All Glory, No Guts – Steve Jobs or Job
Some founders put there heads down and do the hard stuff first. These entrepreneurs plow ahead and just move forward. They go into their caves and code…. test….. code some more and when they come out of that cave with a semi-formed thing, they knock down doors to find thing-lovers who will pay to use the Thing.
It’s all about the Thing. It’s all about building a great company with a great product.
These gutsy guys and gals don’t need pats on the back every time they pass some silly milestone . They’re racing to the checkered flag. They’re singularly focused on the big prize. They have the courage of their convictions. The have the guts to do what it takes.
They seek press to advance the cause of the Thing and not for personal glory. They don’t celebrate all the silly things, the meaningless awards, the press clippings, they celebrate revenue…the life giving blood for their company is the measure of success.
Then you have the glory hogs, more concerned with the attaboy every time the finish some meaningless lap. They’ve got perfect pitches. there in the middle of the action. They work the press. They’ve got great demoware. The’ve got trophies. They’ve got press clippings, they’ve got pictures of themselves shaking hands with the Technorati.
They have glitter-traction. What they’re missing is customers. They can turn a snappy phrase about strategy. They can spout market stats. What the can’t recite is customer acquisition costs, average selling price, life-time-customer value. They don’t talk about revenue in the past tense. Because they’re always just about ready to generate revenue.
They have the attaboys from the people in the business of giving attaboys. They haven’t done the difficult things like ask for cash in exchange for product or service. They haven’t asked for the order. They can tell you how many of their non-paying users say they would pay for the product but for some reason they haven’t asked those who would pay to pay.
They will fill out the applications for a pitch event but customers don’t advertise in the press that they need products. They don’t have you fill out an application to sell to them. They don’t let you pitch to a script. They don’t make a judgement based on an 8 minute collage of sound bites.You have to hunt for customers. Prospects ask hard questions.
If they tried to break down doors to get revenue with no results they would have failed. They could no longer seek the meaningless glory of the press clippings and the trophies and the small meaningless oversized checks. They could no longer pretend they were the next Steve Jobs.
For them the Thing is to be a member of the club. To be an entrepreneur.
Wantrepreneur vs. Entrepreneur
The Wantrepreenur, the Glory getter Wannabe-Steve-Jobs’. They want the admiration, the envy, the success. They’re just not willing to do anything to jeopardize that dream. Mounting an all out effort for revenue and failing would kill that dream. So don’t ask those users who say they will pay to pay. Don’t knock on doors. Keep playing in the pitch contests and keep talking to the press.
The Entrepreneur are more like Job from the story of Job in the Bible. They’re in it for their faith in the product, for thier belief in their vision. They’re willing to endure without the need for instant gratification. They know that they’re faith will be affirmed when they generat profitable revenue. When they can prove they’ve built a real living thing…. a business…. a revenue generator.
They’re not play acting. They’re the real thing. They’re willing to suffer without glory in the faith that they’re hard work will persevere.