Hubris, Passion and Customer Development

While I was teaching at Columbia in New York in November I was interviewed for the Shoshin Project by my friend Christian Jorg.

8 Responses

  1. It is great that you are sharing all your experience with general public and thanks for that.
    Certainly the methodology conveying ‘Test early in the real market’ is a necessity, however I am wondering whether we are not slipping into some kind of over-simplification of the whole startup process, where in many cases there are tens (maybe hundreds) years of basic research which allow applications and harvesting of the knowledge and ‘making money’?
    I am wondering whether lean/agile trend is delivering enough emphasis on basic research and development, which may not yield any immediate benefit and it make take another century(-ies?) to see results of basic research applied and monetized.

  2. I think that closing line is incredibly interesting- you tend to discourage students from becoming entrepreneurs rather than encouraging them. I think that’s a great point, if you don’t really have the passion throwing yourself into something like that just can’t be a good idea.

    Thanks for posting this, I greatly enjoyed this advice. I heavily plan on getting outside of the building and talking to customers while in my product role next year.

  3. As always Steve, I enjoyed your insight and clear manner in which you present it.


  4. I love the comment relating entrepreneurship to a virus, but you say that you can get it out of your system. I think it is closer to an addiction, like gambling can be.

  5. Russ,

    The enjoyment of gambling is more of an external thing for me. I like calculating the odds, making correct choices, and feeling the rush of bold bluffs and great decisions pay off. I go “somewhere” for that.

    Entrepreneurship feels more like an internal issue, a virus, that I can’t get out of my system, that is with me everywhere I go, that I can’t get rid of even at times when I might try.

  6. This is absolutely the best! Thanks for capturing the essence.
    By the way, it all hit me that we’re not rational when 6 months into the round one of our (board member) investors asked me – “how did you do it?”. I was in shock because that’s when I looked back and realized. The problem was that I also realized he did not know…investors should view this video (and pretty much read all of this blog :). Dont invest in a startup if you don’t understand what it is like and what the founders had to go through (and will continue) to get this “idea” to materialize and last.

  7. What are the best methods/strategies for recruiting top-tier inside sales reps to an early-stage start-up?…

    I agree with Steve’s answer totally if you are looking for experienced inside sales people. However, depending on the complexity of your product and the price point you should also considering hiring smart, eager and hungry people with little to no sa…

  8. […] that entrepreneurship is far from a rational pursuit.  I am also pretty sure that I’m not the only person who thinks so. I’ll put it simply:the numbers are stacked WAY UP against you.the personal, professional, […]

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