Resilient Attitudes are Rare

I’m a few months away from launching a project. My first foray into entrepreneurship. It’s something I think about through every day. I’m somewhat at a fork in the road in regards to preparation though. I have the product coming along and I know I need to do a solid business plan, but I also don’t want to get wrapped up in the scholarly aspects of it. So far I’ve let this project evolve, but I might be getting to a tipping point with it.

With this in mind, I ran across a great blog post by Scott Anthony over to In his post titled Four Lessons from Y-Combinator’s Fresh Approach to Innovation he highlights four lessons that big companies can take from incubators. Here is an excerpt:

  1. You can do a lot for a little.
  2. Tight windows enable “good enough” design. 
  3. Business plans are nice, not necessary. Y
    Combinator doesn’t obsess over whether entrepreneurs have detailed
    business plans. Again, the focus is getting something out in the market
    to drive iteration and learning. After all, if you are trying to create
    a market, most of the material in a business plan is assumption-based
  4. Failure is an option. One
    of the benefits of the Y Combinator approach is it forces quick
    decision making — if the team can’t produce a prototype, or the
    prototype bombs in market, the end comes quickly. And the low, up-front
    investment makes it easier to wind down ideas. Corporations that say
    they lack resources often have those resources tied up in the wrong
    projects. Saying no is not a bad thing.

I particularly like the last two. The business plan one I like because it reinforces my decision about how much I currently need to give to it. And the Failure is an option one is right in line with what I was thinking recently. There are so many high school and college graduates out there right now that have the opportunity to play it safe or take the exciting path. Most will play if safe because then they won’t fail. But others will take the exciting path and along the way fail. But they will also succeed. This resilient attitude is rare.


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