A Founder Mindset
Seeking out your dream startup
Some folks might not consider “Harry Potter”, a children’s book, relevant to startups or venture capital investing. But when you delve into the book and specifically, the game of quidditch, you see the brilliance of this game and the metaphor it holds within its rules, and what it means to catch the golden snitch. For those who haven’t read Harry Potter, let me briefly explain the idea of the snitch in the game — and if you had a deprived childhood or thought you were too old for children’s books, I urge you to read the series, if only to understand what the rest of the world got swept up in. It’s more than just a fun story about witches and wizards.
Quidditch is a magical game played on broomsticks by two teams, where the goal is to score as many points as possible by hitting a ball through one of three rings at each end of the quidditch pitch before the golden snitch is caught by the seeker. Each team has one seeker, whose sole purpose is to find the snitch. Catching the snitch ends the game and earns the team 150 points. The snitch is a small, golden ball with wings that elusively flies around the quidditch pitch and is notoriously difficult to catch.
The metaphor of quidditch as a game and building a startup, with the golden snitch as the ultimate prize, the ultimate business. For a founder, the illusory snitch is the nearly intangible prize of a successful startup. The drive of the seekers to catch it is the same drive of a founder to build success. It’s no coincidence that the snitch is made of gold and has a spell on it called a flesh memory, marking the seeker who catches it to win the game. Founders mark their startups with their personality, drive, and passion. Once the snitch is caught, the seeker is celebrated by the team and their supporters, just as successful founders are celebrated in the business world.
As humans, we become interested in things, we have hobbies, we play sports, and we find certain subjects fascinating. That elusive drive, those things we pursue, are tied up in the same idea of the golden snitch. It’s what drives most founders to succeed, more than the money — their interest in a subject, process, or solution becomes their obsession.
In the game of quidditch, there are team members who will help you along the way. Beaters will try their best to protect you, the seeker, from bludgers, balls with a spell that makes them fly around erratically, chaotically. Just like obstacles in business, things get in your way that may prevent your success. You and your team do your best to beat away the bludgers or manoeuvre yourself to dodge any that come your way.
To simplify the metaphor a bit: As a founder, you’re still the seeker, but you have your own game you’re playing. You’re chasing the snitch, the ultimate prize, the unicorn, while everyone else tries to score goals through the other hoops.
But why make this analogy and think about being a startup founder through Harry Potter? Because we’re driven by stories. Stories resonate deeply, and there’s something that connected with me when I read about the significance of the snitch and thought about the seeker. The drive to find the ultimate prize, the thing founders are looking to gain by doing what most others can’t, is what drives the seeker. Founders chase the snitch, and when they catch the golden orb, they win! There’s a reason startups that sell for millions or grow to be used by billions are called unicorns. The unicorn is another mythical creature that is hard to obtain and can only be tamed by the pure or special. It’s with deep human significance that we seek these highly valued, almost unattainable objects out.
You, my friend, are a seeker on the field of entrepreneurship, flying high on your broomstick, searching for the elusive and coveted golden snitch. Just like in quidditch, you have a team supporting you and keeping you protected from the chaotic bludgers that threaten to knock you off course. And just like the thrill of the chase in quidditch, the pursuit of success in business is filled with excitement and adventure.
Remember, success is not just about catching the snitch. It’s about the journey, the thrill of the chase, and the memories you make along the way. As a founder, you’re creating a story, an epic tale that will inspire others to chase their own snitch. So don’t be afraid to embrace the fun and lightheartedness of the game, even as you work tirelessly to achieve your goals. Fly high and fast, and never stop chasing your golden snitch. May your journey be filled with magic, adventure, and wonder, and may you be celebrated as the champion you are when you finally catch that elusive prize—with as few missing bones as possible. The power of imagination, creativity, and a dash of wizardry are all you need to cast a spell on your dreams and make them a reality.
If you’re a seeker that is itching to go after their first snitch, head to the website and apply to the founder’s portal where we have a whole bunch of tips, assets and advice to help you on your journey to catching the ultimate prize.