Two explorers set out on a journey, each along a separate path.
Before they part ways, the older and more experienced says to the younger: “Don’t worry, I’ve done this before. Just close your eyes and jump twice.”
The second explorer falls in a pit and dies.
And nobody learns from this grisly tale because we only hear from the people who made it to the other side.
Startups can be divided up along a bunch of axes — fundable vs. bootstrappable, sales vs. marketing, market risk vs. execution risk, and so on. All startup advice applies to some permutation of these knobs and levers, and the person giving the advice isn’t always aware of which switches are flipped in their own head.
Whenever you read, listen, or ask, take a moment to figure out the configuration of the speaker’s perspective. Suddenly all the experts will stop seeming like they contradict each other, and you’ll be able to navigate your own startup’s terrain considerably more safely.