The Immature Entrepreneur

The Immature Entrepreneur

Continuing our discussion about entrepreneurs and wantrepreneurs...

Time and time again on the business launching journey, you’ll be confronted with decisions that have short payoffs with long term consequences.

Choose wisely.

The immature entrepreneur (“trep" for short) trades long term vision and goals for short term wins. When a shiny and cheap badge of honor is dangled in front of this trep, he gravitates toward the sparkling new thing.

On the other side, the mature trep understands that any short term cheat will pay consequences long term.

The mature trep pushes for delayed gratification. She longs for the hard work and urges her team to work through the obstacles standing in their way.

  • The immature trep tries to hack things together to give the facade of functionality.
  • The mature trep hacks things together to validate a hypothesis, then returns to put foundation to the building when that hypothesis is proven.

An example of this: many treps will try to partner with larger companies to give them brand credibility and exposure to new customers. Often, concessions are made in order for the startup to get the partnership. Many of these concessions steer the startup off course from the hypothesis they’re trying to validate.

It’s like dating a woman and asking questions about her, but not listening to her answers. You may think the date went great, but it’ll never turn into a long term relationship.

  • An immature trep takes the partnership to look good. The long term consequences will cause wasted time and money and potentially derail the entire startup operation.
  • The mature trep says no and takes on the struggle of validating the hypothesis with other partnerships that fit the core business, and seeks to validate hypotheses in other creative ways (e.g. customer interactions, online and offline tests, and old fashioned surveys).

(photo via jbparrot)