Ann Bernard of Yut Media wrote a blog post the other day about how she has made the difficult decision to take her two online startups offline for good. One of the most difficult parts of entrepreneurship is probably how easy it is to become emotionally attached to the success of a project. I’ve grabbed some coffee with Ann in the past to discuss some of these things, and I can personally attest to the enthusiasm and commitment she had for her ideas. However, as Seth Godin might say, equally important to commitment is the ability to decide when something has become a cul-de-sac (i.e. it’s not going to lead anywhere, no matter how much time, money, and sweat you invest into it). Ann has decided that the projects she was working on were cul-de-sacs.
I’m sharing this with all of you mainly to point your attention to five very insightful takeaways Ann listed from her experience.
…this time I’m going to avoid fighting the uphill battles that have always kicked my ass:
- Entering a field/area that I have no background or contacts in
- Being heavily reliant on technology and development to get started
- Needing investors to succeed – Success makes getting investors a much simpler process
- Stressing myself with unrealistic expectations and pressures
- Starting a business that I think will eventually be fun. I’m starting something that will be enjoyable and fun from day one.
In lieu of a MUCH longer post explaining the importance of each of those five points, I’d rather have you all share your own experiences about which one of these points strikes the biggest chord with you.
I’ll break the ice. Personally, point 2 is where I tend to get stuck. When brainstorming, I tend to focus on the final, big-picture, and then get stuck on how in the world I’ll be able to find the resources to get there. It usually involves a very complex but sleek website with a massive database of information. Of course, you don’t want the scale of your own vision to be the reason why you can’t see it through. So you have to scale down. Most big-picture ideas involve solving A LOT of problems. Instead, figure out how to solve one - the most important one. You’re resources are thin, so it’s best to concentrate on being the best at one thing. Choose the thing that you can be the BEST in the business at. Otherwise you’re going to wear yourself out.
Remember how Craigslist started? Yeah, it was literally Craig’s list. It was not sleek, it was not elegant, it was not efficient. But it worked. And then it grew from there. I’d imagine if they started out by trying to topple the classified ad industry, they wouldn’t have been able to.
Where do you get stuck in trying to get a project off the ground?
Andrew Goodrich is a graduate of the Music Industry Studies program at Loyola University New Orleans. He’s currently an editor at Artists House Music and does social media work for a variety of companies. For more information, please visit http://www.andrewstephengoodrich.com