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4 lessons for entrepreneurs from Trump’s election

  • By Alan Knott-Craig
  • November 18, 2016



  1. Don’t build a business that relies on things outside your control


Imagine you were relying on Hillary Clinton becoming president of the USA? Or Britain remaining in the EU? Or Joburg being an ANC metro?


You’d be screwed. As much as it seemed 100% guaranteed that the above statements would be true, they weren’t.


Trump is the president of the USA.

Britain voted to exit the EU.

The DA runs Joburg.


Rather focus on things over which you have influence and domain expertise.


Don’t bet on things outside your control.


  1. You only need one reason


Clinton was right about everything except immigration.

Trump was wrong about everything except immigration.

Turns out immigration is the only thing that mattered.


Stop looking for ten reasons why your product is awesome. Find one reason.


If you can’t find one reason good enough for the customer to buy your product, you have the wrong product.


  1. Passion beats brains


Clinton was easily the most rational, competent, and experienced candidate, with the biggest ground-game and organised volunteer base.


The trouble was she didn’t have any wildly passionate supporters.


Trump, on the other hand, was haphazard, disorganised and inexperienced. But he had a small group of rabidly loyal fans.


100 passionate followers will beat 10,000 luke-warm customers.


  1. If the people want hotdogs, don’t sell them hamburgers


Clinton was selling something that people didn’t want.


Trump gave the people what they wanted.


Clinton lost. Trump won.


Listen to your customers.