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Egon Durban, the co-CEO of tech-focused private-equity firm Silver Lake, has made memorable appearances at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen over the years. I interviewed him on Thursday over Zoom for a Brainstorm Tech virtual audience. He talked about playing the long game, which makes sense. He has no choice but to do so for ailing entertainment and live-events investments such as AMC movie theaters and the Endeavor talent empire. He also has the long game in mind for two massive travel investments for which his firm got in at Buffett-like markdowns: Airbnb and Expedia.

Some key takeaways: (Huge thanks to Lucinda Shen, who generously shared her notes with me, since I was busy. See Term Sheet’s take on the talk.)

  • The 40-some companies in Silver Lake’s portfolio have debt equal to about 2.4 times their earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, a low figure for private-equity-owned businesses. Those companies bought 70 companies last year.
  • Durban professes no special read on when travel will come back beyond that

Find out how to let the world know what you’re doing with these easy-to-follow tips.


6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


The following excerpt is from Rick Terrien’s Ageless Startup. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound.

It’s vital that you learn how to market and sell in your niche. Remember: Marketing isn’t sales. Marketing is making everything you do in your business a clear window on the value you offer to your customer and then telling the world about it. Marketing is education. Teach people how your work makes their lives better. Here’s how:

  • Decide what you’re selling in the broadest possible terms. Be able to describe what problem you solve in the fewest possible words. Simplicity and transparency in your offer is the goal. No surprises.
  • Decide who to sell to and who not to sell to. A smaller group of targeted potential customers is better for a startup than a large uni­verse of undefined prospects. “Everybody needs this” is a pathway to failure.
  • Organize all phases of your marketing and sales plan around the benefits to be gained by your target customers.
  • Identify

The coronavirus outbreak should be teaching an important lesson. Capping the number of hospital bed is a bad idea.

Around half of all Americans live in states governed by iron-fisted regulations that effectively block the construction of new hospitals, the expansion of existing facilities, or even the addition of beds in recovery rooms to treat an overflow of patients in a bad flu season. Those certificate-of-need laws, or CONs, artificially hold the number of hospital beds at far lower volumes than providers would supply in a free market. When a deadly outbreak strikes, hospitals in the regulated states are handcuffed. The flood of infected patients need unoccupied beds, but those beds aren’t available because the hospitals are tightly packed. The CONs hobble their flexibility to handle a surge.

Given those constraints, you’d think that the coronavirus pandemic would have swamped America’s hospitals, forcing providers to turn sick patients away, and accelerating COVID-19’s spread. Indeed, many experts were predicting that doomsday scenario just a few weeks ago. It hasn’t happened––and not just because the remarkable adherence to social distancing flattened the curve of new infections much sooner than forecast. In reality, the U.S. escaped disaster in large part because restrictive states …

John Chambers has always had an eye for innovations that are way ahead of current technology trends. The long-time Cisco Systems chief executive officer, who retired in 2017 after 20 years at the helm, bet early (and big) that Internet-enabled video would become an indispensable mode of communication. But with this particular innovation, he was way, way ahead of the curve. 

Chambers made his first big push in the then-nascent market years before the current COVID-19 crisis forced many of us to adopt video conferencing for everything from yoga classes to corporate board meetings. In 2006, he launched a pricey, ultra-high definition video conferencing system called Telepresence, tailor-made for deep-pocketed enterprises. In subsequent years, under Chambers’ lead, the computer networking company invested billions in the space, snapping up collaboration software provider Webex in 2007 (still broadly used by corporations) and the Flip mini camcorder in 2009 (which was killed off just two years later). Cisco even launched a short-lived “personal” Telepresence set, called Umi, in 2010. 

To be sure, not all of Chambers’ pushes into video communications were successful. For starters, some were just too costly to become ubiquitous. And Cisco’s strength has never been in the consumer space. But …

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