Is it ok to build something that will probably fail? Should we as entrepreneurs only focus on what is known to have a high likely hood of success (or know to the best of our abilities will) and build from there? Is there a point to building things that will eventually just die a poor startup death with barely anyone showing up for the funeral?
This is something we’ve been pondering a lot at tenrocket.com. We work a lot of with early stage founders, mainly on their first ride around the carousel (first-time founders). We see the heart, the passion and the belief that their app is going to be the next big hit dating app of the century and everyone else is doing it wrong.
This might very well be true. It could be the next big hottness. Unfortunately that’s probably not going to happen. Their most likely going to spend lots of effort, time and money building and working on something that will be around for about a year, then die a poor death alone in a dark alley somewhere. With only the parent to morn the loss of their poor child’s death. Meanwhile people are rushing by on the sidewalk close by to the next big thing, oblivious of another death. Poor little startup.
But is this a bad thing? Some would say that they should of never attempted it in the first place. That they wasted all those resources, only to be poured into something that would ultimately die. They would of better spent that money lying on a beach somewhere, drinking piña colada’s and enjoying life.
If the gauge is all about time invested and high returns, then this probably the best approach. It’s about efficiency and effectiveness of the business. This is great in one sense, but not doesn’t really take into account the founder. But if the goal is about creating passionate entrepreneurs that build awesome companies, I think we need a different measurement.
In our case we’re hoping to build amazing fishermen. We want entrepreneurs to build lots of successful companies far beyond what we work with them on. Many come to us with no idea of where to start, recently quit their job and are embarking on a treacherous journey into entrepreneurship for the first time.
My friend has a daughter that recently turned 18. We’ve spoke a lot about recently of that need to have her fail and make her own choices, even he doesn’t agree. He can give her all the counsel in the world but she ultimately has to make the choice. If he lays down the hammer anyways he’ll potentially squash her passion and heart, at the expense of “doing the right things”.
So the question becomes how do we build better businesses and entrepreneurs? How do we help spur on the heart and passion of the entrepreneur, vs “doing everything right”. If we don’t, we run the risk of killing an idea and the entrepreneurial passion.
So what if their idea is the 100th dating app on the market that will die on launch, maybe that’s what’s needed?