As the venture starts growing, the choices before the entrepreneur start increasing. There are many roads ahead. There is a world full of opportunity. Just like the teenager who feels he can do no wrong, so does the entrepreneur. This is, therefore, also the most dangerous period in the life of the entrepreneur.
As a teenager, one feels one can have it all. No one else knows more. The world is at ones beck and call. These crucial years lay the foundation for how adulthood will be. There is tremendous energy that lies within, waiting for an outlet. So, too for an entrepreneur. One has gone through the early, tough days, and there is a latent volcano waiting to explode on the scene. This is the time when the entrepreneur has to most careful for the choices one makes now will determine the course of the future. In business as in life, there is no Undo or Edit button.
Choices there are many recruiting the second-tier management team, the first markets to tap into, the partners to ally with, the activities to do. This is the time when temptation of doing everything is abundant. This is when judicious decisions need to be made on what not to do. This is the harder choice. Entrepreneurs naturally feel that they are capable of doing everything at the same time.
This is the time when the entrepreneur has to show more maturity that is normal, by deciding on the few things that need paramount attention. There will be multiple competing strands vying for attention. Resources are limited, opportunities do not seem to be. There is a sense that if one does not capitalise on something now, it will be gone forever. It is the world of Now and Must-Have for the entrepreneur. The choice must therefore be on What Not To Do simply because there is no way that everything can be done well at the same time.
In my first venture, I tried to do many things at the same time from developing object databases to image processing or software development to multimedia presentations. I failed trying to get anything done properly. There was a momentary high of doing all these things the myth of the entrepreneur as Superman. In my second venture, I sequentialised things while there were many ideas, with a small team, we could only do one web portal at a time, since there was also the need to ensure a steady bread-and-butter business via web services.
Now, I am again at the crossroads in my third entrepreneurial avatar. There are many ideas, many opportunities that lie ahead. Each path seems so exciting just what I wanted to do. It has taken two years of exploration to getting us here. Where do we go from here? These are the entrepreneurs dilemmas that I wrestle with every day knowing that the choices I make (or eschew) will make or break what we are trying to do. This is as exciting a chess game as any that has been played. This is the thrill of the entrepreneurs journey.
TECH TALK An Entrepreneurs Early Days+T