Sunday, February 28, 2016

A draft chapter to my book How to be a billionaire

Billion dollar idea

Being good in your profession normally leads you to a rewarding life. Being good in investing would make you rich and this is what this book is about. Starting a business would make you very wealthy.

Three of four new businesses fail in the first few years. Jobs, Gates and Zuckerberg are good examples of success stories. However, they are the exceptions. After watched the Million Dollar Idea from History Channel, I have some conclusions as below.

·         You need to have an innovative idea to start and it has not been used before.
·         Every generation has its own opportunities. The three mentioned have their opportunities in the new PC.
·         The clip-on lens inventor from the show has the opportunity in the Apple iPhones. Clipping on others’ success is not a bad idea.
·         Very few starters can afford advertising. Most advertisers of internet products in Super Bowl 2000 went bankrupt.
·         Invest in minimal cost such as in a trade show.
·         TV shows and magazines will knock on your door and their main job is showing the new and innovative products to their viewers.
·         Need to protect your product by patenting and keeping secrets during early development. You cannot save money in this area.
·         Most inventors ignore running the business. You want to let professionals to run your business but you have to keep an eagle eye.
·         Be prepared to make a budget during early development and how to secure extra financing when the budget is exceeded – it usually does.
·         Prepare for hard work.
·         If your spouse does not join your venture, you have to choose between fulfilling your dream and keeping your spouse.
·         Prepare for failure and how/when to exit. Again three of four new businesses fail.
·         Most new products have to go thru many milestones before they become marketable products.
·         Ensure your product is not a fad after its initial success. Follow-up products should be planned.
·         Face the reality.
To illustrate, do not let your bias on China to cover your eyes on business decisions. Many businessmen such as Walton and Apple contribute part of their successes to China. For some products, assemble them in South China as they already have component manufacturers close by besides cheap labor and fewer regulations.

My own experiences

You may be thinking I’m giving advice from others’ experiences. I did run a one-man company named Micro Architect selling software for over five years. My opportunity was there were few or no software for the first (arguable) personal computer, the Tandy computer.

I wrote about 10 software programs. I spent money on two ads and gained a lot of publicity via press releases. I attended PC computer shows once a year in Boston. My wife’s insurance covered the entire family. Larger companies have a team of more than 10 programmers developing a program compared to one person writing 10 programs. My exit strategy was looking for a full-time job when I found out my new programs did not sell well. During that time, I made about the same money as I worked for others. I learned a lot and I did not have to bring regrets of not trying to my grave.

Today, my business or a hobby is writing books. I am having a good time to run a business as a writer and try out new investing strategies.

For more of my reasoning and complete description, order the book described next. It has 800 pages (6*9) for $9.99. It could be the best $10 you ever spend.

The above is an abstract  from my book "Complete the Art of Investing" which is available from Amazon.

I challenged to have the best-performed article in Seeking Alpha history, an investing site, for recommending 5 or more stocks in one year after the publish date. The concepts for that article are discussed in this book.

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