What do startups and Sean Connery have in common, you may ask. Are both sexist? Possibly, but no, it’s that when Sean Connery puts his mind to something, it happens. He’s not a dreamer, he’s a do-er.
So here’s a thought – how about actually building a product and generating some revenues before you think about getting your startup funded?
I know, I know, sounds like a lot of hard work. Wouldn’t it be easier just to find an accelerator, preferably one that is affiliated with a free co-working space, chillax for 3 months, and let the mentors and angels do the work? And besides, I’m still trying to suss out the best CEO chair for my needs – how can I deliver exponential growth when my thighs are chafing and my back is ergonomically challenged?
You say I need a business plan? Well, best wait until after an army of startup advisors and well-meaning investors have savaged my idea so bad that before I know what’s hit me, I’ve pivoted from a dating app into a food delivery service. Now the big question is; what colour ponchos should I buy my delivery riders? And would I be better off with an Apple Watch or a Fitbit to keep track of all those small steps I am taking on my (apparently well-trodden, judging by all those blog posts on Medium) path to success?
Because we are all drowning in too much advice. 4-hour work week or 3 day hackathons? Marketing Meetup or pitching night? Disruptive tech or holistic growth? Hockey stick projections or SWOT analysis?
We’ll say it again – how about building a product and making some money? Steady on, old boy, I’m only two chapters into the “The Hard Thing About Hard Things”; how can I change the world before I’ve visited the Valley, Berlin, Lisbon and…well, I’ve heard the Caribbean is the place to be these days, actually ; )
There must be a huge temptation, given the amount of hype surrounding the world of startups today, to just let it all wash over you, and before you know it, you’re at the end of your five-year business plan, not having achieved all those goals you never set yourself. The only sound you can hear as you help yourself to another (yes, another) free coffee, and wonder where all the people who used to sit in the sea of empty chairs strewn across your office you once bestrode like a freshly coiffed and bearded colossus, is the bailiffs’ increasingly urgent knocking on the office door. Careful, sir, you’re in danger of dislodging the mind map we put up last summer when the blu-tack finally failed on last year’s Christmas party’s pin the tail on the donkey.
What happens when one day you wake up and realise you never got around to doing all those cool things those hip startup consultants told you to do. In the end, you realise, you gave them your watch, and they told you the time. And the time was now. Except it was now back then. Now turned into tomorrow, then it turned into next week, next month, and now, now, is too late.
So here’s a thought. Stop listening. Start doing. Don’t seek advice, don’t pivot, don’t shilly-shally, deliberate, procrastinate or prevaricate. Don’t “reach out”, don’t “re-cast”, don’t boil the ocean, don’t make excuses. And remember the words of Sean Connery, in the Rock – “losers always whine about doing their best – winners go home and fuck the Prom Queen.”
Last night of the Proms was last week – time’s running out sucker. Better just fucking do something. Go find some moneypenny. If you don’t you’ll regret it. Want to know how much? Wait and see ; )
Keep on hustlin’