My son Chase is starting his first business. He’s 24. I suspect it won’t be his only. Check out www.brewdream.com or like him on Facebook. He is just getting started, but he’s got an idea and a passion for making it happen. While I don’t think he’s read my colleague Saras Sarasvathy’s book, Effectuation, I think he gets the concept. The way I understand the concept: just do it. Learn along the way. Make mistakes, but don’t make the same mistakes twice. Get in the market and let consumers be your guide. But most importantly, don’t sit on the sidelines—get in the game and just do it.
Many MBA students will receive advice and probably convince themselves that they should go get corporate experience first, then start their business. Conventional wisdom suggests this improves your chances of getting funding and eventual success. I used to get this advice. But now I think it much more depends on the person, and in general, I think one is more likely to be successful if just do it. The delay path works for some people, but I think many would-be entrepreneurs never get around to it. They become trapped by the comforts of the corporate life.
I’m reading Raising the Bar: The Story of Clif Bar. Gary Erikson, the founder of Clif Bar, went on a bike ride one day, couldn’t stomach another Power Bar, and spent the next six months developing a better bar. He just did it.
So my recommendation: just do it. Get some experience by getting in the market. Yes, you can change the world. But you can’t change the world sitting on the sideline.