If you knew then what you know now, what mistakes might you have avoided in business, and how would you have enjoyed greater success?
If there is one indisputable claim Harvard Business School's Class of 1963 can make, it’s that they know the world of commerce and success. A survey of alumni conducted in 2013 showed that 66 percent of the class had founded or co-founded at least one company.
Of course, launching is one thing, and succeeding is quite another. There, too, the Class of 1963 can deservedly rest on its laurels: More than one-third of the class reports a net worth of more than $10 million.
So if there is any advice dispensed by this class worth listening to, it’s how to create and build a successful business — and how to avoid the pitfalls that explain the nearly 50 percent five-year failure rate of new businesses.
You’ll find a number of hard-nosed, pragmatic tips in their musings on business success, but also a bit of perspective. One grad put it exceptionally well, “My experience is that good timing and luck contribute as much or more to success than does skill. The same is often true of failure. My advice is to stay humble, patient, and persistent. Over time, timing and luck tend to even out.”