Startup cemeteries are full of visionaries without experience or knowledge

Original author: Daniel Tawfik
  • Transfer
Often, when I attend conferences or networking events, I wonder how many people work on the periphery of the technical industry. Social media gurus, ninja SEOs, bloggers and the like. This is a party of promoters of the technical community.

“Cut your way to success”, “meet the right people”, “become a business superstar”. They found their "silver bullet." They can boast of passive income from web business, traveling all over the world all the time, while the rest of mortals slavery in their workplaces for 9 hours 5 days a week.

In the world where we are looking for silver bullets, these people seem to have put together an arsenal of them. Moreover, they found an audience that is ready to mass buy their "silver bullets".

The most striking example of this is some of the followers of the book "How to work 4 hours a week and still not hang around in the office" from phone to phone, live anywhere and get rich "by Timothy Ferriss (The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss ) The negative point is not in the book itself. Ferris does describe some interesting resource management tips to get the most out of your work. However, in my opinion, the hacker mentality for success generated by him in business circles (hack-your-way-to-success mentality) is undesirable.

This thinking contradicts everything that I know about entrepreneurship. This is the way of thinking that I see when people say that they have a great idea and want to turn over the development to a young college student who knows how to code, or outsource all work to regions with low labor costs. This is a thinking that suggests that entrepreneurship is a series of events to create and strengthen business ties and meetings in order to raise funds, and even allow the existence of some silver bullet business ties that will replace a real sales strategy. This leads to a passive approach in a very complex business.

What is missing in all of this is the installation of mastery; the fact that the main driver of success is actually experience and focused focus on advanced training in your profession / craft, and not some risky series of “hacks”.

What is happening on the periphery - whether it’s the daring jokes that we see on Twitter from IT celebrities, or the headlines in TechCrunch, in fact, do not make sense as the basis for a business or profession. As well as the number of meetings you plan or networking events. At best, these things are tertiary, and at worst, just distractions.

Success in a career requires the application and accumulation of experience. This assumes that for any company, you either provide expertise or are a passive observer. Masters of their craft are drivers. The added value is created by their experience, obtained due to the inquisitiveness of the mind, and a serious attitude to their craft.

Starting a business is, by its nature, an intensive course in the collection of experience and expert knowledge. Startups are unique in their lack of resources. Lack of resources forces the founders to quickly adapt their skills to meet any project needs.

“I didn’t know how to do this, so I just needed to understand this, ” this is what I regularly hear from successful founders, whereas“I could not find someone to make X, so I had to think about whether to continue at all” - this is common for the founders of unsuccessful startups.

If you accept this challenge, you will understand that a startup is nothing more than a “simulator”. In fact, this is an excellent teacher precisely because of the need to quickly accumulate knowledge to run in a short time for business survival.

For example, a founder with technical knowledge and experience sufficient to work in a large company should adapt and gain more experience in related technical areas, as human resources are not enough to simply transfer these tasks to another specialist.

This is also true for solving problems in other non-technical areas, be it sales, finance, marketing, management or design. For a successful launch, interest should also be shown in this activity. There will be no one to fill these roles at an early stage.

When exploring these previously unknown “territories” for them, the founders are faced with a headwind of business startup problems, and it becomes clear that a startup is only about professional growth and character development. At any level of actual success of the venture project, subordinated to the whims of external forces, this growth is an intangible dividend that makes this experience invaluable.

That is why the idea of ​​a passive 4-hour week is self-destructing. Relaxing on the beach or traveling around the world instead of actively participating in creating an arsenal of your own knowledge and skills is professional negligence.

Moreover, this is not related to practical applicability. No serious company was created passively. Passive thinking makes people think, “I have a great idea. I’ll hire a team to implement it ”or“ I have an acquaintance that will drive sales up while I play in the seer's chair. ” Startup cemeteries are full of visionaries without the expertise or the proper skills to implement ideas, because they are not executed on their own, but are realized through the intense influence of qualified personnel.

Most importantly, thinking of business as a series of hacks and transactional relationships, you will never collect the experience with which your future self and future business can succeed. Of course, the expertise of the founders alone may not be enough. Nevertheless, this is what allows you to deal with the difficulties in creating a business. You are not just working on an idea; you are gaining knowledge that will help you succeed in future projects.

It is experience and skill that allow someone like Elon Musk to move from project to project and from sector to sector, having knowledge of how to solve the most serious problems. It is not just his ability to find interesting ideas. His knowledge in various fields allows him to do what he does. He is the embodiment of a student who has studied many disciplines at his university, which is the business he creates.

If you want to optimize something, optimize in the long run. Use today's challenges to become a master of your craft. There is no guarantee that any enterprise will be successful, but the acquired skill will play in your favor for a long period of your career.

PS as an advertisement

Despite the lack of guarantees of success, there are several well-established methods that can help an entrepreneur avoid the risk of spending a lot of money and effort in order to create an unnecessary product for anyone. Lean Startup is a concept of entrepreneurship for quickly testing ideas and choosing a business model. Using this approach, companies can design products and services that meet the expectations and needs of customers, without the need for a large amount of initial financing or costly product launches.

Business is associated with risks arising in situations of uncertainty. It is not known whether the new product will be popular among customers, whether there will be enough investment and income, so as not to fall into the liquidity gap. At the beginning of a business, it is important to make decisions that do not increase potential losses.

So, the way to buy your own servers and equipment, which in case of failure will have to be sold at a large discount, may not be the most optimal. In high-risk environments, the option of renting or using the so-called IaaS services (infrastructure as a service) and SaaS(software as a service) may be more efficient. Flexibility and rapid scalability are key benefits of the cloud that are useful for startups operating in extreme uncertainty.

Also popular now: