The notion of “risk” in new businesses has always fascinated me. The best founders that I know believe passionately in their idea and space, but they spend most of their time/energy/creativity removing risk to increase the likelihood that they will succeed. And if they can’t property remove/mitigate risk then they don’t move forward.
Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, Tesla Motors & SolarCity, is famous for putting his $300M net worth on the line for Tesla. This is one of the most common examples that people use of founders going "all in" on their vision. What is less known about this story is that his earliest Tesla customers were required to pay a full deposit for their cars to give investors confidence in Tesla. In other words, the initial Tesla buyers pre-paid for 100% of their cars before they were even built.
Similarly Richard Branson had the ability to sell his planes back to Boeing if Virgin Atlantic failed in the first year.
Both famous examples of founders taking huge risks were actually perfect examples of founders eliminating risk.
From my experience, the best founders don’t seek or embrace risk…they constantly eliminate it.
In this podcast/video, the father of Lean Startup talks thorough this (and many other) topics. People like Eric Ries, Steve Blank & Paul Graham are some of the best new startup thinkers, so I always listen to them when I get the opportunity.
Get Right to the Lesson
I’d recommend listening to the entire thing, but to get right to the point go to minute 36:16 of this podcast/video.
Thanks to these folks for helping us all learn faster
Eric Ries (@ericries)
This Week In Startups (@TWistartups)
Jason Calacanis (@jason)
Jacqui Deegan (@jacqKD)
Jacob Beemer (@jacobbeemer)
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.
Real Founder Lessons
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