October 18, 2010
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Giving advice on the web has become a national sport – or at least that’s how it seems to me when browsing the blog world these days. In general that’s great news because information is always a good thing. It only gets ugly when information isn’t filtered properly or, worse, taken as dogma. This is especially true in the world of entrepreneurship. The reality is that there is too much variance between ventures and too few references cases to make any kind of dogmatic rules. Any attempt to claim otherwise is just foolish.
Take my example. On the one hand I am part of a very select group of entrepreneurs with successful experience in venture founding, building and (profitably) selling. In most conventional lines of business that would qualify me as an expert. For example, I would have high confidence of success with a product manager or engineer who had built a few products. Such fields are largely regular and predictable.
On the other hand, nine out of ten start-ups fail. I therefore haven’t even completed anywhere near a single sample set worth of experience. Unlike a product or engineering manager, my next venture is still statistically more likely to fail than to succeed. Entrepreneurship is about making a lot of money in a short period of time and the only way to do so is by taking massive risks.
None of this devalues advice (mine or that of other experienced entrepreneurs). But it means that you should carry a pretty big bag of salt around with you while traveling the online world. I will try to give context and appropriate disclaimers throughout my posts to help you understand where my advice comes from. Consider the above my first disclaimer…