I learned a great lesson last week from a fellow teacher at Start.coop, the world’s first accelerator for co-ops, and it was applicable to every startup, cooperative or not…
To think about your idea more abstractly, ask the question, “Why?”
To think about your idea in more detail, ask, “How?”
For example, all my work is centered around entrepreneurs. Why? Because first-time entrepreneurs tend to make the same mistakes as previous entrepreneurs. Why? Because entrepreneurship is a complex topic that isn’t typically taught in school. Why? Because only about 5% of people are entrepreneurs. Why? Because the education system was designed 100+ years ago to fill the then-new Industrial Revolution factories with workers, which needed specialists to function, and successful entrepreneurs are generalists.
Going the other way… How? How do you help entrepreneurs? In many ways. I teach at a business school. I run a business accelerator. I wrote a series of books on Entrepreneurship. I blog. I podcast. I do a lot of public speaking.
How does the accelerator work? People apply, we pick 7, we train, we mentor, we invest, they go home, we rinse and repeat. How do you pick who gets invited. Team, impact, and odds of success. How do you measure the odds of success? Traction, capital efficiency, and pattern matching.
How do you pick which books to write? Hundreds of conversation with entrepreneurs. I don’t like repeating myself, so when asked the same questions over and over, I sit down and write a book. How do you have time to write so many books? I avoid repeat conversations. I write fast. My books don’t repeat themselves, saving a LOT of pages and WHOLE LOT of editing. Why do you write? Because I am an entrepreneur who loves entrepreneurship, who hates seeing entrepreneurs repeat the same mistakes I and other made over the many decades I’ve been an entrepreneur.
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