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Break and reset?
Founders who believe they are chasing the largest prizes understand how much has to go exactly right (in addition to lots of luck) to…
Founders who believe they are chasing the largest prizes understand how much has to go exactly right (in addition to lots of luck) to achieve the victory they are looking for — and with this in mind, their tolerance for noise in the system is lower and their perception of short term pain vs long term gains is heavily skewed toward the very long term.
They demand more and react with more intensity to “small” challenges. They don’t blink at decisions that would give most of us ulcers and insomnia. They are more willing to walk away from a flawed process or failing teammate and start again.
The best founders I know are more willing than most to break and reset.
I think part of this comes from confidence in their ability to move quickly and catch up after starting over. But, the other part that feels deeper to me is the potential they see in their company and the prize they want to win.
The scale of the prize influences the cost/benefit analysis when it comes to breaking and resetting vs accepting sub-optimal performance.
Think of the company as a child. As kids grow, sometimes a bone goes crooked or one limb is shorter than another. Doctors (and parents) have to decide if treatment is worth it — and they make this decision based on the cost of the limited function/the impact the anomaly will have on the child later in life.
Let’s say a child had an almost imperceptible limp that had no impact on normal activity but would limit intense athletic pursuits. This anomaly can be corrected with some surgery, breaking their thigh bone and then letting it heal for 6 months, and while painful, they would heal at 100%.
Worth it or not?
If you think they are destined to be anything but a professional athlete, probably not worth it. But, if you wake up everyday because you know the kid has what it takes to be a professional athlete, not only is the pain and suffering of the surgery worth it, it is the only viable option.