by • January 31, 2015 • UncategorizedComments (1)21

Improv, skiing, writing, and starting before you’re ready

“It’s like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can do the whole drive like that.”

That’s an E.L.Doctorow quote about writing a book, but it applies equally well to startups. We’ve got to resist the temptation to gather all the answers up front. But it can be scary.

I think of it like an improv actor or an off-slope skier. Neither one knows exactly what they’re going to get themselves into, but they’re happy to push off anyway. They trust their skills to read the situation and act on the fly.

A new founder needs to get comfortable with the same ambiguity. Fortunately, our situation in startups is way easier because when we see a thorny situation up ahead, we’ve still got time to pull in our friends for a bit of a sanity check, or to go find the books that will teach us the missing skills. Lots of the stuff that seems scary up front can only be sorted out once you’re en route.

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