The next part of our How to Win in Business Series, is about one of the most important things all who embark in making a business idea reality must know. And it is that 95% of the time, first-time ideas or proposals will just not work. Period.
Despite what we see in the media, it is very rare to come across a startup/business, in which the concept just flawlessly worked, as predicted. These are 1-in-a-million tickets, so don’t bet on it being you. Instead, acknowledge beforehand that it probably will not work. In fact, it is exceedingly likely that it will not.
This notion, in fact, let’s call it a principle. This principle can be applied to pretty much every business endeavor there is. Be it in technology, for example in the art of developing software. It could be in the world of engineering, developing chips or building rockets, for example. In the world of tech however, this is ever the more important and because tech is involved in 99% of businesses today, it is essential that anyone with a business idea knows about it.
In fact, following this principle of knowing that things will probably not work, has an added side-benefit that works tremendously in favour of the entrepreneur. And that is this: If an entrepreneur believes their startup will be a success, it will lead them to behave in a way that is unnatural to the way ideas flourish. They will miss vital gaps and complacency can become a huge issue, without it even being apparent! Let’s call it ‘invisible complacency‘.
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon is a huge proponent of this principle. In this interview, Jeff speaks of this exact point and to Paraphrase him, “You should know that your idea probably won’t work, in fact it’s good to believe that it won’t work, because you won’t be as disappointed when it doesn’t. You are protecting yourself”.
Billionaire Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and Founder of SpaceX is also an advocate of the ‘it won’t work’ principle. In this interview on the TED stage, he tells Chris Anderson, “things just never work straight away, you have to make them work”. He should know, he’s had several failed rocket launches, almost been bankrupt multiple times and has faced serious drawbacks in the development of Tesla as a leading car manufacturer.
And making them work, is what you must do. With hard work, deep thinking, experimentation and iteration. The reason most people fail to realise their business ideas, goals or ambitions in life is because it’s not easy. And in business, this means thing go wrong, almost always. But as an entrepreneur or businessman/women, it is your responsibility to address this and persevere to make things happen.
For the love of repetition and it’s breathtaking effects on the brain, here it is again, things, ideas, dreams, iterations, startups don’t just work. You have to make them work.