Now is the Time to Take out the Buts – Learning from Silicon Valley…

Innovators in Silicon Valley bring a strong passion, willingness to take a risk and strong commitment to execution. This ‘hunger to succeed’ – professionally and personally can be driven by need, competition or sheer personal desire to make a difference.

Comparatively in Norway, the culture has not historically embraced risk taking and ‘thinking outside the box’. Common phrases from Norwegian ‘would be entrepreneurs’ are “I would like to do something on my own but….if I fail….” Or “I have an idea but .. need funding… “ or “It would be great to commercialize this solution … but I don’t have resources’.

Now, ‘post oil’, is the time for innovators in companies and on their own to ‘Take out the Buts’. By focusing on the passion and opportunities ahead for your innovation, you can take the Silicon Valley approach to action and execution.

In Silicon Valley when an idea comes to an entrepreneur, the first question is what can I do to build it and get customer / market support . The focus is on the opportunity – not the obstacles or reasons not to move forward ie the ‘buts’ . The passion to bring a new idea into the world overshadows the fear of potentially negative consequences.

What’s the worst that can happen?

Consider this – If you start out on your own… “what’s the worst thing that can happen?”.   If you are healthy and have some financial savings, the very worst outcome would be that you spend a few months or year learning what does and doesn’t work. You can then choose to return to the corporate world or start out on your next new venture.

The risk of missing an opportunity to make a difference by bringing your great idea / product into the market can be a lot worse than the ‘simply’ missing out of a year or two of a comfortable corporate lifestyle even in Norway.

In Silicon Valley – the only ‘but’ is ‘why didn’t I do this sooner’. Risk leads to reward – through success or learning (from failure). By taking action, removing the ‘but’ and moving forward, entrepreneurs worldwide avoid the ‘worst that can happen’ – regret from not having made a difference through great innovations.


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