Monday, March 26, 2012

The Downfall of Less Difficult, Less Expensive, and Less Risky

I just finished reading Norm Brodsky's article from the March 2012 issue of INC. He directly addresses a growing concern among 9 out of every 10 entrepreneurs he meets. They're starting web-based and SaaS businesses while they maintain their full-time employment and steady incomes. They invest a little into development, but never enough for them to feel like everything is on the line.

The downside of this scenario, according to Norm, is that these entrepreneurs lack the sense of urgency associated with "...scrounging up every last cent" to risk it all, a do-or-die environment wherein "...success or failure becomes a matter of survival". Norm thinks this is good because:
"Your instincts are sharper. You approach problems with a totally different mindset. In a business you depend on for your livelihood, you have to come up with a solution immediately."
I see the same trend, and it leads to a couple of other interesting conclusions. First, even the small percentage of these businesses that do generate some paying customers generally stall in their development and fall far short of their potential. Why? Because the entrepreneur is waiting for it to replace his/her income and almost always ends up too fearful to risk everything, commit 100%, and really going for it.

Second, in the last five years we have seen a proliferation of web development companies and online search (both organic and paid) marketing consultants and agencies. These companies are probably the biggest winners of this trend toward part-time, web-based start-ups, primarily because these part-time entrepreneurs are buying some level of services with savings, retirement funds, or money borrowed from an un-savvy friend or relative that will likely never be repaid by the website itself.

So, if you fit the description of this growing trend of entrepreneurs, make sure you give your venture the intensity, attention, and commitment it deserves!

You can read Norm's article here: The New Breed of Entrepreneur