The more you know the more courage you need

Note to my future self..

I’ve written before on the need of expertise and/or experience in order to do certain things like building a startup. After thinking about that topic for a while my takeaway is that when it comes to starting a startup the marginal utility of experience quickly decreases with time. The argument for this is that when it comes to building products you learn the bulk of it in your first X years and every year after that you learn relatively little AND you learn nothing about other things like actually building a company. My view on this is still the same.

However, today I want to take this idea even further and argue that expertise can actually hurt you because the more you know the more you think about everything that can go wrong. This means that you will be less likely to even start something because knowing about everything that could go wrong leads to inaction. This doesn’t mean that expertise is bad. It’s just that the more you know the more risk averse you’re likely to become.

This is where courage comes in. You need to combine any expertise that you’ve got with a lot of courage to be willing to try something even if you know the 1000 things that might go wrong. This balance between expertise and courage should neutralize the “analysis paralysis” that might come from overthinking the “what ifs”

The Takeaway

I just need to keep this in mind the next time I start considering all the things that could go wrong with my big startup Idea. Whenever I catch myself doing this I should just cut it and put out there whatever it is that I am thinking about(: