Which inhibits growth more:

  • What you don’t know?
  • What you think know, but that you’re wrong about?

I heard a story about a bootstrapped software founder several years ago that stuck with me. Like many entrepreneurs, he had worked on several projects that had mediocre results. Then, he had a breakout success with a product.

His comment was, “I didn’t realize before that this is how a business is supposed to work.”

In other words, he believed that you worked hard to make not much progress and that was just how business was.

After his successful product, how will he think about the next product that doesn’t take off?

The benefit of experience is that it reveals what you’re wrong about. Unfortunately, accumulating experience takes time and losses. Fortunately, experience is transferable. It doesn’t have to be your time or your losses.

This is why it’s critical to solicit help, advice, and perspectives from others. And to read about and listen to the experience of people in your situation.

Featured image is an old illustration of the Library of Alexendria. A significant portion of the Mediterranean’s accumulated thoughts and experiences were lost with it after its destruction in the third century. By O. Von Corven – Tolzmann, Don Heinrich; Alfred Hessel and Reuben Peiss. The Memory of Mankind. New Castle. Used under public domain.