November 30, 1999 in ATDC News

Startups: Mettle, a key ingredient for success

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ATDC’s conference rooms are named Magic (for technology), Market, Money, Management and Mettle – and Mettle is the smallest room.  However, I think the courage and determination of the founders is actually the most important attribute of a startup.  Does the team have the resolve to change directions and persevere during the difficult times?  If not, the chances for success are small.  Few companies ever end up following their original plan.

This brings up a question: when should an entrepreneur stop?  If I don’t believe a business can be successful, I try to discourage the entrepreneur.  If I wouldn’t invest in a business, it isn’t fair to advise an entrepreneur to invest in it.  Sometimes entrepreneurs don’t recognize the opportunity cost of pursuing the wrong idea.  However, there is nothing I like better than to be proven wrong.  I’ve had successful entrepreneurs tell me that proving me wrong became a real motivator!

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