(last in series – which company should I start?)
We’ve identified factors/criteria that an entrepreneur could use to select a venture, and have talked about the importance of Bigness of the idea and understanding of people’s needs. I believe that the most important traits of an entrepreneur is relentless passion and that should help you select the idea to start the new venture.
- What are you most passionate about (and where can you add value)?
- Ask Maslow: Which need in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is your idea addressing?
- How BIG, HAIRY and AUDACIOUS is your idea?
Starting anything up is characterized with difficulties. Honestly, it can get very rough (series of setbacks, unplanned time-wasters, interestingly wierd people to deal with, changing market conditions, etc.) One can only survive these setbacks and emerge out successfully, if he/she is supremely passionate about that idea. Life’s too short, so please don’t postpone it by working on things you’re not passionate about.
Sometimes it may not be clear as to what you’re really passionate about. I use this simple test by asking myself some fundamental questions:
- If today’s the last day of my life, would I still work on this idea?
- How much am I willing to pay to somebody to allow me to work on this idea? (This is the extreme opposite of – "how much would I get paid, if I decide to work on this idea?")
- What do I like more/want more than this idea?
This applies to anyone who’s starting up, not just entrepreneurs, but also actors, filmmakers, authors, teachers, etc. One of the best stories that depicts passion in a true sense is that of one of my favorite filmmakers – Robert Rodriguez. As a broke undergrad student at UT Austin, he subjected himself to medical experimentation to raise a few thousand dollars and make a short film. He has outlined his story in a very cool journal/diary-like format in his book : Rebel without a crew – How a 23-year old filmmaker with $7999 became a Hollywood player.
Some of my favorite quotes from the book:
"I mean, I think everyone has a few bad movies in them, the sooner you get them out the better off you are."
"I’m twenty-three years old. Orson Welles made Citizen Kane when he was twenty-five. Spielberg made Jaws at twenty-six. So I’ve only got about two or three years to make my break-through film. I’ve got to get moving."
Passion it is!