Friday, 21 March 2014

If you never try, then you will never know

How long before I get in?
Before it starts, before I begin?
How long before you decide?
Before I know what it feels like?
Where To, where do I go?
If you never try, then you'll never know.
How long do I have to climb,
Up on the side of this mountain of mine?

Look up, I look up at night,
Planets are moving at the speed of light.
Climb up, up in the trees,
every chance that you get,
is a chance you seize.

- Coldplay - Speed of Sound

Chance vs Choice narrative

Life is unpredictable most of the times. We think we are in control, but the environment variables really messes up our plans ( most times than we imagine). 
So then do we plan ? Off-course yes !! 
I have been told by many wise men that at few quintessential moments of life you will have a decision to make. Either you decide and make a CHOICE or let CHANCE determine your plans. e.g. you do not marry the first girl you meet in Vegas, if you are looking for a bride. You meticulously plan through matrimonial  meeting prospect females & families or you already have someone ergo you have made your choice.
Making friends, social circle, habits, marriage, career crossroads, kids, starting something etc all are moments where you would like CHOICE to supersede CHANCE. & you should !!

THE IMPORTANT THING IS NOT TO HAVE THAT 100 million dollar idea but leaving that 80k job to work on the idea full time. The action where you take the first step and make that risky CHOICE is the first elusive step towards the road.
It takes lot of balls but as Dalai Lama once said "Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.."

Failure vs Success narrative

Lot of times failing has been romantically idolized in the startup ecosystem. But, no one wants to fail and we should try every arsenal in our armory to make it work.
The important lesson here is :
(a) If you fail - fail fast and fail as if all stakes are on the bet. You did everything in your capacities to turn it around.
(b) The game you are playing should have ONLY two outcomes - you succeed like crazy OR you fail in style....Anything which does not fit these two zero-sum options is complacency and mediocrity.

Try vs Thinking narrative

Finally, as Reid Hoffman says in his classic book "The Startup of You" - if you are not moving forward in your career and not taking risks you are doomed. You move backwards into obscurity and quickly become a dinosaur.
Many a times we have been thinking about that "great idea" we had struck about that "app" or "e-commerce portal" or "social network for retired folks" etc but we remained on the safer side. 
There's no shame in playing safe, but for those who TRY you got to remember that the odds to succeed are less, if not remote. But the ones who do, make fortunes and create value. However, for those who fail post trying too benefit intellectually, philosophically & professionally with their acquired skills and lessons learnt.

PayPal, Slide, Sony, Flickr and many successful stratups course corrected when they realized what they were doing was just not right. They thought - tried - thought some more - tried some more different things and finally hit the sweet spot.

Not everyone does, but the TRY part is worth every single penny & seconds you put on the line.


Coldplay - Speed of Sound plays & summarizes what I feel.

Are you on the brink of trying it out and making a Choice ? If yes, what are you going to do ? Will welcome your thoughts on this ?

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