[FoRK] Capitalism's Fatal Flaw
jbone at place.org
Sun Nov 8 08:08:58 PST 2009
Geege writes, based on her extensive experience and expertise in the
fields of tech entrepreneurship and venture capital:
> I would tend to include [avoidance of failure] as part of success,
> not as something separate. Luck my ass.
It is true that [avoidance of failure] is *necessary* to success. Not
sure why you might think I was indicating otherwise, that was sort of
the whole point.
However, it's important recognize and understand the *severe* limits
to the amount of control an entrepreneur can exercise to effect
[avoidance of failure].
By "luck" I really mean that most startups run into a large number of
rather random or at least historically path-dependent events, to which
important folks other than the founders react, and which reactions
largely determine the success or failure of the company. It is *not
enough* to have a good idea, to obtain funding, and to execute well.
Those are all absolutely necessary, but far from sufficient; the
eventual outcomes are determined largely by externalities and the all-
too-human reactions to them by folks on which the entrepreneur depends
but has very little influence.
One such common chains-of-events, of my favorite ones, goes something
like this. You're running on fumes and in the middle of trying to
close your next round the lead VC says: "hey, I have this buddy Joe
that just left SomeOtherCo, he'd make an outstanding VP of Sales for
$0.02 and IME.
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