David Senra

September 29, 2021

In the Company of Giants: Candid Conversations with the Visionaries of the Digital World


My top 10 highlights from the book

1. A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players. —Steve Jobs 

2. There are no shortcuts around quality, and quality starts with people. —Steve Jobs 

3. Usually people never think that much about what they're doing or why they do it. They just do it because that's the way it has been done and it works. That type of thinking doesn't work if you're growing fast and if you're up against some larger companies. You really have to outthink them and you have to be able to make those paradigm shifts in your points of view. —Steve Jobs 

4. Steve Jobs answer to What advice would you give someone interested in starting their own company?

A lot of people ask me, "I want to start a company. What should I do?" My first question is always, "What is your passion? What is it you want to do in your company?" Most of them say, "I don't know."

My advice is go get a job as a busboy until you figure it out. You've got to be passionate about something. You shouldn't start a company because you want to start a company. Almost every company I know of got started because nobody else believed in the idea and the last resort was to start the company. That's how Apple got started. That's how Pixar got started. It's how Intel got started. You need to have passion about your idea and you need to feel so strongly about it that you're willing to risk a lot.

Starting a company is so hard that if you're not passionate about it, you will give up. If you're simply doing it because you want to have a small company, forget it.

It's so much work and at times is so mentally draining. The hardest thing I've ever done is to start a company. It's the funnest thing, but it's the hardest thing, and if you're not passionate about your goal or your reason for doing it, you will give up. You will not see it through. So, you must have a very strong sense of what you want.

You have to need to run such a business and know you can do it better than anyone else.

5. There are no safe harbors. The only safe harbor is competency. Competency at doing something. —T.J. Rodgers founder of Cypress Semiconductor

6. The first time someone says, “The product you've made has changed my life," is the biggest sense of satisfaction you get. It motivates me more than anything else, by far. —Charles Geschke, founder of Adobe

7. Being detached from the customer is the ultimate death. —Michael Dell 

8.. The faster you experiment and get rid of things that don't work and keep doing things that do work, the faster you get to the winning business model. —Michael Dell

9. The important things of tomorrow are probably going to be things that are overlooked today. —Andy Grove 

10. The best assumption to have is that any commonly held belief is wrong. —Ken Olsen 

About David Senra

Learn from history's greatest founders. Every week I read a biography of an entrepreneur and tell you what I learned on Founders podcast