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The Creator’s Code: The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs

book cover for the Creator's Code

The Creator’s Code: The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs

Simon & Schuster, February 1, 2015

Each of us has the capacity to spot opportunities, invent products, and build businesses — even $100 million businesses.

Now, handing you the keys to turn your ideas into enterprises that endure, in The Creator’s Code (Simon & Schuster, February 2015) Amy Wilkinson, a strategic advisor to startups and large corporations alike on innovation and business stratagems, unlocks the six essential skills that turn intriguing concepts into successful companies.

For her landmark book, Wilkinson conducted rigorous interviews with 200 of today’s leading entrepreneurs including the founders of LinkedIn, Chipotle, eBay, Under Armour, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, Spanx, Airbnb, PayPal, JetBlue, Gilt Groupe, Theranos, and Dropbox. Setting her work apart, she then drilled down through the latest academic research and analyzed data from across diverse fields, applying scientific methodology to crack the code on what it takes to go from startup to scale in our rapidly changing economy.

Evaluating companies as diverse as Yelp, Chobani, and Zipcar, Wilkinson found that their creators all share — and have honed — fundamental skills that can be learned, practiced, and passed on. Entrepreneurial success is born of daring, discipline, and the six skills she identifies, proven effective in a variety of endeavors and industries:

  • Find the gap: Spot opportunities that others don’t see
  • Drive for daylight: Manage speed by focusing on the horizon
  • Fly the OODA loop: Master fast-cycle iteration to observe, orient, decide, and act
  • Fail wisely: Set a failure ratio and hone resilience
  • Network minds: Harness cognitive diversity to build on each other’s ideas
  • Gift small goods: Unleash generosity to increase productivity

Amy Wilkinson is a strategic adviser, entrepreneur, and lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. A sought-after speaker, she frequently addresses audiences on entrepreneurial 

Selected Editorial Reviews
This book is the inspiring story of men and women who are changing our world. Amy Wilkinson has cracked their code and given us all ways to join their ranks. This book is a game-changer and a life-changer.
Tom Peters, author of The Little Big Things and In Search of Excellence
Based on 200 interviews with entrepreneurs, this book helps explain the skills needed to be a successful innovator. It’s a great guide filled with smart rules for both starting a business and bringing it to scale.
Walter Isaacson
Amy Wilkinson promises brilliant insight and delivers. If you’re an entrepreneur or a corporate executive working to stay ahead of the curve, read this book ASAP!
Joanna Barsh, McKinsey & Company director emeritus and author, Centered Leadership
A leading talent of her generation, Amy Wilkinson has poured five years into wresting secrets of success from 200 top entrepreneurs and then boild what she learned into six essential skills. The result is a fresh, insightful book.
David Gergen, professor of Public Service, codirector of the Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
20 books to read this summer that will make you smarter about business.
Business Insider
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