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Steve Case on What Makes a Successful Entrepreneur

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Success leaves clues and Steve Case says there are common characteristics among the winners in the startup world.

The AOL co-founder says looking at a business owner's track record or how they've dealt with different challenges can indicate how they'll succeed in the future. Failure is helpful, he says. So is the ability to listen and take in what is happening in every aspect of your business.

"You have to make sure your people are focused on the right direction. You have to be paying attention to what the market's telling you, what customers are telling you, and what competitors are telling you," Case says, "and having that listening gene is important."

What's more, strong instincts and a clear vision are also crucial, as well as execution. "One of my favorite entrepreneurship quotes is from Thomas Edison, 'Vision without execution is hallucination,'" Case says.

Case is chairman and CEO of venture-capital firm Revolution LLC and a member of President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competiveness. He also serves on the board of UP Global, an umbrella organization for the Startup America Partnership, a nonprofit that Case created to jumpstart entrepreneurship across the country, and Seattle-based nonprofit Startup Weekend.

Tomorrow: Where Steve Case finds inspiration in business.

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Online Pioneer Steve Case on the Future of Entrepreneurship

Startup Weekend and Startup America Partner to Jumpstart Global Entrepreneurship

Teri Evans is deputy editor of Entrepreneur.com.