Why Are We Unreasonable?
George Bernard Shaw
Unreasonable people see the world as it should be and not how it is today. We don’t want incremental improvements but a whole new way of solving customer problems. A fundamental tenet for me is to pursue a market where there is no comparable competitor for how we defined the solution. The benefits are measured by a factor of 10x and a look of wow!
Unreasonable people change their methods but not their goals. When you have an innovation in white space, your assumptions on many aspects are going to be all wrong. Learning fast and acting quickly is required to keep adjusting the product, technology and go-to-market since it is brand new in how the product is developed, used and sold. However, in the mind’s-eye is a vision that continues to be revolutionary. That is why we stubbornly hold dearly some fundamental capabilities.
Unreasonable people love to be around others that challenge the methods while embracing the vision and hate the sarcastic naysayers. Changing the world is a team effort and the team needs to embrace the vision and become unreasonable. Walter Isaacson referred to it as the “distortion field” Steve Jobs created around him. I find that being inspirational and relentless is a better method of getting the most out of a team than humiliation and degradation.
As an entrepreneur, I surround myself with unreasonable investors, customers and team members. We may not share all the specifics of how to change the world but we share the vision. If an investor does not share the vision, then they will push you to do the ordinary and measure you against the rubric defined by current businesses. At TraceLink our main investor is Larry Lenihan of FirstMark Capital. Larry shares our vision and pushes us towards our audacious goals but at the same time understands the journey is full of unknowns and many adjustments.
Before you begin your journey as an entrepreneur, make sure you set a high bar and be unreasonable.