About a year ago I was talking with a founder going through Techstars and he told me something that really stuck with me...
"Our behavior towards our startup totally changed when it occurred to us that we are the rule...not the exception."
In other words, this delusional founder (he's delusional because all founders are delusional) believed that his path would be different/easier because his idea/product was so much better. And once he realized that this wasn't the case (even though his startup was growing very quickly), it gave him a new sense of urgency around the most important tasks he and his team needed to do to make his startup successful.
If you read my blog regularly then you know I write a lot of posts like this...pleas to first-time founders to take the correct steps (ie eliminate all avoidable mistakes) to increase their odds of success. I believe one of the main reasons that founders make mistakes that they shouldn't make is their belief that they are the exception...not the rule.
When I heard the founder of Kickstarter describe their early days on this podcast, I was immediately reminded of what this Techstars founder told me. Even though Kickstarter is exceptionally successfully today, in the beginning they were the rule...not the exception. The Kickstarter founder regrets mistakes that he made that were totally avoidable in the earliest stage.
How many Kickstarter-type startups failed simply because of founder mistakes that were totally avoidable?
If you are a startup founder I would encourage you to be delusional about your unique insight, but assume that you will have all the typical struggles that even the best startups have encountered.
For a bit more on this topic, here are all my blog posts tagged “ resiliency."
Get Right to the Lesson
I’d recommend listening to the entire thing, but to get right to the point go to minute 19:31 of this podcast.
Thanks to these folks for helping us all learn faster
Perry Chen (@perrychen), founder of Kickstarter (@kickstarter)
How I Built This (@HowIBuiltThis)
Guy Raz (@guyraz)
Please let me and others know what you think about this topic
Email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org or let's discuss publicly at @davempayne.
Real Founder Lessons
The best startup advice from experienced founders...one real-world lesson at a time.