Thanks to Guy Kawasaki for his “Five Most Important Lessons I’ve Learned as an Entrepreneur.” He says he wanted to leave something special because it’s his last post for Sun Microsystems.

Here’s his list, with an abridged version of his comments:

  1. Focus on cash flow. Cash is what keeps the doors open and pays the bills. Paper profits [are not so important]. As my mother used to say, “Sales fixes everything.”
  2. Make a little progress every day. I used to believe in the big-bang theory of marketing: a fantastic launch that created such inertia that you flew to “infinity and beyond.” No more. The reason the press writes about “overnight successes” is that they seldom happen–not because that’s how all businesses work.
  3. Try stuff. I also used to believe that it’s better to be smart than lucky because if you’re smart you can outthink the competition. I don’t believe that anymore. Luck favors the people who try stuff, not simply think and analyze.
  4. Ignore schmexperts. Schmexperts are the totally bad combination of schmucks who are experts–or experts who are schmucks. When you first launch a product or service, they’ll tell you it isn’t necessary, can’t really work or faces too much competition.
  5. Never ask anyone to do something that you wouldn’t do. If you follow this principle, you’ll almost always have a good customer service reputation and happy employees.

That’s a really good list.

Tim BerryTim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.