Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not. George Bernard Shaw
Over the last decade we assumed that once we found repeatable methodologies (Agile and Customer Development, Business Model Design) to build early stage ventures, entrepreneurship would become a “science,” and anyone could do it.
I’m beginning to suspect this assumption may be wrong.
Where Did We Go Wrong?
It’s not that the tools are wrong, I think the entrepreneurship management stack is correct and has made a major contribution to reducing startup failures. Where I think we have gone wrong is the belief that anyone can use these tools equally well.
Entrepreneurship is an Art not a Job
For the sake of this analogy, think of two types of artists: composers and performers (think music composer versus members of the orchestra, playwright versus actor etc.)
Founders fit the definition of a composer: they see something no one else does. And to help them create it from nothing, they surround themselves with world-class performers. This concept of creating something that few others see – and the reality distortion field necessary to recruit the team to build it – is at the heart of what startup founders do. It is a very different skill than science, engineering, or management.