One hit wonder

Dilbert Cartoon


Here is an excellent guest post from TechCrunch by Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, about second-time entrepreneurs:

Entrepreneur 2.0

“[We] insist on believing in the serial entrepreneur with the Midas Touch. We make celebrities of our entrepreneurs because we’d rather believe in talent than luck. And we tend to overlook reasons why second-time entrepreneurs are actually worse, not better, for their experience.

For example, many second-time entrepreneurs are so intent on replicating their success that they manufacture an inferior idea where the first one grew naturally out of a problem that had been bothering them. Some become so obsessed with how great their first company was that they spend all their time trying to copy it rather than building something different and new. They often hire top-heavy teams from past ventures, or strain to grow fast enough to meet higher expectations. Most strike out on their own without the partners they depended on for candor in their first success.”

Hmmm, interesting!

But, I don’t think it’s quite as simple as that.

As with lots of things, I think it all comes down to motivation. And, I think this is true whether you’ve been successful in the past or not.

Have you found a problem you can solve, or do you just need a reason to get out of the house?

What are you trying to prove?

Who are you trying to impress?

What do you get out of it? Is it all about a big cheque at the end?

How much are you prepared to risk to be successful?

It’s been said before: the next big thing is most likely to come from some hungry young guys in a skanky flat with a laptop and an idea to change the world.

The rest of us are just resigned to working on our golf swings, I suppose?

2 thoughts on “One hit wonder”

  1. As you say Rowan it’s not so simple. There is however a certain degree of “self fulfilling prophecy” around this. If SM invests in something then sure, he’s investing from a perspective deep understanding of the space, but also to a certain extent the investee has a better than previous chance of success merely through the involvement of SM.

    There’s a reason advisory boards exist!

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