Money is only compensation, not motivation. So long as you don’t feel the ‘kick’ in whatever you do; so long as you are not making a ‘dent’ in the universe with what you are doing, whatever you are doing is not worth doing at all. Today while browsing through evening’s Hacker News, I landed up at Ryan Carson’s article called The Naïve Optimist. He describes the serialized (and painful, of course) decisions he took that led to the closure of his maiden startup FlightDeck. It is often more sensible to stop doing something diminutive in value (or shitty, at worst) so as to save time for something bigger. Moreover as he says, if customers are not getting driven absolutely spell-bound by your product, it is better to euthanize it than to drag it to death. The rebirth, in his case Treehouse, may be more fruitful and enjoyable.
On a second note, I have felt that testosterone/estrogen or whatever resides within each of us and whatever drives us crazy during the secondary nervous system impulses should be the “precious” ones that should decide our professional decisions as well. You think I am stupid, don’t you?
But think once about those Ninth Standard’s Math or Laws of Motion problems. You enjoyed solving those and you solved them very fast. You didn’t wait to think about the origin of those problems or sat with your faculty to do research on them. You just faced it head-on, as it came. You just reacted to the need of the moment. Customer and markets are also like that; so easy, so fast. You do need market research, but you don’t need extensive time wasting procedure for doing all those. You do need a Salesman, who is gifted in convincing people; you need a marketer, who defines the product for you. You need a developer who builds the product. But you don’t need a “good for nothing” guy who is “passionate” about start-up. Big enterprises can tolerate such overhead, your start-up doesn’t.
You just need a so-called “kick” to sail through; and a belief that your customers will also love your product as much as you do. The kick can be anything: a new customer every day, fifteen new customers every day, an insult from boss or a kick in the ass by the competitor.
From whatever little experience I had till now, I learned these three things: you need to believe in and love your product, you should evolve frequently without wasting unnecessary time doing extensive research (on market or whatever else) and you should keep the fire inside you burning for following the previous two points. Only constant ‘kicks’ in the ass can keep your start-up alive. If you are passionate about feeling those ‘kicks’, you are worth it. Money and chicks drive common mass. Kicks drive entrepreneurs.