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Transcript: The 10 Commandments of Startup Success with Reid Hoffman

When Reid Hoffman — who is rightly called “the Oracle of Silicon Valley” by many tech giants — returned to the podcast, I figured it would be popular, but it exploded. Many of you have asked for the transcript of our conversation, so you can find it below. More accurately, it’s a draft script, so all words from Reid and other CEOs are accurate, but mine were modified substantially in the audio version. I added a lot of stories on the spot (maybe 20 minutes) that are likewise omitted. The new 6-10 questions from me to Reid (e.g. “What book have you have reread the most?”) are not included below, but you can find them here. Enjoy the notes and links! Commandment 1 TIM FERRISS: Expect rejection. But learn from every “No.” As a founder you have to be resilient, you have to learn to weather rejection. It is a universal experience.  And this clip, from the Masters of Scale episode “Beauty of A Bad Idea” brings that to life. It also gives you a taste for the show’s sense of humor. KATHRYN MINSHEW: I had been turned down 148 times. REID HOFFMAN: That’s Kathryn Minshew, co-founder and CEO of The Muse, a career development website that she pitched to investors 148 times—not that she was counting. MINSHEW: There were literally days where I had a “no” over breakfast, and “no” over a 10:30 AM coffee, a “no” over lunch. Disinterest at 2:00 pm, somebody who left a meeting early at 4:00. And then I would go to drinks and feel like I was being laughed out of the room. And when we finally raised our seed round, I went back and counted. It was both painful and gratifying at the same time, looking at all those names, and thinking, “I remember that ‘no,’ I remember that ‘no,’ I remember that ‘no’”—and they sting; every one stings. HOFFMAN: Today, the Muse serves users in the millions. Kathryn raised $16 million last year—and her tale is the origin story of most great startups. So if you’re hearing a chorus of “no”s, you…

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