Jump Ship?

Posted on June 27, 2013. Filed under: Philosophy | Tags: , , , , |

Woods Thanksgiving

I recently investigated and then abandoned a new business idea.  This can be discouraging and liberating at the same time.  Did I miss a great opportunity by deciding not to go ahead?  Did I dodge a financial disaster?   An article in the Wall Street Journal from April entitled, “How to Come up with a Great Idea” had some sage advice.  In the article Brian Spaly, Founder and CEO of Trunk Club, quotes his Stanford professor, Andy Rachleff who said, “Make sure you can fail fast and cheaply.”

About a third of new businesses fail by the second year and 56% fail by the fifth year.  So, the professor’s advice is sage indeed because if a new business is going to fail it would be better to jump ship earlier rather than later.  Much money is saved this way.  EhowMoney has a great article on this.

Still, one wonders what great possibilities are missed in spite of the risks.  Starting a new business is exhilarating because there is so much hope for a bright future, but it should also give one pause for the uncertainty.  It is this dichotomy which keeps most people in the status of employee, I think.  And having built one business from the ground up I know intimately what kind of dedication and sacrifice is required even when the venture is ultimately successful.

I admit I feel a weight lifted by jumping ship this time.  So maybe it was the right way to go.  It certainly was the right time to abandon, before any real money was even spent!

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