It should also be useful for founders, as a warning sign to look for. People can change, and they can also stand outside themselves to some degree. So some founders will probably be able to read something like this and ask themselves "does this happen with us?" and if the answer is yes, to try to be less timid.
This is why successful people I have interacted with have most often been extremely welcoming and nice, because they have learned that putting everything on the table when surrounded by peers and mentors is the best trait of success.
If this is the case then the solution to making more successful companies (and not "wasting" investment) is to get around this dilemma somehow. The solution might be for founders to practice a little "mindfulness" or "self-awareness" throughout the day. This could be a check-in with your body before meetings or after an important call in the form of being aware of the breath or feeling sensations like your feet on the floor. If your body is tight or you are feeling defensive or unconfident then air it out.
Any other ways people think founders can solve this dilemma?
It's not a universal correlation, but I've generally noticed junior and less knowledgeable people (graduate students, early-career professors, etc.) to be much more brash, confident, and even aggressive in that sense than accomplished researchers, though there is a bit of an inverted-U curve (undergraduates and 1st-year graduate students tend to be very timid). Of the people I've met professionally, probably the most humble, and least willing to make strong statements without thinking them over and later offering a tentative opinion with caveats, was Bob Moog, who is also probably the smartest and most accomplished person I've met professionally.
Some of my most valuable experiences stemmed from just throwing myself in on the deep end instead of waiting to analyze all the implications. But at the same time those experiences were terribly _hard_, and carried a great deal of risk. E.g. my first company was an ISP. Started it with some friends at 19. Knew nothing about running a business or about setting up a large scale WAN, or about accounting, or sales, or configuring Linux servers. A year later I'd had hard, brutal and effective lessons in all of that and more.
If I'd spent time carefully trying to figure out the risks and implications beforehand, I doubt I'd have started that company. It didn't make me wealthy, but it was definitively worth it in terms of what I learned, and the connections I made also led directly to my next job and overall it has been pretty vital to my career.
On the other hand, there are many situations where not stepping back and being careful and considered and chasing down the implications up-front would've had disastrous consequences.
The problem isn't being cautious, if you know when not to be, but not taking action. Being cautious because you want to chase down and understand the implications is very different from being timid about addressing weaknesses in your knowledge. Whether you address those weaknesses with research or by trying is less important than avoiding paralysis.
Very useful insight. As someone who isn't timid at all, I think often times I may help in my own way build the wall for timid people.
I am so caught up in shooting down "schleps" that I think that ends up being even more intimidating.
And I think the counter for that is as you say, being "Extremely welcoming and nice."
Because it's always better to take "schleps" with someone who is making you feel better about it than someone that is just doing the work, and moving on with no consideration for their feelings.
All that is a bit strange to say publicly, and is a bit of a rehash of advice given elsewhere I think. Maybe it helps somebody else though.