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Book review: The Creator's Code by Amy Wilkinson
The Creator's Code talks about six traits today's entrepreneurs must possess.
It's All About Synergy

The Creator's Code
By Amy Wilkinson
PAGES: 240
PRICE: Rs 1,045
Simon and Schuster

The book revolves around new-age entrepreneurs who spotted opportunities, invented products, and built businesses - even $100 million businesses. Amy Wilkinson's rigorous interviews with the founders of LinkedIn, Chipotle, eBay, Under Armour, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, Spanx, Airbnb, PayPal, Jetblue, Gilt Groupe, Theranos and Dropbox, and research in different fields led her to pen six key skills which a new-age entrepreneur should or must possess.

>> Find the gap: The creators have an innate ability to spot opportunities and convert them into million-dollar enterprises. They keep their eyes open for fresh potential, a vacuum to fill, or an unmet need. Based on their approaches, Wilkinson has characterised these creators under three heads, namely Sunbirds, Architects and Integrators..

>> Drive for daylight: This concept is borrowed from race car drivers who say that "the trick to managing speed at 200 miles per hour is to drive for daylight". They go too fast to navigate by the lines on the pavement or the position of their fellow drivers. Instead, they focus on the horizon and, at high speeds, their hands follow their eyes. Similarly, creators "navigate around immediate obstacles by keeping their long-term mission in mind? Creators don't benchmark themselves against the competition or focus on industry norms? They set their sights on the horizon, scan the edges, and avoid nostalgia."

>> OODA loop (observe, orient, decide, act): The notion comes from John Boyd, an Air Force fighter pilot who "crafted a framework for making rapid decisions that would ensure success in fast-changing environments. It is as pertinent to business [and to trading] as it is to aerial combat".

>> Fail wisely: We've all read the advice to fail early and often, but how much failure is acceptable? The author found that "a surprising number of creators decide that ratio ahead of time. They aim not for perfection but to ensure that they take enough risk".

>> Network minds: Creators demonstrate an ability to harness on the cognitive diversity by assembling thinkers to tap varied perspectives.

>> Gift small goods: Creators unleash generosity by helping others, often by sharing information, pitching in to complete a task, or opening opportunities to colleagues.

When all these traits come together, magic happens: customers become evangelists, employees turn into loyalists and investors back the company beyond short-term expectations.

(The reviewer is co-founder, CashKaro.com, India's largest Cashback and Coupons site)

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