A startup creates something that doesn’t currently exist in the world.
To come into existence, it has to be built. This requires work. Ideas aren’t special. We have the audacity to believe that no one else has had the discipline and wherewithal to execute the way we can. We have to think everyone else is missing something. We have to think everyone else is wrong. And we need to be correct.
Like everything, startups have inertia. It takes immense strength to move a company, to change a process. It takes effort to do something new. If a startup lets inertia be their only guide, they’re dead. When startups are comfortable, they fail. There’s no outside force pushing startups to be great, they need force of will. We put pressure on ourselves.
My chess teacher told me to “make the most aggressive move based on strong, strategic principles.” This is core to how we operate. The second we aren’t being aggressive, is the second we lose our mojo. When we aren’t being aggressive and trying new things, we lose our edge. The greats are always challenging themselves.
This leads to iteration. This leads to jumping into new areas we have to learn quickly. We always want this in our DNA. We need the reds, blues, and the golds. Without the reds, we’re a zombie company. Without the blues, we have a crappy product. Without the golds, we’re never profitable.
We default to action. We default to speed. This is a double edged sword, but in a startup, it’s how one has to operate. When a business isn’t profitable, it’s burning cash everyday. Survival is key, and we survive by pushing forward. Even when we’re profitable, we can’t lose this fire.
Fearlessness is a core value our leaders will always need. It will hit against others, even internal to our organization.
Being fearless means asking the “stupid” questions others are afraid to ask. Being fearless means taking the shot.
Better a fool than a coward.