Stop Waiting For The magical startup fairy

I’ve been in the startup business for a while and it still amazes me how many founders (including me at various points in my life) have completely irrational views on how life at a startup is going to be. As it turns out, lots of success requires a sprinkling of luck to work, but counting on this luck to come up at the magical times is foolish.

Stop Hoping for Magic and Start Working

  1. Somebody’s product is going to “go viral” this year. Someone is also going to win the lottery. Just not you. Don’t count on virality, but add some simple elements to your product that make them easy to spread. This will increase the probability that your product will go viral to something slightly above zero (instead of zero).
  2. Venture capitalists are not swash-buckling risk-takers that are going to fall in love with your startup at first sight – and write you a check. Unnecessarily daring people do not become VCs — the industry filters most of those out. Work at not needing the money. If you could use the money, get multiple VCs interested.
  3. Smart people are not going to be lining up to work for your startup, without salary, just for the sheer thrill of “the startup life” and an ability to be associated with the brilliance that is your idea. Be reasonable about it. Expecting team members to take some risk for some time is fine. But, that’s not a great strategy to recruit a great team.

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