Entrepreneur’s Mindset — Perspectives

Never stop innovating and experimenting

Over the years of my interaction with hundreds of startups, founders, and the ecosystems as such in India, Europe, and Silicon Valley, one thing I always sense is the ability to challenge the status quo and also the gut to experiment with things people don’t dare to. This is a fundamental trait of any entrepreneur who is set to change the world. This trait is very much domain agnostic.

It is also the transition of the entrepreneur from an ideator to the executor and the lessons learned during the journey that is interesting to observe. A young start-up with just an MVP has a totally different objective than a startup that’s into the market and making early revenues. What’s special about the breed of the experimental entrepreneurs is that they pivot. Pivot is such a frequently used fancy word in the startup circles, but it is quite a significant one too. The reason startups pivot is multi-fold. The so-called passion of the entrepreneur is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for a startup to become a sustainable business. After all the hard work, it is really very hard for an entrepreneur to change their model or sometimes start something new. I have seen people pivoting even 10 times to reach the right model. This is sort of too energy-consuming, however, that’s the trademark of a passionate entrepreneur. There is no certainty on the time it takes for an idea to incubate successfully.

fail and fail until you succeed

Many young aspiring student entrepreneurs ask me this question: is there a right way to startup so that we don’t fail? Now this is just not possible, had people known such a golden formula, why would entrepreneurship be that hard as it’s portrayed. The idea of certainty kills innovation and entrepreneurship too. The fact that there is scope for a thing called entrepreneurship as a career means we need to do things differently. To do things differently one does not have a reference, one has to create a model. This is the fundamental challenge as most of our education teaches us to merely repeat, memorize, and reproduce , not to create something that doesn’t exist yet.

There are some entrepreneurs who turn investors ( venture capitalists) after experimenting and failing in their startup pursuits and Vice -Versa. Most serial entrepreneurs naturally turn angel investors. This pretty much sums up the entrepreneurial journey of people. Not all are born with the founder’s instinct, some realize it during the journey. Despite the sexiness associated with startups these days, it is extremely hard to pursue this journey, and often as most people say its a lonely journey and can be very depressing and frustrating. This is where passion comes into play and shadows other things.

Explore the world with enthusiasm and passion

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