Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lesser Known Traits of Successful Founders

Can You Focus Long Enough to Deliver?
We all know the guy who moves from one idea to the next and never finishes anything. He’s freakishly smart, but leaves a trail of half-finished carnage in his wake. Staying focused is a huge part of being successful.

To evaluate your level of focus, look at your history. How many half-finished apps are sitting on your hard drive? How many blogs have you started and abandoned within three weeks? How many have you worked on until they were done?

People who have trouble staying focused on an idea often feel intense passion for it early on, obsess about it for a week or two, and burn themselves out on it by the one-month mark.

If you have trouble with this you may need to give yourself a cooling off period. What often happens is you become so engrossed in the idea that you never stop to look at it rationally and realize a glaring flaw. A flaw that you find 2-3 weeks later when you realize you probably won’t be able to pull it off after all. Things that would have been nice to know 2-3 weeks earlier.

I’ve found that the first several hours (or even days) after coming up with a new idea are filled with irrational, euphoric thoughts of how easily it can be executed and how well the market will receive it. You’ll often hear yourself saying “Why hasn’t anyone thought of this?”

I have a rule that I never spend money on an idea in the first 48 hours. During this time my judgment is clouded by the euphoria of having this amazing new idea. Given that I’ve had several hundred ideas over the past few years, at a minimum I’ve saved myself a few thousand bucks in domain registration fees.

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