It’s a vast question to which many people – developers / start-ups because it’s their opinions that matter to me – answer with a backhand (from experience). It seems that it depends on the carrier (or CEO), the team, the solution. Others add that it depends on the owner, the team, the relevance of the solution to the market (potential, competition, etc …). Finally, some go even further and say that it depends on the carrier, the team, the relevance of the solution to the market, and the right time…
I agree with all this … but not completely (otherwise there would not be this article …). I’ve met too many developers, too many start-ups, so many life projects, to be satisfied with these rational answers. Those answers are marketing answers, and I have some knowledge of them because I’ve been working in different marketing environments for 20 years. These answers only cover part of the question in my opinion.
While writing a new book that focuses on the profiles and interactions between entrepreneurs and employees of large groups, I remembered something an entrepreneur once told me.
This entrepreneur said to me: “I believe that what will make my start-up successful is me as a competent founder, my future team, my solution that I believe is relevant. This solution can respond to a market with respect to the competition. And moreover, it’s really the right time with regard to weak signals because there is a need for the target. What is also important is of course my belief in success, the development of my relationships, and knowing how to decide on opportunities of course! »
I said to him :« So you’ll make it. You’ll make a living out of your life project and that’s great! »
And there, I will always keep in my memory from now on this reflection that she gave me and her physical posture. She lowered her chin slightly with pride and said to me,« I know there is always something missing that will make us succeed or fail. I can see around me that this is not simple for entrepreneurs. Do you know what Pascal is? » I said “no” to her head … but anxious to give an answer, I continued by asking her: « What – in two words – are you fighting for? »
The answer of this entrepreneur was spontaneous:« I am fighting for my son! » So I said to her in less synthetic terms (I admit it – I’ll save you the blah-blah-blah…): « Don’t try to predict the future to better control it, you have to control the future to better prevent it… and that sometimes means going beyond spontaneous clichés (possible / not possible) ».
This approach is not mine, but comes from my readings and field observations. It is an answer that I have made and which is based on Saras Sarasvathy’s work. Some will tell me that it is reductive compared to Sarasvathy’s thought, or that it is not in conformity with the initial thought. It doesn’t matter to me, because those who write on the substance wish precisely that the reader goes beyond their writings … I have this chance to live in several worlds (Large group, Start-up, Academic).
My conviction: I believe that the 1% (remaining) – which makes the success of an entrepreneur – is found, beyond rational reasons (99%), in these two imperatives: on the one hand to know what / who we are fighting for, and on the other hand to never forget that it is better to control the future to better prevent it, and this, by going beyond spontaneous clichés.
I am very proud to have crossed so many talents based on life projects. My mission / vocation is that of the flower (illustration), but it also needs to be nourished because it seeks to continue to grow in the forest and this is not at all obvious.