Hackernoon logoHow Startups Can Overcome The Shiny Object Syndrome? by@nebojsa.todorovic

How Startups Can Overcome The Shiny Object Syndrome?

Nebojsa "Nesha" Todorovic Hacker Noon profile picture

@nebojsa.todorovicNebojsa "Nesha" Todorovic

Noonies2020 Award Winner for the Most Controversial Writer of the Year

Book a call
with @nebojsa.todorovic

What's the catch with all these shiny objects, and why they're proven to be dangerous for startups? Well, when something is shining all day long, you simply can't avoid it and take your eyes off it. That's a completely normal and understandable reaction. So, don't worry, there's nothing wrong with you.

The real problem is when you get exposed to countless shiny objects all around you. In theory, you can spend your entire life admiring shiny objects. That's OK, because at least you'll admire beautiful things. That's not OK, because you'll become an unsuccessful professional admirer rather than a successful entrepreneur, who won't be able to accomplish a single thing with your startup, other than to admire these shiny things.

This is a theory. Now, let's see what's happening in real business life?

The acronym for Shiny Object Syndrome is SOS

I don't think that's a coincidence. So, what are you supposed to do when your startup starts sending SOS signals?

The first thing to do is to identify the symptoms that your startup is suffering from the Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS). Well, that shouldn't be too hard. You just can't get enough. You stumble upon one shiny object. For example, a new marketing concept.

Then, before you know it, you're already intrigued by the "next big (shiny) thing." You haven't fully realized what the previous "shiny object" was all about, and you're already rushing toward the next one. Who's to blame you? Your entrepreneurship enthusiasm has turned on all the lights in the room. Everything and anything you can possibly imagine is shining.

This is a "neon jungle" and you don't know where to go and what to do next with your startup.

Do you remember how Perseus managed to "solve" the Medusa problem? Well, he kept his eyes closed all the time. Let's not forget that he was also using a "mirror." At least this is what "Clash of the Titans" movie taught us. So, am I suggesting that you should do the same?

Well, maybe I am. You should keep your startup's eyes closed, so you don't get distracted in the beautiful and shiny entrepreneurship world. Your version of Perseus' "mirror" should be your focus.

You should focus on only one objective at the time, plain but not so simple. Why?

All startup founders desperately want to catch up with all the latest business trends, solutions, and gadgets that have the potential to boost their startups. It's no wonder that so many newbie entrepreneurs got completely lost among all those shiny objects.

Unfortunately, many promising concepts, ideas, or approaches fail to stand the test of time or they can't be applied to your startup as you have expected and hopped.

So, every new shiny object eventually and inevitably becomes just another distraction for your startup.

Either You Invent OR Stick To Oldies But Goldies

One thing is for sure, Shiny Object Syndrome can drive you crazy. Let's face it. What are your available options? If you become a yes-man when it comes to shiny objects, then your startup will be trapped in the neon jungle. If you decide to be a no-man for a change, then your startup still stands a chance. You will have to invent a new shiny object of your own. Is it going to work out for your startup?

There's only one way to find out.

From this point in time, which is 30 years give it or take, we are free to say that Guerrilla Marketing was once a new shiny object. Now, this is considered to be a "classic" marketing concept. It would be unfair to classify it as a shiny object because Guerrilla Marketing can be a life-saver for many new startups that are suffering from chronic money insufficiency.

However, back in the 1980s, Guerrilla Marketing was just one more shiny object you admired and wanted to try out first-hand. Point taken.

Should Your Startup Wear Sunglasses Day and Night?

Only the time itself can remove the etiquette of the shiny object in entrepreneurship. As it turns out, the most precious and effective spice in every startup kitchen is - salt.

So, the next time you're in danger of being exposed to a shiny object, you take this new concept with a grain of salt, and you'll be just fine. Feel free to run from one shiny object to another, because the time will take care of it. You'll see which business theories and solutions were the true game-changers, and which ones were nothing more than shiny objects that burned out your wallets and time.

There's just one problem, though. Although it may seem a crazy thing to say, as a startup founder, you can afford to spend the money, but not the time as much as you want.

So, make sure you consume and digest all those shiny objects as quickly as you can. The new startup can rut out of money and still stand a chance. But, if shiny objects consume all of your startup's time then not even all the money in the world can't help you achieve your entrepreneurship dreams.

And yes, all that glitters is not startup gold. Right?


Join Hacker Noon

Create your free account to unlock your custom reading experience.