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Your own experience contradicts with your stance. You got from

>15 years ago, I'd have stood there dumbfounded..and asked for help

to

>I understand the whole system well enough that I can understand what is wrong, form and test a hypothesis, and take action.

by

>I spent years upon years learning the mechanics of vehicles fairly intimately

Clearly you didn't "focus only on your strengths". You identified a weakness - no knowledge of the mechanics of vehicles, and acted to fix it.

You can do the same for fundraising, and it may take years to become a guru at it, but it doesn't take years to start having some success at it, just as with the mechanics of vehicles.




> Clearly you didn't "focus only on your strengths". You identified a weakness - no knowledge of the mechanics of vehicles, and acted to fix it.

Except you're missing his point, OP cared about that particular domain, so he got better at it whereas he doesn't care about schmoozing with VCs.

Further, OP contests the idea that you necessarily must address your weaknesses, i.e. the perpetual selling point of self-help, on the basis that you will then be forced to ignore your strengths.


That's a valid perspective, and one that can help you become a world-class specialist. Entrepreneurship, however, very much requires you to be a generalist. There are just too many areas to consider: fundraising, hacking, product design, user acquisition, recruiting, leading a team, product management, marketing, PR, accounting... Zero entrepreneurs are well trained in every one of these areas before doing a startup. Entrepreneurship is about trying to learn how to do something new, unfamiliar, and unpleasant every day. This requires focusing on your weaknesses, even in areas you aren't inherently passionate about.

You certainly don't have to be a generalist to be successful - world-class specialists add much more value to the world than the median entrepreneur. But you do have to be a generalist to be a successful entrepreneur, and it's in that context of entrepreneurship that you should evaluate Jason's post and PG's essay on resourcefulness.


But you do have to be a generalist to be a successful entrepreneur

I don't believe it.

You may have to be willing to dabble in these areas in order to get started, but if your strengths are technical, your goal is to do them only until you can justify paying someone else to do them. The entrepreneur who tries to manage every angle of business will never grow beyond his personal limitations (time being the big one).

Again, it's about opportunity cost. Pay an accountant to do your taxes if it's taking you away from money-making work that you're actually good at.


If you want to achieve something that is blocked by a weakness, you have to address the weakness or choose something else to achieve.

You can address a weakness by improving yourself or finding a workaround.

For example, if one of his strengths is bonding with fellow geeks, OP could bond with a fellow geek who likes talking to VCs and convince him to be a cofounder. Then he has worked around the problem by using a strength which is an example of a resourceful workaround.

TLDR: Using your strengths to work around a weakness is an example of being resourceful.

NB: In my experience, the willingness to go outside your comfort zone, even your weakest areas correlates highly with success in entrepreneurship.


OP cared about that particular domain, so he got better at it whereas he doesn't care about schmoozing with VCs.

Exactly right. I should have been clearer about that.


You don't have to go chat up VCs to build a startup. Bootstrapping may be harder but is certainly doable.

If you want to get funding though, you have to talk to VCs. If that's a weakness, you have to fix it or work around it by finding a co-founder who can augment your abilities. That is an example of resourcefulness. If you can't do either, you won't get funding.




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