No One Is Going To Give Your Startup Permission To Do Anything
So I’ve decided to kill another one of my projects, and in doing so have had a revelation: None of my startup ideas that required permission, help, or cooperation have gone well. I’m not sure if anyone else has experienced this, but I think I may have made a new discovery in the wild world of startups:
- No one is going to give your startup permission to do anything.
- No one is going to cooperate with your startup to do anything, even if it may provide them with tremendous benefits.
- Your friends aren’t going to help your startup accomplish anything either. Most people are all talk, and really only good for bouncing off ideas.
Think about it. Would Google have worked if Larry Page had to ask webmasters for permission to crawl and index their websites? No. Would Amazon have worked if Jeff Bezos needed the cooperation of publishers and authors? Probably not. ̶W̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶F̶a̶c̶e̶b̶o̶o̶k̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶k̶e̶d̶ ̶i̶f̶ ̶M̶a̶r̶k̶ ̶Z̶u̶c̶k̶e̶r̶b̶e̶r̶g̶ ̶n̶e̶e̶d̶e̶d̶ ̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶f̶r̶i̶e̶n̶d̶s̶ ̶h̶e̶l̶p̶ ̶b̶u̶i̶l̶d̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶f̶a̶c̶e̶b̶o̶o̶k̶.̶c̶o̶m̶?̶[Scratch that one.]
So maybe my third discovery isn’t universal and applies only to my friends. But maybe not? Back in college a buddy of mine and I co-founded the Texas Tech University Collegiate Skydiving Club. Whenever we happened to talk about skydiving with someone, often times the person would talk about how they wanted to do it. Then we would tell the person that we were going to go jump the next morning and that they could tag along if they wanted. Almost everyone backed out. That’s when I discovered that most people are all talk. When presented the opportunity to fly, most people don’t have it in them. And when it comes to granting permission, the default answer is almost always “no.” So what I’ve discovered in my 30 trips around the sun is that if you want to do something great, you’re likely going to have to go it alone.