How I Built This by Guy Raz


1. Be Open to Ideas

“In this way, at least as entrepreneurial stories go, Lisa Price is the most like the rest of us. She was so passionate about what she did, it was so intrinsically rewarding just as an activity, that it didn’t even occur to her to take the next step with her idea — to sell it, or to turn it into business.”

  • Intrinsic motivation: going extra steps (unreasonably), not optimizing, artisan, “이걸 이렇게까지 했다고?”, 미친 짓을 해놓으면 미친듯이 만족스럽다
  • Passion: how to make AI converse with human and become friends, thinking about it everyday, just for fun, 이런 거 없이 어떻게 사나
  • Friends have worked for thousand of years, it’s about whether we can make it before money runs out
  • 시도 횟수가 중요하지 않나?

2. Is It Dangerous or Just Scary?

“In my situation,” he said, it was “staying at BCG that was dangerous but not scary. The danger was continuing to do something that didn’t make me happy and getting to sixty-five years old and looking back and going, ‘Oh my God, I wasted my life.’”

4. Do Your Research

“What I find to be most thrilling of all — most startling, really — about the heroes of these stories is that their lack of subject matter expertise or institutional knowledge or industry experience was never a deterrent to them. It was actually a blessing. It was freedom. Because without the traditional constraints of standard operating procedures or the expectations created by prior generations of similar offerings, these curious individuals were free to ignore all the basic assumptions about the business they were preparing to enter and to figure out how to create the best possible version of the thing they were looking for, in whatever ways made the most sense to them.”

5. Find Your Co-founder

“You need a partner whose skill set complements yours.”

7. Get Your Story Straight

“Every business is a story. The story, more than anything else, is what connects you and me and everyone out there to the thing you’re building.”


“Every entrepreneurial journey is a new and different story. No two paths are the same. Everyone will proceed through many of the same pivotal points, but your path will inevitably be unique to you, to your idea, and to the time and place through which it passes.”

10. Go In Through the Side Door

“Don’t always go through the tiny little door that everyone’s trying to rush through. Go around the corner and go through the vast gate that no one’s taking.”

  • Open-domain으로 side door 들어가기
  • Enery shot market, not energy drink market
  • Open-domain builder: feature labelling, task-oriented, market-data domination

13. Get Attention, Part 2: Enginerring Word of Mouth

“All the money and all of the marketing savvy in the world cannot sustain a successful product’s growth in the long run. You need more than customers’ attention. You need their unflagging devotion.” — Reid Hoffman

16. Protect What You’ve Built

“Even if the courts hadn’t blown apart Curt’s patent claims, the value in Dippin’ Dots was not really in the intellectual property; it was in the brand.”

18. The Art of the Pivot

“Rarely, it seems, do companies pivot from failure to success. They don’t go from a bad idea to a good idea. Rather, they go from a good idea to a great one.”

20. Build a Culture, Not a Cult

“He recognized that for a business to last 100 years, which was one of his new goals, it can’t be about you, because “you don’t scale” Only your idea, and your story, and your values do. As along as you know them and share them.”

21. Think Small to Get Big

“Why wouldn’t (or didn’t) the big players in the space identify this opportunity the way Chet did and then move to capture all that value at a scale Belkin wouldn’t be able to for a number of years? The answer, according to Chet, is one of the reasons that finding and owning a small niche is such a valuable strategy for an entrepreneur during a boom time.”

23. Know Thyself

“But that raises the question: What exactly was Bonobos about? Because this kind of thing that Andy Dunn and his team were experiencing doesn’t often happen in a company that knows who it is and what it does. Only a company that has lost its way a little bit, that doesn’t know precisely what business it’s actually in, tends to fight itself like this. Andy only needed to look twenty blocks uptown from his New York office and a few years into the past, at AOL Time Warner and the titanic merger that created the company in 2000, to see what the worst possible version of this might look like.”

24. When to Sell and When to Stay

“This fundamental tension yields ‘rich’ versus ‘king’ trade-offs. The ‘rich’ operations enable the company to become more valuable but [may] sideline the founder by taking away the CEO position and control over major decisions. The ‘king’ choices allow the founder to retain control of decision making by staying CEO and maintaining control over the board — but often only by building a less valuable company.”

26. What You Do with Your Luck

“Herb was open to the luck that was unfolding in front of him. He recognized it for the opportunity that it was, and he developed a strategy to maximize it.”



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Jongyoun Kim

Jongyoun Kim

CEO, Scatter Lab ( / Interests: AI, Startup, Uncertainty & Probability, Stoic, Relationship, Finance