in an idea. Get your product out there and show investors that there is interest in the product and prove that it will be a success.

5. Don’t be shy. In this time of economic crisis there’s no room for being shy. Don’t keep your product a secret for fear of other companies doing the same thing. Get your name out there, start getting customer feedback and make your product all it can be so that you can start approaching investors.

For more tips, watch the videos below. FYI these videos (and all the rest of the Seedcamp videos which will be posted soon) were all taken with my new Zi6 HD Camera given to me generously by Jeffrey Hayzlett, Chief Marketing Officer at Kodak. Thank you Kodak - it’s an amazing camera! So easy to use and I love it!

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