Archive for January, 2008

Jumping off a Cliff

I am not sure how it feels. And I certainly don’t want to find out. But becoming an entrepreneur can be likened to such a leap, with no safety net, no parachute, and into the pitch darkness. In the scale of crazy things to do, this probably ranks up close to the top. Still, I guess a certain fraction of the human populace would dare try really jumping off a cliff. And I guess the same percentage would want to strike it out for themselves as entrepreneurs.

The question any sane person asks is ‘why‘?

The answer is ‘why not?

As long as the humans have walked the face of the earth, they always have been trying to extend beyond the limits of the possible, trying to remove the ‘im’ from it. Originally driven by the sheer requirement to survive weather, predators, hunger, Man had to innovate, push the boundaries or risk ceasing to exist. I have to believe that this has to be an innate primary requirement for survival. How well he did would depend on how much he had this drive.

With advances, stability and generally conquering the environment, he had less reason to go beyond the normal. The reasons changed, political oppression, promise of wealth etc became the reasons for pushing beyond the ordinary.

Over the course of the last century, advances came so quickly that most reasons have disappeared or almost disappeared. And the way society is setup(I have to revisit this subject later) tends not to favor those trying to step outside the line. Conformity is required and anything else is frowned upon. A dangerous mindset to have for the human society as a whole. Because, unless Man tries to push the envelope, innovation would slow down…limiting what can be achieved.

So coming back to the subject at hand, what does this have to do with entrepreneurship? Everything. Taking risks, attempting something in the face of insurmountable odds is what drives people to startup companies. The same thing that drives man to the moon, to the deepest depths of the ocean, and to the darkest depths of gloomy forests.

Even if the centuries of conditioning are starting to remove this drive, it lives on as a tiny spark amongst everyone. It just needs a push to ignite it. Maybe thats what it needs, a push or a shove.

A jump off a cliff. I just did it.