We’ve made progress as a startup community in Canada. I don’t have to tell you that a lot of things have changed in the last few years and there is now a supportive and powerful set of networks across the country that have made building a startup sexy again. David has chronicled some of it recently.
It’s nice to feel loved.
We all like to feel that we are in the company of unjudgemental an accepting friends. Those who take us as we come and don’t ask questions.
As an entrepreneur, that’s the last thing you need.
To put it simply: nothing is easy about being a startup. If it was easy, then everyone would be doing it, and more people would be successful at it. It’s hard and it’s like that for a reason. People who try to make it look easy don’t get it. Those who make their stories of success sound easy are hiding some part of the truth.
The next time that your idea or product is celebrated without reproach or question, then you should be suspicious. Those who celebrate you just because you are a startup, or a smart entrepreneur, have an ulterior motive. Something else is going on. Sometimes that is ok, but you can’t live in that world all the time.
Put yourself in the company of those who will tell you that you are wrong, foolish, and naive. Make sure that you are sent back to the drawing board and told to come back fighting.
Make sure that you come back better every time.
Even if your idea is the best one anyone has heard in years, those who really want you to succeed will help you find the holes and to figure out where to go next.
I’m not advocating a negative view of startups, but I will promise you that criticism and analysis will get your further in this world than pandering.
So, the next time you are at a startup event, or having coffee with someone you’ve just met, don’t be afraid to say what needs to be said or ask the questions that need to be asked.
The art of knowing when, and who, to ask for feedback is a critical skill in building a startup. Like all aspects of building a startup, smart timing is the most important part of getting what you need.