November 30, 1999 in ATDC News

Getting Started Requires A Bias To Action

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Is it realistic to expect someone to invest in your company if you have not?  Few investors would, yet it is surprising how often we see an entrepreneur trying to launch their company with an idea and an investor presentation.  Everything is contingent on funding – once they get it, they’ll begin developing the product, leave their day job, bring on other team members, etc.  They don’t recognize an idea is just an idea; it needs investment by the founders to grow the idea into a company in which others will invest.

Those entrepreneurs with a strong bias to action are more likely to succeed.  They begin by taking steps to move the business forward, such as: talking with potential customers, finding advisors, building the team, delivering services to learn the needs of customers and generate revenue, and developing a prototype.

I often recommend The Art of the Start, by Guy Kawasaki.  The book offers practical and inspiring advice for entrepreneurs.  "Get Going" from Chapter 1, page 9, is quoted below.

The third step is not to fire up Word to write a business plan, launch PowerPoint to craft a pitch, or boot Excel to build a financial projection.  Wrong, wrong, wrong!

My goal in giving you this advice is not to reduce the sales of Microsoft Office — remember, I’m off the anti-Microsoft podium.  There’s a time for using all three applications, but it’s not now.  What you should do is (a) rein in your anal tendency to craft a document and (b) implement.  This means building a prototype, writing software, launching your Web site, or offering your services. The hardest thing about getting started is getting started. 

Want to learn more?  Watch a video presentation by Guy Kawasaki, or download the table of contents and first chapter of The Art of the Start.

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