jordangonen

@jordangonen

Detaching Ego From Your Projects

I am a firm believer in the idea that in business, and in life broadly, the best ideas should always win. That we should try and prevent any hidden biases from clouding our vision.

Though we tend to look outwards when trying to optimize our decision making skills, I have learned so much by investing time in trying to better understand my own instincts and leanings.

I tweeted this out, the other day:

In short…I have launched a number of little widgets over the past few months. I have worked with incredible people from all over the world, creating and shipping projects to hundreds of thousands of users.

Some projects fail miserably. Others appear successful.

Introspecting on many of these experiences, I have been reinforced on an important, under prioritized learning about the importance of being able to make clear decisions. To remove bias — especially my own bias — from my choices.

Effectively, I try to remove ego from my decision making process.

I do not call any of my projects companies (even though some are technically an LLC), because I know that adding the “pressure” of a company will force me to have my own reputation influence my decision making ability. (I am not all in on these ideas yet).

Another common error, I used to make all the time, is that I would spend tons of time just “coming up with ideas.”

If your goal is to start a massive company, perhaps, then I think this is a backwards approach. I am a subscriber now, that the only way to build a long term massive company is to solve real problems for real people.

The problem could be really big…like Opendoor tackling the Real Estate Industry or my friend’s Instagram automation tool that helps you grow your Instagram followers.

It could be really small…like one of my latest projects Pouch…which solves a niche organizational problem.

Regardless…the key is to find an audience to solve a problem for. And if that problem is that important, you can assuredly turn it into a business.

So often, I think that “entrepreneurial culture” encourages you go out and be a visionary and just come up with ideas.

Rather, I think of projects like experiments. I am testing assumptions. Just like any scientist, I must remove my own bias if I want to see the results clearly.

If not, I can easily skew data in anyway that confirms my own perspective.

This happens all the time. ESPECIALLY for stressed out founders who got falsely validated by the press, their professors, their friends, their parents…effectively everyone besides…

THEIR CUSTOMERS.

So listen to your customers! Build something they want.

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