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"but if VCs are already giving money to an established entrepreneur to do the same thing, why take a chance on a guy doing his coding in his house in a bathrobe"

Until you change this train of thought, you won't succeed. You need to convince yourself before you can convince others. If you can't even convince yourself, no one's going to buy into it.

If you can convince yourself that you have what it takes to succeed and that your secret sauce or magic formula is enough to staff off even the likes of google, then you'll still convincing others including those VCs you've mentioned.

Or maybe the OP is just realistic? It certainly seems plausible that an established player will have an easier time raising money, generating buzz and getting a product out there than an unproven guy coding at home in a bathrobe.

While I agree with you that you need to be an optimist, you also need to be realistic. If you have no track record and start building a company to compete with virgin galactic you will fail.

Ultimately it's about what you want to do with your life; you can reach for the stars, get a nice safe job at a big company or somewhere in between. But you should acknowledge that the more of a risk you take the likelier you are to fail. Most people with highflying dreams don't make it, and you should factor this into the equation.

Being a realist and a successful entrepreneur is almost mutually exclusive. It's about having a vision and executing to that vision whether it seems realistic at the time being or not.

It's about being a dreamer. It's about being a risk taker. It's about being overconfident in realms that may be familiar. It's about being so passionate about what your doing, it becomes infectious.

Realists are better fit for project managers at large corporations...

> It's about being a dreamer

No, that's being an idiot.

A successful entrepreneur - as opposed to someone who loses their shirt - may be a visionary and a dreamer. But they take calculated risks. You have to know when to persevere, when to pivot, and when to give up - especially if you're playing with other people's money or your life savings.

Yes, vision and confidence are important, in order to bring employees, investors and customers on board. But unless they are grounded in reality, you will fail horribly, unless you are very, very lucky.

Just get out there, do the work, keep failing until you succeed. You don't have time to think about being realistic.

Just because VC #1 invested in the established entrepreneur, do not forget about VC#2, 3, 4, 5 etc. that are also trying to invest a dollar in that space. Use the famous person as a proof that there is a market to be had, and then work on your pitch that you are hungrier and more determined to succeed.

Agree—I think it's perhaps the largest part of chicken-and-egg problem here IMO. You need to be genuinely confident if you want to convince people. And being really sure that you're right is the best way to act confidently.

AFAIK having some mild mania helps in this regard. Probably there are also ways to hack your mind to temporary ‘disable’ doubts that can tone you down.

it's definitely a tough balancing act - if you're too sure, you might miss signals that you need to adjust or pivot - you have to calibrate your own feelings and thought processes so that you are confident enough to push but also realistic enough to make good decisions.

or maybe you just bring a pusher onto the team to spread the word if the hacker is more of a diffident type

Confidence and being self aware doesn't have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, I believe they're complementary. Now, if you were to describe it as arrogance, then it may be cause to miss some cues.

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