He doesn't help real people solve real problems. He's a hopester.
Packaging is important. It can be just as important to focus on the failures, but we don't see that a lot. People don't want to talk about their failures. It's hard to find the failures though, they aren't as famous. We can really learn a lot from failures though.
I believe it may be precisely because we don't see many failures that we keep failing. It's very difficult to understand why a company succeeded. We aren't told about the neighbor who had $1 M to invest or the happenstance that led to a great sale.
It's easier to identify reasons we fail and help us avoid them. Oddly, most failures we read about are due to the environment created by vc. Expectations, short runways, business/techie conflict, yet we continue to be led to believe that vc is a good thing for entrepreneurs. If you run the numbers, the first decision you should make as first time entrepreneur is to avoid VC.
Bootstrap the first one and get VC for the second one. Or, as some suggested to me in the past, get VC for an easy idea you don't really care about. Sell the investors that idea, keep the good one for yourself, then use the money to fuel what you're really passionate about.
That is what I like about him. He asks hard questions and if you don't answer he asks why not. Great journalist in my opinion.
Here's my upcoming guest list:
What do you think I should ask any of them to make the programs more useful?
Ask Fred about Zynga and why he was quiet about it so long. Why does he think what they were doing is acceptable? Ask him why he doesn't push Zynga to give the ill gotten gains back.
Ask the VCs how to techies can manage expectations and package their startups in a way that can help them better understand them. What motivates them to invest in a particular startup. Do they actually read emails? What's the best way to contact them? What is an introverted techie to do? Can a techie focus on the tech stuff and still succeed in a VC backed startup? How?
For Ed of course, what kinds of prejudices did he face in a world dominated by twenty somethings? How did he balance risk inherent in older life with risk in a startup? What is different at that age than a 20 something entrepreneur? Do people respect his opinions more or was he considered washed up? Why did he wait so long? How has the environment changed over the past couple of decades?
Hearing other people's stories and ideas is great, but at the end of the day, it's just fluff. Only by trying to start a successful company will you actually figure out what works for you and what doesn't. Obviously, no one wants to hear that. They'd rather hear convenient doctrine, packaged up nicely in a book or podcast, that makes founding a successful company as easy as baking cookies. Here's the newsflash for those people: That recipe doesn't actually exist.
Edit: And I do not know who the best is. But being second best is always better, you have room to grow.
That's been my frustration. It's good to hear these people explain their success, but if you managed to squeeze a bit more detail out of them, I would even consider becoming a Mixergy subscriber.
So I just read these articles (or watch interviews) in the hope of just getting new insights and not looking for a sure way to make millions.