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Should Your Startup Ignore All the Advice?

Maybe.  Simply emulating what appear to be the reasons for other’s success without understanding why it works or what the ramifications of a particular strategy may be is certainly likely to fail.

Jason Cohen is tired of being lectured by others on how to run his startup.  Based on the indisputable fact that a lot of advice is contradictory, he is frustrated to the point he declares that most success is due to outliers.  Because of this, and with a quote from Malcolm Gladwell, he concludes the real answer is just to buck the conventional wisdom.

I couldn’t disagree more with the view that you should ignore everyone’s learnings, do whatever you want so long as its different, and just assume some magic outlier factor is all that separates you from success.  Call it luck if you want to be blunt about the outlier factor.  How many have decided that success is a matter of luck and the only reason they’re not successful is they haven’t been lucky?  I remember hearing a conversation between two older men I overheard one time where they were in violent agreement that all successful people were either lucky or crooks.  It’s very comforting to think you don’t have to learn, you don’t have to take responsibility for your own success or failure, because it’s just luck.  But ultimately, it’s also debilitating.

Luck is a factor, but successful people also make their own luck.  They have a track record of enough successes that it gets pretty hard to assume its just luck

BTW, out of curiousity I had to go check out Jason’s company, Smart Bear Software.  Unfortunately, the site was down at the time:



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