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How To Not Go Bankrupt As an Entrepreneur Episode 4, Can you deliver!?

by Larry Chiang on July 23, 2019

Larry Chiang encourages you to be curious about a J.B.A., Jedi in Business Administration. Being a mentee under Mark McCormack can make you seem to perform genius. Neither Chiang nor McCormack went to Harvard Business. Chiang guest lectures at Stanford because he spoke at Harvard Law School. After the HLS keynote, where Chiang quoted Mark McCormack multiple times… Harvard’s Harbus wrote: “What They Don’t Teach You at Stanford Business School”. Subscribe to Larry Chiang’s YouTube videos and see his new series, “How To Not Go Bankrupt As an Entrepreneur”.

Larry Chiangby Larry Chiang

Larry Chiang @duck9 (@LarryChiang)
Episode 4, “Can you deliver?”; 

Season 1

How To Not Go Bankrupt As an Entrepreneur


Larry Chiang @duck9 (@LarryChiang)
Deliver on milestones.


Larry Chiang @duck9 (@LarryChiang)
External deliverables 


Internal deliverables.


Larry Chiang @duck9 (@LarryChiang)
External deliverables are emotionally painful to even try. For example, people make an excuse to not do the external deliverable work 


Larry Chiang @duck9 (@LarryChiang)
Popular EXCUSE: We are going to hire a VP of Sales

Outside help coming in to run distribution and sales is deadly. You will die. 


Larry Chiang @duck9 (@LarryChiang)
POPULAR EXCUSE: I will delegate [external deliverable] tasks. And pay them with worthless stock


Larry Chiang @duck9 (@LarryChiang)
Horrible EXCUSE: We are going to do such a great job on our internal deliverables that the product or service will just magically distribute itself. 

Distribution work is an external deliverable 

Google “Startup Death Spiral”. Duck, down

Larry Chiang @duck9 (@LarryChiang)
3-5 cofounders. All code. All make. All promote.


Larry Chiang @duck9 (@LarryChiang)
Hiding amongst the “internal deliverables”

– startups conducting meetings like they’re a big company. 

– feel good checklists that do zero to build shareholder value

– laying corporeal structure 

All deadly


Larry Chiang @duck9 (@LarryChiang)
What I learned at a fortune 100 company in outside sales:

I only spent 20% of my time selling to outside people. And my title was Sales Engineer. 80% of my time pleasing the administrative overhead. 

As a founder, you’re going BK if you’re spending 0%-3% of your time selling😂


Larry Chiang @duck9 (@LarryChiang)
Working at a baby company staring at financial death is different from that big corporate gig you just left…


Larry Chiang @duck9 (@LarryChiang)
Beating a dead horse?! 

I think not. 

It’s so counterintuitive to forge ahead with the craziness of zero corporate structure. Remember, the excuses to not execute External Deliverables are very compelling…


Paul Graham (@paulg)
The worst mistake refugees from big companies make when starting startups is probably to divide functions too much. They’ll have separate people doing sales, marketing, and product development. Whereas in a startup it’s ideal if one person does all three initially.

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