If You Knew How Hard a Startup Would Be

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in 1 Idea Stage, 2 Open for Business Stage, skmurphy

A new startup is often driven by a desire for autonomy, self-expression, and lifelong learning. Or it’s a creative solution to a lack of alternatives. Albert Hirschman observed that “creativity always comes as a surprise to us” which led him to suggest “the only we can bring our creative resources fully into play is by misjudging the nature of the task.” If you knew how many times a startup require would require a creative solution–if you knew how hard a startup would be–you might pick an easier path. 

If You Knew How Many Creative Solutions A Startup Would Require

I blogged about George Gilder’s essay “Unleash the Mindabout a year ago, in it he referenced a quote by Albert Hirschman that “creativity always comes as a surprise to us” that I tracked it down to a book by Hirschman called “Development Projects Observed” (and an article “The Principle of the Hiding Hand“).

Here it is with more context:

“Creativity always comes as a surprise to us; therefore, we can never count on it as we dare not believe in it until it has happened. In other words, we could not consciously engage upon tasks whose success clearly requires that creativity be forthcoming. Hence, the only way in which we can bring our creative resources fully into play is by misjudging the nature of the task, by presenting it to ourselves as more routine, simple, undemanding of genuine creativity than it will turn out to be.”
Albert Hirschman in “Development Projects Observed

I think few would start a new business or join an early stage one if they appreciated the true risks.

I think entrepreneurship is driven more by a desire for autonomy, creative self-expression, and lifelong learning. It can be the natural result of personal, family, and cultural expectations.  Sometimes it’s a creative solution to a lack of career alternatives. And for some it’s a calling.

“It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time.”
Winston Churchill

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