Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Small Business TV - Video Series

Video: 3 invaluable tips from famous tech entrepreneurs

Running a small business requires optimism and wisdom. Here are three pieces of useful inspiration from a trio of successful tech entrepreneurs: Sheryl Sandberg, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs.

3 business tips from tech entrepreneurs

It takes a great attitude and a lot of perseverance to successfully run a small business, so you can use all the inspiration you can get. In this video, as part of our Small Business TV series, we share three quick-but-useful tips from a few tech industry leaders that you'll recognize.

1. "Done is better than perfect." --Sheryl Sandberg

One of the toughest things to manage with a small business is knowing when to launch a product. If you do it too quickly and it's a bad experience then you'll alienate people. But if you wait until it's perfect then others can beat you to market and you can waste time overthinking it. Find the middle way. Once it's "done," as Sandberg says, launch it. Then get feedback from your customers and work on making it better.

2. "Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in 10." --Bill Gates

You almost have to be an optimist to be entrepreneur, since 90% of startups fail. So there's always a tendency to think you can accomplish more than is humanly possible in a short period of time. Fight that urge. But beyond that, if you have a big, hairy, long-term goal, use that as your north star to help make decisions. If you can survive long enough to have a shot at that greater goal, then you win.

3. "I'm as proud of many of the things we haven't done as the things we have done. Innovation is saying no to a thousand things." --Steve Jobs

Your ability to focus and set priorities will be among the most important factors that will determine the success of your small business--especially because nearly all startups are short on time and money. You need to constantly prioritize, re-prioritize, and communicate with your team so that they everyone always knows what the company's top priority is.


There's a lot you have to juggle when you're running your own company--no matter how big or small. These bits of wisdom from three hyper successful entrepreneurs can help you find the right path. Good luck! And, as Admiral Grace Hopper said, "A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are built for."