Bucheit on Startup Thinking

quotes business startups

30 Jul 2014

Paul Bucheit on start up thinking:

If I believe that I already know the answer and possess the truth, then I’m not genuinely open to learning larger truths. This is the danger of experience. We already know better, we already know that an idea or business won’t work. This is one reason that naive, young founders are often the ones who start the most successful companies – they just don’t know any better, and they’re often too arrogant to listen to those who do. I don’t want to downplay the value of experience. This whole event is about sharing and learning from the experiences of others. But don’t be limited by our experiences. Just because it didn’t work in the past doesn’t mean it won’t work in the future. Likewise, what worked before may not work again. This is especially important for startup founders. The best opportunities live in our collective blind spots. To most, they appear to be bad ideas, or simply unimportant. If everyone could see the opportunity, someone else would have already taken it.

Of course experience isn’t the only danger. Dogma and ideology are even worse. They provide us with the answers, and put boundaries around our thinking. Ignoring the dogma invites ridicule, or even punishment. I suspect that’s why more ideological societies are less innovative. If we aren’t free to wander outside the realms of conventional thinking, then we won’t happen upon the opportunities that others have missed. Escaping dogma is hard. From the inside, it simply looks like truth and reality. Watch out for any belief that limits the range of your thinking and exploration. This includes logic and reason. They are useful tools, but just as often work to keep us trapped inside of exclusionary belief systems. If you believe yourself to be a rational person, then you’re in the trap.

To be innovative in our work, we need to evade the limitations of established thinking.

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