Why Overthinking Kills Your Startup
Startup Tip of the Day:
For most first time entrepreneurs, it’s fairly common that 98% of them spend months and months (sometimes years even) marinating on their “big” idea, but fail to get it going.
They write the 50 page business plan.
They build the 5 year proforma statements for investors.
They wire frame the entire website – every button, every image, every menu bar.
They compile list after list of the features to be built, and then…nothing.
They get stuck and can never break out from Perpetual Planning Mode.
The expression “over-analysis leads to paralysis” holds true. I should know, because for my first startup, I spent 8 months in the blissful state of planning – staring at the beautiful sketches, dreaming about the cash flow statement, vacillating over should I charge for a subscription or advertising model…oh decisions decisions!
Let me tell you, it actually developed the wrong skillset in me, and it took me realizing that to fix it.
Why would less thought, and more action produce better results you ask?
Because market opportunities are ephemeral – they come and go as the winds blow. Technical opportunities that can be your strength today, become standardized in a year or two, and then everyone’s got the same leg up as you once had. People who might be ready to jump from their corporate job to help you build a new business from the ground up don’t wait forever, as they have bills to pay too.
Being the ultimate planner is an old habit taught to us in school whereby we are rewarded for spending more time researching than actually applying the research.
But in startups, speed is the name of the game – the more research you do, the more you can convince yourself that your idea is actually a shitty one to begin with! Imagine that. For every point that tips the scale in your idea’s favor, the more time you spend researching, the odds of you finding counter-points that deter you crop up from every corner.
So what the hell do you do?
Stop Over Thinking! Start Doing!
Yes, you heard me right – set a firm time limit on how long you are going to take to do market research, initial product ideation, and then get to the actual implementation phase!
The faster you cut yourself off from hyper-planning mode, the better you will train yourself to be a fast acting entrepreneur.
Leaders never have all of the information before making a critical decision, and neither will you!
Get comfortable with making the best decision given the limited information you have at the moment. And then, commit to your decision, right or wrong, until the market proves otherwise.
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