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The Alternative to the Four-Hour Mindset (techcrunch.com)
51 points by oglowo3 9 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 6 comments

This addresses a very particular type of entrepreneur, one that I built a lot of my early contracting business on. Someone who calls themselves the "idea person" but rarely gets their hands dirty. I have met many of them via elance, at useless networking events, or via referrals. I have never seen any succeed or change their mindset.

The 4-hour mindset becomes more useful when it's time to scale. The problem is an unwillingness to do "unscalable things" at early stages, which just comes down to being too lazy to be an entrepreneur.

Surprised there aren't more comments since I found this article very interesting.

An interesting conundrum occurs to me as I read and processed this through my own largely failed or semi-failed start-up experiences. The issues is this that the failure in my experiences has been enterprise sales delivery. We built cool, even award winning tech. We delivered the product to market. We had CIOs say they loved it. But driving real adoption, selling and getting revenue not just accolades was the issue.

So in light of this article, much of the behavior that the author describes sounds a lot like "sales" the very thing I have found missing. And, because it sounds and feels like sales on some superficial level it is easy to imagine for the practitioner that they are just around the corner from the big win.

I think you are right with respect to the need to hit the accelerator on growth through sales and marketing. Great products do not sell themselves. I think that having some notion of how to get a product to market and how to market that product is essential.

I thought this article was interesting and touches on your experiences:

It's not a feature problem—Avoiding Startup Tarpits


Thanks for the article. I read most of it.

Parts sounded very similar to the start-up that I was referencing most directly in my comment. The big difference was that in selling to large enterprises, marketing is very inefficient at reaching decision makers.

We thought we had this in hand because our founder and a couple of key early employees were deeply integrated into the CIO community. And, we did succeed in getting CIOs on board. The real challenge though for us was that revenue depended on adoption and ongoing use within large enterprises. While CIO's were telling us this platform is really great and we will have 20 procurement projects hosted on your exchange in the next 6 months, they weren't willing to force adoption within their organization. We would get delays and then maybe 1 or 2 projects and then nothing. There was still something missing or a unidentified barrier when it came to the needs of a VP or director 2 levels down from the CIO.

Eventually we ran out of money. The technical foundation was really good and allowed the founder to run it solo until he found a larger service company that wanted to retrofit the technology to support their business model. He got a smallish buyout which in theory made him and the investors whole plus a little. The last I heard they were having legal wranglings to actually get the money paid out from the acquiring firm.

Very interesting take. I think the pitfall discussed here is that many may plan for passive before the foundation is built.

>“I didn’t know how to do x, so I just had to figure it out.”

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