Fear and Passion

I love Churchill’s speech of May 13, 1940 on Britain’s entry into World War II, which went down in history by its most striking quote, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat”. In my opinion, this quote is no different from the founder’s words to the co-founders and first employees.

Well, is it possible not to suffer? Yes, it is possible. You can’t get anywhere in a startup without a big idea and the desire to create and change the world for the better. Suffering isn’t an incentive to be creative. But then why doesn’t almost anyone with an active imagination get to make their own unicorn? I’ve found a couple of answers that work for me, I make no claim to the truth:

1. The ability to move towards one’s cherished desires.

Somehow it happens that the most important and desirable thing/event/achievement is the most difficult to fulfill. But what if it does come true? What to do then?

It’s not failure that’s hard to take out, but success. Once a cherished goal is achieved, the program breaks down and creates unbearable uncertainty. This is why success and lots of money don’t suit everyone. Not because some people are clumsy and not worthy of a 180-meter yacht, but because it’ll be such a burden on a person, it’s unclear what to do with all this stuff. The speed of loss of fortunes of lottery winners confirms this thesis.

2. Trust people around you.

This includes all sorts of things like “listening to others”, “assembling and developing a team”, “building relationships with the investor”. So I don’t have much faith in the possibility of building unicorns in developing countries on stream for a long period of time. The banal low level of trust people have for each other will hinder this. First world countries are “overbought” for this very reason. People there have managed to build sustainable institutions. And they were built because of the desire to build trust between members of society. You can read about the correlation between trust and GDP here.

What do you think? What are the true limitations?



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Evgenii Nelepko

Evgenii Nelepko

CEO/ BD at Startups | Advisor for Founders. Connect on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nelepko/