As the new 2010 Chairman of the Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum (www.uvef.net ), I’m enthusiastic about the potential for new business startups to turn the economy around. The grit and power of the small business startup executive is infectious and is likely the most valuable stimulus program available to the USA.
Entrepreneurs aspiring for greatness would do well to pay attention to the lessons of the past as they forge the future. That’s why I wanted to share a recent Forbes story that hits the mark in my view. Here’s their list of 10 Arrogance Traps of Entrepreneurs:
“Business plans are for dummies”
Think business plans are just for investors? Wrong. Those plans are primarily for you.
“This is so cool!”
Just because you think your new mousetrap is extraordinary doesn’t mean the whole world will agree
“If we build it, they will come.”
…our product is so great that everyone will know about us anyway by word of mouth and through online social networks…
“We have no competitors.”
If you haven’t identified a competitor…you either 1) haven’t looked or 2) there isn’t any market for what you are selling.
“Me, myself and I.”
I recently watched a promising start-up wither and die for lack of funds because the founder refused to step aside as chief executive in favor of a more experienced candidate…
“We’re too nimble for the big guys to keep up.”
Serving a relatively small customer base well can yield a tidy little business,
“We have more features than anyone”
Truth is, marketing a flurry of features often puts off customers who would rather not have to deal with complexity, or the costs to switch to a new product or service. Simple sells.
“We have the first-mover advantage”
Right. Or, what you really mean, but can’t admit, is that you don’t have a patent or any differentiating competitive advantage.
“There’s no need to risk my own money.”
Investing your own capital is, in the eyes of investors, the difference between “involved” and “committed”–and investors like commitment even more than they like sweat equity.
“We’re funded, now we can relax”
The real work starts when the money comes in
(See entire Forbes story)