Before jumping in

Entrepreneurs suffer from an “asymmetry of information”. Those who make it in the end have a unique, in depth understanding of an opportunity – an insight. They pick up a grail from nowhere and dream up big scale.  Only they can do it; for others it’s hardly visible.

Strangely though, the winner’s moments of triumph in the end are attributed to luck or pure chance by the society.  Their years of dedication to the cause, the number of failures they met with, the pain that they endured are overlooked and the focus is suddenly only on the final dazzle.  Out comes an image of ringing the bell in NYSE on the day the stock opens for trading.  Sadly though, young people want to do `it’ and jump in. As this NYT article says, “as humans, we want to believe that creativity and innovation come in flashes of pure brilliance, with great thunderclaps and echoing ahas. Innovators and other creative types, we believe, stand apart from the crowd, wielding secrets and magical talents beyond the rest of us.”

When I find startup entrepreneurs filled with a lot of passion and little experience venturing out big time, I’ve often wondered what drives them.  A cursory glance at their venture tell me they need ten times the capital they had and at least five more people with definitive domain skills.  Yet you find one or two young upstarts, with weak bootstraps hacking away that almost always end up in whimper.  Few months later, they realize their fault and look around for reinforcements.  If they don’t get it, they blame lack of a supportive ecosystem.  You know what went wrong.  Flawed inspiration.

Run a check.  Have someone else take a look at your grand plan. Digest their feedback, make sure you’ve got what it takes, appreciate opinion and still if the idea won’t leave you alone, go straight ahead and do it.



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