Waves of Confusion in the Ocean of Starting a Business
The mind of entrepreneurs before starting a business is like a field grown with wild plants and bushes. So much going on.
In my mind, it’s a list of ideas of which I can create a business of, and each business idea comes with its own list of ways of how to craft the business. Also going on is big list of ways how to get the money to start the business, and how to validate the ideas brings another layer of creative thoughts which somehow manages to push itself into my little mind.
All this forms my mind into a big blast of confusion.
Every once in a while I decide to put the spotlight on one idea and go with that. I start working on validating it, but there comes another once in a while, with some better reasons to put the spotlight on the other. So I create a wireframe for this one, and again, another once in a while has arrived.
The advice of sticking with one and ship it, never made sense with me. Tell me, would you take the worse piece of cake when you can just take the better? Sure it will come a day when I would need to just take an idea and as the advice goes, ship it. With a better on my plate, who said that day should be today?
After all said, it hunted me, maybe I’m really supposed to just come up with an idea and ship it. Maybe this thing of going from one idea to the other will never end and I will end up broke and have to just work for the man. Maybe it’s just a sign that I can’t decide and I should end my entrepreneurial journey fast. Maybe.
The Buffer Blog Post
It was one day — for the sake of better writing — it was a hot day, I read a post on the Buffer Blog which was like a whisper in my ear “go on”. It was a post about 10 of the most counterintuitive pieces of advice from famous entrepreneurs.
It had some quotes from Jason Fried about a conversation he had with Jeff Bezos:
“He said people who were right a lot of the time were people who often changed their minds. He doesn’t think consistency of thought is a particularly positive trait. It’s perfectly healthy — encouraged, even — to have an idea tomorrow that contradicted your idea today.”
Then there’s this quote:
“He’s observed that the smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved. They’re open to new points of view, new information, new ideas, contradictions, and challenges to their own way of thinking.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a well formed point of view, but it means you should consider your point of view as temporary.”
Which direction is right?
Now, with the common conception of staying focused on one idea, and then the approach of Jeff Bezos, the right way to go as almost always is: balance.
After doing some thinking about the Jeff Bezos approach it just made sense.
I thought about an artist drawing an image. He starts with scribbling a sketch, in a fast motion he draws one outline over the other without focusing on a specific outline. After many tries of outlines on the paper, only now does the artist start focusing on just one outline, the outline which will make the drawing look the greatest.
Coming up with an idea and just creating it, without making any adjustments, will be a wrong doing to yourself. An idea is one idea of a chain of ideas which form a great idea.
Our analogy of the artist makes a point about balance, too.
One of the big differences of a good artist and a great artist is what’s in the artist’s mind even before getting the pencil to touch the paper. A great artist has the entire picture imagined in his mind, and only then leaves on a journey to draw it out.
A bystander will think the artist lacks focus and can’t decide on an outline, while it’s just the opposite, he is extremely focused. The focus is more on the destination — the picture the artist has imagined — than on what direction to take to arrive at the destination.
A great approach will be, focus on the problem you want to solve, focus on the vision you want to build, but be extremely open to all the directions of how to arrive there.
It’s what I’m doing.