Entrepreneurship: Survival & Patience
I’ve attended LeWeb in Paris since the second edition back in 2005 – and year after year you get to reconnect with amazing people and update on their businesses. This year I was impressed by two entrepreneurs who launched their startup over 10 years ago and kept it going despite the ups and downs. They had to pivot a few times until they found their product market fit this year. Their business is scaling at exponential speed.
On Techcrunch or other startup-savvy publications you often read incredible stories about startups that experienced immediate growth, success, and glory. These stories are inspiring and powerful drivers for wannabe entrepreneurs willing to try out their ideas. However, it’s important to keep in mind that most often these stories don’t disclose the long periods of iteration, doubts, and slow take offs prior to the moment when the acceleration actually happened.
When I talk about entrepreneurship I usually say that a start-up story will take at least ten years – and that as an entrepreneur your job is to be ready to captain the boat through that time.
Even in tough times it’s crucial for an entrepreneur to keep in mind that his #1 objective is survival – if he gives up and the project dies everything is lost. Whether it means downsizing drastically, pivoting or accepting a round at low valuation – everything works as long as the boat stays afloat. Just like the cliffhanger in the illustration at the top of this post – lose grip and you’re dead.