Passion is over-rated in the Startup ecosystem (Try Practicality & Self-Awareness)
Yup, I said it (guilty as charged)!
Passion is seriously over-rated in the startup ecosystem. Apparently, founders who haven’t even researched about the problem are already passionate about it.
Here’s the problem with the over-statement of “passion” in conversation, pitches, linkedIN profiles and everywhere else:
Too much passion for your idea/product make make you obsessive about it (and I won’t even talk about the fake passion which 3 out 5 entrepreneurs are roaming around with)
And when you are obsessed with something, you don’t understand logic and healthy criticism. You think your solution is the best/only solution for the given problem, you don’t think via the customer’s mindset but instead you want the world to see it as you see it. You want investors to fund you, customers to buy from you and competition to see you as their superior because you think it’s like that (been there, done that).
It’s important to be passionate, primarily because of this backdrop (which I got hold of while my very very short stint with the Lead Angels team):
The Investor (particularly during early-stage investing) doesn’t know herself whether the startup will succeed or not. Sure, she spend hours in interviewing your business and do a lot of due dilligence. But in the end it all comes to betting on the Jockey (entrepreneur) vs the Horse (business).
That’s where passion starts playing it’s part. She looks for someone who can communicate the vision, attract a team, and keep on with the stressful life of being a founder (because its not a hockey-dockey life after funding).
But it’s a very small part that it plays. Of course there are exceptions of celebrities like Steve Jobs who made it even after odds were stacked against him and trying to replicate it is definitely the model of failure. When passion backfires, the founder stops processing logic and reasoning. Maybe, passion is not even a necessity for a successful business (See who’s running flipkart now).
Here’s what has worked for me (and can work for you too, maybe):
PRACTICALITY AND SELF-AWARENESS.
Very simple terms, but very hard to impliment in your lifestyle. And if mixed with the right amount of passion, they work like magic (seriously, no shitting!)
It’s a very basic advice, but an important one which I’ve learnt during the first few years of cultivation my passion of building businesses. It can turn out as a fuckall advice for you, but then you have to be self-aware enough to take it or leave it ;)
Deep diving into self-awareness and practicality demand a post for themselves. I’ll try to write one soon. Till then, trying working on it and sharing the changes with me.