Entrepreneurs are different; we are people who see possibilities where others see limitations. But best ideas seldom win, and paraphrasing my friend Daniel Lanois in his film Here Is What Is, people would be surprised how much creativity comes from shit.
Put into the context of how startups evolve into successful companies, it has become clear to me that the key to later success is not necessarily the completeness of what one starts with, but the steps that one takes to adapt quickly, and the willingness to be open to shaping and reshaping the original concept, as rapid feedback comes in from customers, partners, employees, competitors and the overall market. The original idea that one starts with is truly that — a starting point — and it rarely resembles what it ends up becoming, when the creative journey is complete.
This initial phase of creation is only one of many challenges that founders and entrepreneurs need to overcome in their journeys, but it is the first test for aspiring entrepreneurs. The loneliness of a startup is the fire that tempers the traits that a successful entrepreneur will need as ideas get shaped into products, which then get shaped into businesses. Although they may not know all of the answers before they begin their journey, entrepreneurs trust in their ability to learn, adapt and synthesize to get them to where they need to be for each successive phase of their journey — even in the face of disbelief, well-intentioned caution and outright derision.
As with everything though, this is a necessary but insufficient condition to ensure ultimate success. What are the other pieces of the entrepreneurial playbook? Well, keep reading and contributing, and let’s see if we can collectively shape this into a cogent manifesto!