Friday, April 17, 2009

100 Ways To Avoid Starting A Business

My buddy Manoj pointed me to this impressive article: A Complete List of 100 Attributes of People Who Start Companies:How You Can Be One of America’s Entrepreneurs. The article is well written, comprehensive and in many ways - totally accurate.

Yet, I think it totally misses the mark. 100 attributes? Really? I can't imagine anyone has these 100 attributes fully mastered. And working on mastering them seems like a great way to delay, or even avoid starting a business altogether.

I much prefer Paul Graham's list of personality traits a founder needs. It includes exactly one ability:

I was writing a talk for investors, and I had to explain what to look for in founders. What would someone who was the opposite of hapless be like? They'd be relentlessly resourceful. Not merely relentless. That's not enough to make things go your way except in a few mostly uninteresting domains. In any interesting domain, the difficulties will be novel. Which means you can't simply plow through them, because you don't know initially how hard they are; you don't know whether you're about to plow through a block of foam or granite. So you have to be resourceful. You have to have keep trying new things.

Be relentlessly resourceful.

So there you have it - can you learn to be relentlessly resourceful? If so, then what are you waiting for, start a new business already. Heck, even if you don't think of yourself as relentlessly resourceful, you should still start a business - you may just surprise yourself.

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