Breaking Bad was one of the greatest shows on TV. With it’s finale now wrapped up, we should step and back look at one of the greatest entrepreneurs on television, Walter White aka Heisenberg and 3 things real world entrepreneurs can learn from him.
Mr.White is the Devil.
Don’t be afraid.. to be afraid.
There are many movies and shows out there depicting the “ideal” entrepreneur, a cool and charismatic character that is never afraid, but thats a load of bullshit.
Many times in Breaking Bad you see Walt on his knees in tears and afraid. That is what entrepreneurship is about. There will be many times you’re going to be very very afraid. Afraid about your product launch, afraid of your competition, afraid of failing and the point is it’s okay to be afraid.
Let the fear drive you. Fear is what drives Walt. He’s pushes back knowing that if he doesn’t he’s finished. He doesn’t sit back and say “So, Gus wants to kill my family. Well he can’t touch me, I’m Heisenberg.” instead his thought process is “Holy shit, I’m so screwed. *tears* I gotta do something and do something fast.”
Let that be you’re motivator. Don’t be afraid of being afraid.
Make and maintain connections.
Everyone talks about making connections but not many know how to really maintain them. In Walt’s case, his connection to the Nazi guys got him out quite a crazy mess two times now. While the end result is a very shocking one, if it wasn’t for his good connections he would be in the lockup by now.
How do you make and maintain good connections? Well for one thing be genuine. Don’t go up to a person at a conference pretending to be someone you’re not. If you’re a small startup “ceo” don’t act like you’re Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, just be yourself.
If you really like the person, maintain a connection. However if you don’t like them, don’t blow them off! Shake their hand, hand over your business card and move on. You never know when they’ll contact you for something and what it’ll evolve too.
Also for the love of blue meth, make sure it’s not your ego getting in the way. As startups, young and old entrepreneurs let their ego get in the way of making truly good connections and friends. It’s the worst way to be. “Oh their company just raised 2M, his business is shit while my startup does the next best thing. To hell with them” No that’s a horrible way to be. They are working hard, and so are you (hopefully), so just relax let your ego out of the way and truly see the person for who’m he or she is. Really you never ever know when they can help you.
Don’t compromise quality.
In previous seasons we saw Walt ensure that his quality is the best possible. He won’t ever compromise on quality, no matter what. As a startup it’s tricky to really understand this. On one hand you have the lean startup, where you’re working from your garage and want to get out there as fast as possible. But on the other hand, you can spend a year making your product look as awesome as possible and never really get to market.
What you have to understand is you should never compromise on the quality if your core product. Walt didn’t give a shit how his product was distributed, or the packaging it came in. He just cared about how pure it was. Your startup should only care about the quality of it’s principal feature. If you’re a RSS recommendation engine, better make sure your RSS recommendations are as awesome as possible. Don’t worry about how your login page looks, or if that red button is going to be big enough. Worry about the core feature. If you got that, you are gold.
Thoughts? Feedback? Discuss below!