Entrepreneurship is making the world a better place. The essential ingredient in building companies is solving problems for other people, so entrepreneurs help people. However, entrepreneurship is not an instant in time. Too many discussions of entrepreneurship treat it as a “thing”, when it is actually more of a process, or a journey. In order to build successful companies, entrepreneurs must persistently learn how to solve problems. The problems are simple ones at first, but as those get solved, the problems get more complex and harder to solve, until finally, the entrepreneur has a business with a defensible moat. The more difficult the problem, the harder it is to replicate the solution.
Modern discussions of entrepreneurship seem to focus on and prioritize “revolutionary” startups that disrupt the status quo in some way. Everybody loves a revolutionary, and web sites need to sell ad impressions, so if you were to just read the entrepreneurial blogs, one might come to the conclusion that the core of entrepreneurship is about finding the right, big idea that will annihilate some incumbent industry. These are the types of startups that venture capitalists need to survive, and since they tend to be thought leaders in entrepreneurship, it’s easy to come to this conclusion.
However, most business are not built this way. Most business start out by solving a simple but compelling problem, and then growing the solution to solve adjacent problems. Building a business is a journey, and in the following pages, I will share with you my own journey, and the thoughts I have collected over a lifetime in the early stage tech industry.