“Creating a company is like eating glass and staring into the abyss.” – Elon Musk
Actually not a direct Elon Musk quote, as he said it came from a friend, this sentence perfectly captures the entrepreneur’s ordeal.
In a 2013 conference in New York (see the link to the video below), Musk was asked if he agreed with his PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel on why most great entrepreneurs only develop one great idea. Thiel believes that the success of the first one removes the motive to keep innovating and creating.
Like Steve Jobs or Thomas Edison before them, Musk belongs to an elite group of entrepreneurs who had several ideas that changed the world.
After delivering the quote we honor this week, Musk went on to say:
“You have to do lots of things you don’t like. […] You have to put incredible amounts of effort, and it’s a huge amount of stress. It’s much more painful than people realize.”
His point? It’s not that brilliant entrepreneurs don’t have more than one great idea. It’s due to the fact that our brain is not wired to deal with so much stress. Although startup death is not real, our brain equates it with real death, something it was programmed to do by evolution.
As a result, most people are not equipped to deal with business failure more than once.
🗣 Why do you think serial entrepreneurs keep launching companies, even in the face of failure?
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🔗 The Elon Musk interview that started it all (watch at 21’57 for our quote)
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