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@Alanna

On being a risk-averse entrepreneur

betterworktogether3.jpg

I think a lot about diversity and who gets to be a founder or a leader. To me, it’s about realising human potential. If brilliant minds or unique perspectives are shut out, we all lose. Now I see how that applies to myself when it comes to risk aversion: because I had the opportunity to join hands and jump with trusted collaborators, I was able to take risks and become an entrepreneur.

@bobhaugen
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@mix
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@mix

The core idea of noticing of this is ... I'm not sure if it's simple, very important, or both.

I thought of a few people as I read this - some of you I know have experiences like this, some might be looking for it. @mnin @arj @glyph @w @sam

@Craig
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@neftaly

Cheers @Alanna, if you don't mind I'd like to share my own thoughts, perhaps from a different personality type. Obviously this could well be terrible advice depending on ones situation.

We spent our first couple of years operating in a tightly-knit group with high stakes, high stress, and almost complete ignorance of what we needed to do. We literally did nothing but work and sleep, barely had enough to cover rent, and our plan B was to change phone numbers and apply for a job at a Pak'nSave.

I don't think I'll ever again experience such focus, exhilaration, and drive.

As your typical lazy-ass risk-averse ADHD dev impostor, on paper it sounds like my own personal version of hell. The only reason I got into such a situation was because I trusted my gut on my cofounders, and forgot to overthink how difficult it would actually be.

Nowadays we've long since stopped running on the knife-edge. Our team is much larger and we're financially secure. But while we're still a startup and pretty much do what we want, we're nowhere as scrappy or as desperately driven to improve as we once were. It isn't life-or-death anymore, it's just a job with nice working conditions.

So I guess my perspective is to embrace risk, and just kinda impulsively jump into the freezing cold water. Keep a few good people you can trust on either side of you. Embrace ignorance as tool to get you started. Cultivate the "right kind" of stress (voluntary, consensual stress) to hone your instincts and push you to succeed.

When you get the recipe right, it's almost like no-one has any choice but to succeed. When you do inevitably fail, adjust the mixture and try again.

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