On February 26th I co-founded a new business with by my partner Steve Tomsic. We’ve each started numerous companies in the past – this is my 5th. That said – this one is different, it’s a physical product in a new industry – basically it’s a toy / novelty item. Our goal is to create a fad. Ambitious – yes; likely – no; totally unpredictable behavior for me – absolutely.
Right now I’m in the phase of “blind doubt” It’s a cross of blind faith in the idea and self doubt in my ability to execute. Blind faith is absolutely necessary for me to make the big leap to invest time and money and launch a new idea. Self-doubt is a hypodermic injection of reality. I actually like this phase and I’m surprised more entrepreneurs don’t spend more time dealing with these awkward feelings.
Blind-doubt thoughts than run through my head:
Our product will sell and it’s cool.
I can’t make a toy.
I can create the market hype I’m dreaming about.
Our toy may suck compared to others.
I can learn the toy industry and kick ass.
If we do sell a gazillion of them I can’t finance the manufacturing.
I can finance this easy.
I don’t know how to sell it.
I will make millions off this idea.
I will lose lots of hard earned money on this crazy concept.
I believe I can do this – no I don’t.
It’s not a lack of confidence – it’s more risk mitigation. These alternating emotional states actually help drive my activities and really test some premises about the idea. It forces me to live with the product and obsess about it – refine it, test it and get comfortable with its value. It essentially helps me identify roadblocks very early in the process.
Having observed many entrepreneurs in the moment of founding – there is typically nothing more but belief in the idea – they’ve made their first sale – to themselves. Having sold myself now I’m trying to figure out if I want what I bought. Actually everyday for the first few months I will have to resell myself on the idea. I will identify a problem and either solve it or live with it. If I end up living with too many problems I may have to bag the idea. Right now – Friday afternoon – everything is OK – but there are issues as expected.