Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

How to turn your small idea into a big success

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“Creators build toward where they are going, not where they are.”

What if you had a key that could unlock tremendous growth and success in your life and business? How would you change your goals and desires with this knowledge? Would your ‘why’ change?

Each of us has the capacity to spot opportunities, invent products and capitalize on business—even create a $100 million business. In the book THE CREATOR’S CODE: The SIX ESSENTIAL SKILLS of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs, author Amy Wilkinson unlocks six skills that have proven to turn small ideas into successful companies.
Amy conducted more than 200 interviews with successful entrepreneurs who started companies like LinkedIn, Under Armour, Tesla Motors, Airbnb, PayPal, JetBlue and Dropbox. Through these interviews she discovered the creator’s code.

Creators are not born with an innate ability to build great organizations. “They work at it.” They share certain fundamental approaches to the act of creation. The skills that make them successful can be learned, practiced and passed on. Amy describes the skills as follows:

  1. Find the Gap: By staying alert, creators spot opportunities that others don’t see. They seek out unmet needs. They tend to use one of three distinct techniques, characterized as Sunbirds, Architects, or Integrators. The book highlights companies like PayPal, Starbucks and Chipotle.
  2. Drive for Daylight: Creators focus on the future. Like race-car drivers, they keep their eyes fixed on the road ahead. They are not complacent. They move quickly to build the next thing. Companies highlighted in this section include Dropbox, Zipcar and Under Armour.
  3. Fly the OODA Loop: Creators continuously update their assumptions. They observe, orient, decide and act—like legendary fighter pilot John Boyd, who poineered the “OODA loop” they move in rapid succession through these stages. The founders of Yelp, YouTube and Yammer flew the OODA loop.
  4. Fail Wisely: Creators understand that experiencing small failures is essential to avoiding catastrophic mistakes. They set failure rations, place small bets to test ideas, and develop resilience. Their passion keeps them going. Tesla and JetBlue creators learned to keep going when failures struck.
  5. Network Minds: Creators combine multiple perspectives to solve complicated problems. They design shared spaces, foster flash teams, hold prize competitions and build work-related games. Companies here include Jawbone, SpaceX and GE healthcare.
  6. Gift Small Goods: Unleashing their generosity, creators help others by sharing information, completing tasks, or opening opportunities to others. In an increasingly transparent and interconnected world, generosity makes creators more productive. Amy highlights people from MIT, P&G and all the entrepreneurs who gave her their time to create this book.

The innate ability to do extraordinary things lies within each of us. By incorporating these six skills you can achieve anything you set out to do. “From ordinary beginnings come extraordianry outcomes. No credentials are required.”

I highly recommend THE CREATOR’S CODE for your future success.


The Product Management Perspective: The Creator’s Code is the perfect reference for product managers who want to build great products. Putting effort into these six skills will assure your success and the success of your products.

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One thought on “How to turn your small idea into a big success

  1. This is a great list, thanks!

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