Today on The Startup Chat we are talking about having cynicism (or criticism) in startups.
Steli believes when he started out he had a certain beautiful level of ignorance about being an entrepreneur or developing a product or service. As time went on and his skill set improved, he began to lose the ignorance and wonders if he will become more cynical in time. He struggles with trying to keep a healthy level of ignorance while still utilizing the knowledge and experience he has. Hiten says a healthy balance comes from being more critical which allows him to offer others more help. Through that he is able to turn being critical into something helpful.
Steli poses a question about how to respond to a junior member of the team who has an idea that he knows the person hasn’t thought through or doesn’t have the experience to offer. He wonders how to handle that without crushing somebody’s enthusiasm. Hiten says it depends on the situation, but many times the idea is not something the business is currently focused on. Explaining that the idea may be good, but is not a priority breaks it down logically for that person.
We also talk about Hiten’s new business and if he feels differently toward it than he did his first startup. He said knowledge and the experience of a team who works well together has made it much easier. This also allows him to correct the course faster when needed. He believes the way his team is thinking and evolving is indicative of a much larger business potential for this new project.
Hiten: If you feel a certain way about an idea, think internally about why you think the way you do, and it will be able to give a more productive response if you need to react.
Steli: When you interact with other people try to find what connects you rather than separates you. Look at the world from that viewpoint to try to get a different level of empathy.
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