Words of Wisdom from the Dumbest Guy in the Room: A Q&A with San Diego Serial Entrepreneur Neil Senturia

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technology spins the Lord’s Prayer on the head of a pin. What investors want to hear is a story, so tell me a story.

X: So when you say Rule No. 263, you’re just pulling that out of your ass, right?

NS: No, no, no, no. I have 500 rules.

X: And you can remember each rule?

NS: Well, when I was younger I could. But the nice thing is that they’re not in order.

X: What?

NS: In other words, there actually are 500 rules, and they come and—If you read both volumes, or maybe all three, they will all fit together.

X: Unh-huh.

NS: The first three rules are inviolate.

X: In violet, you mean, like the color purple?

NS: No. Inviolate means it can’t be changed. It’s inviolable. Do you want to hear the first three rules?

X: I’m just messin’ with you. Go ahead.

NS: Rule 1 says that you must return every e-mail and every phone call. I hedge a little. But in general, on balance, it’s good to return 100 percent of your e-mails and phone calls. ‘Cause you never know. You think you know, but you never know.

Rule 2 says that networking is a profession. You must become a professional at it. Networking is powerful, it’s important. If you don’t do it well, learn to.

Rule 3 is one of the toughest rules in the book. It’s a little Zen-y, but you gotta go with it. It says you must attend all the conferences, meetings, and events that you know will be a total waste of time. It’s a very important rule, and I’ve proven it 50 times, when good stuff happens. In that availableness, in the body language, in the accessibility, good things often happen. If you know where you’re going, you don’t see anything along the side of the road. So those are the kind of things in the rules that have nothing to do with, you know, CDMA, or cloud computing, or Facebook. It has to do with how you think about living.

So those are three rules. There are another 225 to follow. [Or maybe 220.] You should read the book.

X: How’s that consulting thing working out for you?

NS: Here’s that story: I’m relatively unemployed and I’m writing my … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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