by: Markus Lampinen
Warning

Image by TheBazile via Flickr

Recently left and right, everyone’s founding a startup! But so many are using having a startup and entrepreneurship in a synonymous way for having an idea or experimenting a little bit. Are you sure you even have a startup?

One way to separate a real startup from a glorified idea, is to ask yourself, is the entrepreneur behind the startup committed to seeing the startup through the next two to three years, even if it means going through the rubble? And further, specifically if it means going through the rubble.

Ideas alone are worthless and no one is going to jump in on an idea alone. Are you cut out for the journey, even if it means you won’t close that first million round of venture capital, or even if your idea doesn’t make it to the top of the App Store? Even if no one believes what you’re doing? Will you give up?

Naturally you’ll pivot and you’ll adapt, but you cannot rely on success early on to be able to make it work. Sure in some fields you’ll get usable metrics and statistics before others, but most of the time you’ll have to follow through on what you’ve set out to do. At least until you arrive at some tangible validation. How do you know you’re not crazy? How do you know the vision you’re chasing will come true? The answer is, you really don’t know. Good news is, no one else does either.

Every so often you hear an entrepreneur talk about their grand startup and bringing it to market in a big way. Then they stumble on the phrase, ‘I’ll do this IF..‘. What this most often translates to in reality is, ‘I won’t even start without this and that‘. This often refers to a stroke of luck of some sort, be it in the shape of funding or what not. If you aren’t going to breathe life into your startup and make it ignite into your full vision, how can you expect others to do so? How can you expect someone to trust you with venture capital or any sort of capital for that matter, if you’re not willing to see it through? Do you think there are no obstacles in a successful startup?

There’s a falsehood associated to how startups emerge and grow into widely successful companies and the truth of the matter is that there is no “IF” in the formula and sure, luck does play a (often large) role. But at the end of the day startups don’t happen – startups are made.

If you’re dreaming of your large Series A with your startup still in planning mode, without having made a commitment to seeing it through, think again. Startups aren’t daydreams, startups are as real as it gets. They are looking to be built from the ground up and need someone to step in, and take charge. And if you’re not ready to get real with the startup and kick it into action, it’s not a startup at all – it’s just a glorified daydream at best.


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About the author

Markus Lampinen Passionate, driven entrepreneur. CEO at Crowd Valley, the crowd funding infrastructure, Senior Partner at the Grow VC Group. Markus has also worked with actors in both the private and public sector, to improve the infrastructure for entrepreneurship and serves as a frequent public speaker on related themes. Follow Markus on Twitter, LinkedIn & Google

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This entry was posted on Thursday, August 25th, 2011 at 3:03 pm and is filed under How to invest in startups. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.