I get great responses when I blog or tweet about RISK…. You know why? Because deep down we all know we need to be taking risks. It is instinctual. It is part of our DNA. Amazing things (be that new lands or new lifesaving drugs) are rarely discovered walking a conventional path or waiting for orders. Sometimes you have to take action with the info you have, and then adjust mid-stream. This is an important part of taking calculated risks.

I recently posted about my trip to Normandy and Pont du Hoc (where on D-Day, the Rangers scaled treacherous seas and sheer 100 ft walls, then took out German instillations). It is an amazing case study in taking calculated risks and taking action without full data. The American military had great intelligence about the geography and specific terrain, but their compasses were off as they approached France. This put them 30+ minutes late for their landing and took away the element of surprise, creating the need for many “real time” decisions once on land. It’s an amazing story; you should read sometime.

Anyway, just like battlefield strategy, startups need to do their homework. You need to know your competitive marketplace. You need to know your customers. You have to research your technology platforms and spend ample time building the best team you can find. But, at some point, you just have to GO. You have to launch, and then you have to react to the market before you have all the answers and data you need to ensure success.

Companies (my companies at least) rarely start and end with the same business plan. To me, a great entrepreneur is someone who navigates through turbulence and chaos very well. In the process, they adjust strategies that take them closer to their market and their goals.

Too much time planning and you may miss your market opportunity.
Too much research and you may paralyze on data and decisions.
Too much thinking and too little doing is academic, not action.

So, do your homework, plot your strategy, THEN TAKE ACTION… As my mom used to tell me, “There isn’t always a neon sign to light your way. Sometimes you have to just have faith.”

So get “some” data, and then go build something amazing.



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