In todays challenging times for technology, the refrain I hear is that the smaller companies are going to have a tough time surviving, it is so difficult to get funding because VCs are just sitting on their cash, there is a slowdown and purchase decisions are getting postponed, and so on. Pessimism abounds.
And yet, I feel, there is no better opportunity to come an entrepreneur than now. Why? Because entrepreneurs build out the future, they create tomorrow. Technologys relentless march will not stop. If the opportunities in the US seem limited, look at countries like India and China. Change the context and environment, and suddenly, it is a different, exciting world once again, full of problems waiting for solutions. The world needs entrepreneurs now, more than ever before.
And what better words to describe the entrepreneurs journey than these:
Being a successful entrepreneur is tricky. You have to live with having control and not having control at the same time. Its like this: In big business, when you need to cross a river, you simply design a bridge, build it, and march right across.
But in a small venture, you must climb the rocks. You dont know where each step will take you, but you do know the general direction you are moving in. If you make a mistake, you get wet. If your calculations are wrong, you have to inch your way back to safety and find a different route.
And, as you jump from rock to slippery rock, you have to like the feeling.
When I first read Dan Bricklins words in the First Person article in Harvard Business Review, something within me resonated. It was, specifically, his last set of words. Read them again. As you jump from rock to slippery rock, you have to like the feeling. The key word is like. All entrepreneurs have to jump from rock to slippery rocks. But the true joy of being an entrepreneur radiates out when one starts to like the jumping. In that one phrase, Dan Bricklin captures the heart and soul of entrepreneurship.
Having been an entrepreneur for over ten years and gone through a number of adventures through various kinds of rocks, I have often wondered what keeps me and others of this same breed going. Why is it that people like being entrepreneurs, even though life is so much more uncertain, the odds of success are infinitesimally small, and the sacrifices demanded are immense. There is something different about life as an entrepreneur, one that delights them. But what exactly are these Entrepreneurs Delights? I present a view from the trenches.
Tomorrow: The Entrepreneurs Delights (continued)