Even though startups are businesses, I’ve never thought of myself as a “businessman.” Like all college business majors, the Wall Street Journal was interesting to me for a few years after graduation, but I quickly realized that I was drawn to startups due to what happens with them during their earliest moments - when they are more like passion projects.
While an important end goal of starting/investing/working in a high-growth startup is some kind of financial exit, the earliest days of a startup are defined by things that resemble art (or judgement) more than business (or science).
These are things like...
Making an amazing product. The judgement required for this is way more art than science.
Touching customers deeply with brand. All about deep, emotional engagement.
Surprising & delighting customers. Art. Art. Art.
As Kurt Vonnegut says...
"A plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit.”
Warby. Apple. Twitter. The best startup products make customers appreciate being alive.
Because these are the foundation of early startups and early startups are my passion, I think way more about topics surrounding creativity than I do traditional business topics (that matter most once a business is more mature). BTW this is why I labeled myself this way in my Twitter bio...
I’m also a firm believer in the adage that “creativity loves constraints.” I prefer startups over pure art projects because startups are about constraints and judgement. Plus high-growth startups have the ability to touch way more people than most pure art projects.
So whenever I run across any content that connects business to creativity, I pay particular attention. In this podcast, a Stanford professor describes how simple rules can help the creativity process succeed.
Get Right to the Lesson
I’d recommend listening to the entire thing, but to get right to the point go to minute 22:09 of this podcast.
Thanks to these folks for helping us all learn faster
Stanford University (@Stanford)
Stanford ECorner (@ECorner)
Please let me and others know what you think about this topic
Email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org or let's discuss publicly at @davempayne.
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