TEN COMMANDMENTS (PLUS ONE) FOR START-UP COMPANIES:
1. Thou shalt not underestimate either the days or the gold required to get thy goods to market.
2. Thou shalt first have a good idea, a true market and a strong team (and a praiseworthy business plan) to gain favor in the eyes of the money-changers.
3. Thou shalt not incorporate before thy time, but once incorporated thou shalt render all necessary corporate observances.
4. Thou shalt not part with thy ownership foolishly; and thou shalt provide, in the beginning, for the buy-sell rights governing each owner’s rights in thy company.
5. Thou shalt not reveal thy company’s jewels (or intellectual properties) to strangers in the road without first protecting thy rights therein.
6. Thou shalt put all thine understandings in writing; and thou shalt not first sign a contract with thy brother (or thy sister) and afterwards hasten to thine attorney to inquire, “What doth this mean?”
7. Thou shalt not grant exclusive rights to any potentially slothful partner or licensee without first agreeing upon minimum performance requirements and a reversion of rights to thyself.
8. Thou shalt not succumb to the “Inventor’s Syndrome,” but must be willing (before the Apocalypse) to “let go of the baby” and to acquire wisdom beyond thyself.
9. Thou shalt not seek legal advice for thy business from the divorce lawyer in thine Elders Quorum, nor tax and accounting advice from thine Uncle Louie; but, rather, inquire freely after the best of counselors.
10. Thou shalt beware of all sorcerers, soothsayers, alchemists, charlatans, schemers, smoothies, and gold-chained promoters; and thou shalt shun all deals that are “too good to be true;” for, verily, they usually are.
11. Thou shalt be honest in all thy doings, for a noble reputation shall be thy greatest treasure.
© copyright 1999 William L. Fillmore