Be An Artist

Creating a start-up is like being an artist.

What do we love about our favourite artists?  Whether it’s Leonardo da Vinci or Metallica, what is it that we love about people who create art?

In my opinion we love them because they were willing to be exposed.  To put something out into the world and be vulnerable.  This method of connection, of showing ones true self to the world is what makes artists great.

But what happens when times change?  When rock music stopped being cool and people moved on to listening to rap and grunge music, what happened to all those 80’s rock bands?

The good rock bands continued on unswayed creating music to express themselves as they always did.

The bad rock bands tried to conform to the times and changed their music to fit in.  This group of musicians became irrelevant and disappeared.

In a start up when you’re running out of funds, the tendency is to do what the latter group of musicians did.  As soon as you say to yourself “this startup has to work and I’ll do anything to succeed.”, you lose the ability to think creatively and stick to your original vision.  What happens is that you end up conforming, changing your product and trying to fit in.  You are doomed at this point.

What you should say is; “This startup might not work.  But I have enough integrity and care enough about what I am doing to stick to the original mission.”.  This doesn’t mean that you should ignore the evidence out there that says you’re heading towards failure, but being flexible in how to accomplish your mission is key here.

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