The Week in Review #27: Success is a Question of When, Not If

There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come. As entrepreneurs we are constantly challenging the status quo. Breaking down barriers and working outside of our comfort zones. To the average person our decisions and choices do not make sense most of the time. This is understandable, as we face rejection and failure almost everyday. However there is something inside us that keeps us wanting to push forward. It defies logic and rational reasoning. There are far easier paths that we could traverse, yet we choose to create our own.

We are searching for the perfect confluence of the idea, timing and team. There is a lot written about finding the right idea or assembling an all star team. The one thing that is far more elusive is getting the timing right. There isn’t a formula we can follow. We have to keep our eyes open and search hard for the hidden signs. The subtle changes that are precursors to the changing tides. This requires our ears to be on the ground and our eyes wide open. Like a lion hunting it’s prey, we have to make sure we charge at just the right time. A second too early or too late could be the difference between getting what we want or letting it slip away.

Success is a Question of When, Not If Tweetstorm by Marc Andreessen on the importance of timing and startups. This short burst of insight is filled with great takeaways for every entrepreneur. The main takeaway is to persevere and keep your eyes wide open for the changing tides.

The single biggest reason why startups succeed (Video) Bill Gross is the founder of IdeaLab. An incubator that has created hundreds of companies and huge successes. Using all the data from his past experience, he delivers a great 7 minute talk on why some startups succeed. Not to give anything away, however the topic of this week should give you a good idea!

Plausible Hugeness Great article on pivoting and refining your idea. The quote that resonated with me was “it’s better to suffer and struggle through disappointing traction along an interesting path than to have significant traction on a path that leads into a fog or nowhere in particular.”

7 Rejections The story of Airbnb is now known far and wide. Two entrepreneurs who had a crazy idea that people will want to rent out rooms in their houses. When they went looking for money in 2008 7 VC’s flat out rejected their pitch. However the founders having personally experienced their product knew there was more than met the eye. They could sense the tide changing and they persevered. Today Airbnb is worth over $25.5 billion and continuous to keep on growing.

Lessons Of Success And Failure: How Startups Change People Startups are inherently challenging. If they were easy everybody would be doing them. Through the process of succeeding and failing, it is inevitable these experiences shape our perspectives. This article has some interesting insights on the changes that occur and some realizations entrepreneurs have had along the way.

People love stories, not decks This was an interesting talk. The post contains a video and a slide deck. The article has a good summary of the key takeaways from the presentation. There are lots of great quotes and advice from top venture capitalists. The core takeaway is that the story behind your startup is what brings everything together. Without a story, you are just another company that is hoping to get lucky!

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!