What makes startups successful

Adding to the discussion about startups and penny-pinching on Techmeme, I concur with Dave Winer, and want to add this:

A product that people understand and want is crucial.

But something equally important, at a different level: It has to be something that’s deeply meaningful to you.

If you start a business you don’t fully care about, something that’s a mental construct rather than a personal imperative, something that’s not truly alive in you, if you will, something you’re doing just because it seems like a nice business opportunity, then you’re just not going to give it everything you’ve got, and you’re not going to keep going when it gets difficult and be creative when that’s required, which is about 20 times a day.

And by giving it your all, I do not mean working 80-hour weeks. Au contraire! Hot products and profitable startups come from creativity, and creativity requires stillness and peace, so you’ll be able to hear the voice of your inspiration through the cacophony of startup life.

p.s. I’m working on a simple and elegant way to help you discover what’s really meaningful to you, if you’re one of the many people for whom that isn’t totally obvious. Stay tuned.


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