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"The only reason you should be an entrepreneur is because that’s the only way the idea will come into the world." ~Dustin Moskovitz

Stashed in: Founders, Silicon Valley!, Facebook!, YCombinator, Overnight Success, Asana, Awesome

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Hamish McKenzie writes:

People who decide first that they want to be an entrepreneur and then go looking for an idea are getting it the wrong way around, he said. “The only reason you should be an entrepreneur is because that’s the only way the idea will come into the world,” he said.

A lot of great people are wasting their time and talent by pursuing “something that doesn’t exist yet,” instead of joining bigger projects that already have proven ideas.

See also invest in philanthropy now to compound good and Asana could be worth $100 billion.

But my favorite thing he said is that slow growth was key to Facebook's Early Success; Peter Thiel slowed their hiring and encouraged them to focus on quality and culture.

I want to learn more about the slow company movement.

Most normal businesses are slow companies:

Slow products build their user bases slowly:

“It takes time for the culture to grow. You need time to develop antibodies to spammers and trolls.”

This quote irritates me out of context.

I understand the point in regards to tech entrepreneurship and YC specifically, but if you look at it by itself the quote is an inane example of tech entrepreneurs assuming they own the definition of entrepreneurship.

A mom and pop shop starting a business because the economy sucks doesn't need to be creating something unique that no one else has ever or will ever attempt.

A street kid selling cheap guided tours in Kenya is just as justified at calling themselves an entrepreneur.

The overwhelming majority of entrepreneurship is not people creating novel ideas. It's people just trying to make a living when companies aren't hiring using their own skillsets as best they can. It's often just a tried and true value proposition on a different geographic segment or making minor tweaks into a niche.

It's not sexy. It's not Amazon. But it's still entrepreneurship.

I used to sell my art door to door in the neighbourhood when I was 6, produce magic shows and sell tickets to the performances when I was 7 and produce bouquets from my mums flower beds when I was 8... some entrepreneurs are born, not made...

Then, as you say Tristan, there is the "evolutionary entrepreneur". Those who look for ways to enhance or manipulate their situation by monetising their skill set or looking for new ways to sell old news.

What I hear you both saying is that there's benefit to building entrepreneur skills -- selling, being creative, networking -- even if one does not yet know what to apply those skills to?

totally Adam... I see it as a drive to want to create something.. out of nothing... whether that be a corner store selling fruit and veges or a multi billion dollar empire. It is the desire to create that is the common theme between entrepreneurs of all scales. I can not have a shower nor a decent nights sleep without needing to jot down my thoughts. You don't "decide" to have a brain that never switches off. Having children has affirmed this to me- our 10 yr old is highly gifted and NEVER shuts down. Even as a toddler, his favourite activity would be to do maths on a Sunday afternoon. Of course we thought this normal at the time as he was our first born. Now we see that from birth he had the innate need to push boundaries and figure shit out ! His next plan is to build an app. God help us.

There's nothing more powerful than when work ethic meets mission and focus.

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