- When you're first starting your business, you may have a lot of confidence and belief in the idea that you're starting to work on. However, the idea is really just the very beginning, that sort of germinating seed of where you go, and it's important to realize as you're getting started that there's an enormous amount of uncertainty in front of you. Creating a business is not this process where you figure things out, and then just go do something. Instead, it's much more a series of endless experiments, many of which fail.
So you're constantly coming up with new hypotheses for things that you want to do, ideas that might be big ones or little ones in the context of where you're going with your business. You're running these little experiments very quickly, you're trying something. If it fails, it's not bad, you learn from that failure and you incorporate that into what you're doing going forward. If it succeeds, that little experiment, you do a lot more of it. And so the idea is, you've now figured out a vector, or trajectory, that you want to go down. So you're trying to eliminate this uncertainty on a continual basis by running these little experiments.
The essence of that, though, is along the way, in addition to this uncertainty, you have this layer of risk with everything you're doing. Each time you hire a new person, you're taking a risk. You're taking a risk on that person. Are they going to fit, are they going to be the right person for the role that you're having? Whenever you enter in a relationship with another party, whether it's an investor or a business partner or a distribution channel, you're taking some risk in the context of that. So the risk of a start up is not this global risk of how risky being an entrepreneur and start ups are, but the fact that so many times along the way, you're going to be trying new things, a lot of which won't work.
And so your ability as an entrepreneur to deal with uncertainty is extremely important, and recognize that that uncertainty is something that you manage, not by feeling lots of anxiety about it, although you could, that's a normal thing that a lot of entrepreneurs feel, but instead trying to run these small experiments to eliminate the uncertainty so that when you do take a bigger risk, you're doing it with good information, well-informed from your own experience.
- Define “shiny object syndrome.”
- Identify your customer’s pain.
- Determine the scalability of a product.
- Recall the best time to initiate customer acquisition.
- Review the differences between a passionate employee and an obsessed employee.
- Recognize the benefits of domain experience when building a founding team.