Relentlessly Resourceful

Paul Graham publishes a series of essays, and i often find myself agreeing with them or inspired by them. His latest talks about the characteristics he thinks startup founders must have.

“I was writing a talk for investors, and I had to explain what to look for in founders. What would someone who was the opposite of hapless be like? They’d be relentlessly resourceful. Not merely relentless. That’s not enough to make things go your way except in a few mostly uninteresting domains. In any interesting domain, the difficulties will be novel. Which means you can’t simply plow through them, because you don’t know initially how hard they are; you don’t know whether you’re about to plow through a block of foam or granite. So you have to be resourceful. You have to have keep trying new things.”

I’m only one of three founders, but I long ago came to my own version of this attitude. Essentially, I don’t know what it takes to succeed, I don’t know what products might be successful, and I get the sense that luck is more of a factor than anyone wants to admit. That said, I am very eager to make Jackson Fish Market into a small but clear success (most importantly in the eyes of myself and my two partners). So while there are many things I don’t know, I do know this… if I never give up, then eventually I will probably succeed (or die trying). See, failure is easy to eliminate. ;)

One Response to Relentlessly Resourceful

  1. Andrew says:

    How does money fit into the elimination of failure? Maybe you’ve been lucky enough to be profitable from the beginning, or have another source of income, but I suspect many start-ups give up simply because the founders get to the point where they literally have to choose between putting more money into the company or paying their mortgage. At this point it becomes a direct trade off between the company and the founders family. Looking at things from an investors point of view isn’t necessarily helpful in making this trade off.

    I agree with the luck comment although you might want to have a read of The Luck Factor by Richard Wiseman. Chance and luck are two totally different things yet we often ascribe to chance that over which we actually have some control.

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