Innovators in Silicon Valley and other areas known for entrepreneurship such as Israel, Austin and recently Finland bring a strong passion, willingness to take a risk and strong commitment to execution. This ‘hunger to succeed’ – professionally and personally can be driven by need, competition or sheer personal desire to make a difference.
Comparatively, in Norway, the culture has not historically embraced risk taking and ‘thinking outside the box’ which has held back innovation. Common phrases from Norwegian ‘would be entrepreneurs’ are “I would like to do something on my own but….if I fail….” Or “I have an idea but .. need funding… “ or “It would be great to commercialize this solution … but I don’t have resources’.
Now, ‘post-oil’ with rising Norwegian unemployment rates and economic impact, is the time for innovators in companies and on their own to ‘Take out the Buts’. By focusing on the passion and opportunities ahead for your innovation, you can take the Silicon Valley approach to action and execution.
With a great idea in Silicon Valley, the first question is what can I do to build it and get customer/market support. Here entrepreneurs focus on the opportunity, not the obstacles or reasons not to move forward ie the ‘buts’. The entrepreneurial passion to make a difference and bring a new idea into the world overshadows the fear of potentially negative consequences.
Whats the worst that can happen?
Consider this – If you start out on your own… “what is the worst thing that can happen?”. If you are healthy and have some financial savings or foundation, the very worst outcome would be that you spend a few months or year learning what does and doesn’t work then return to the corporate world or start out on your next new venture.
The risk of missing an opportunity to make a difference by bringing your great idea/product into the market can be a lot worse than the ‘simply’ missing out of a year or two of a comfortable corporate lifestyle even in Norway.
In Silicon Valley – the only ‘but’ is ‘why didn’t I do this sooner’. Risk leads to reward – through success or learning (from failure). By taking action, removing the ‘but’ and moving forward, entrepreneurs worldwide avoid the ‘worst that can happen’ – regret from not having made a difference through great innovations.