Slow Down

Tortoise CC CharlesFred Slow Down

Bitcoin, Bitcoin, Bitcoin, SnapChat, Pinterest. 3D Printing, Big Data Analytics, Google Glass.

Sound familiar?

As entrepreneurs we’re constantly rushing from one hot fad to the next. No one seems to know why. Here’s why; Fear.

Scarcity Mentality

Fear drives startups. Fear drives angel investors and venture capitalists. FOMO. The fear of missing out.

Entrepreneurs want to get rich and make history. Investors want the same. Unfortunately this exacerbates the hype cycle, and has everyone rushing madly to the exit event.

The way VC works is self-defeating. Investors want startups to “go big,” “fail fast,” and “hack growth” by any means necessary. And so the hunt for “black swans” continues.

This is why Vinod Khosla said 70-80 percent of investors add negative value to their startups. They’re not the ones with their heads on the chopping block, yet they mercilessly push entrepreneurs towards a fast and lucrative exit for their LPs. Entrepreneurs keep taking the money, because, why not?

How is anyone supposed to create something meaningful?

It wasn’t long ago that these were the frenzy-generating Internet crazes:

  • Daily deals sites
  • Social networks
  • Microblogging platforms

And the beat goes on.

There are definite perks to first-mover advantage, but value is created over time. Startup success is no accident.

Most entrepreneurs were entrepreneurial before they went “into business.” Lemonade stands, snow shoveling and lawn-mowing are a few of the ways I earned money as a kid growing up in Seattle.

Mark Zuckerberg built his first website¬†even before launching Facebook in a Harvard dorm room. It’s no masterpiece. What it shows is that the wheels were turning long before he left his mark on the Internet.

The law of conservation of opportunity

Opportunities are never lost. New opportunities are perpetually created by the destruction of old systems, and the loss first-mover advantage. Without Bitcoin frenzy, there would be no need for Bitcoin miners. The iPhone may have hastened the death of BlackBerry, but it created a multibillion-dollar market for protective phone cases, and rechargeable battery packs.

If anything, there’s too much opportunity. When we’re rushed, stressed, and hungry, we think that if we miss the boat there will never be another. Keep your powder dry and another chance will come.

In a world full of problems to solve, everyone needs to be entrepreneurial. Everyone who create value will have at least one good shot.

Let it ride. Slow down.


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