Founders Experience

Hey Everyone,

This is the 20th edition of this newsletter! Thank you for reading and bearing with my ramblings.

Also, I have started posting to Instagram again, I thought there is no point in taking pictures if you’re not sharing them. I took this one 5 months ago when I was on honey moon:

Founders Experience

All my life, I have struggled with insecurity and impostor syndrome. Impostor syndrome is defined as: Doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud

No matter what I do, I am aware that there is someone more equipped and qualified for the task. This is impostor syndrome. It has had an adverse affect on my life in many areas. For example, when growing up, I was in the 2nd team for hockey in primary school for most of the season. At the very end of the season I made it to the 1st team. I felt insufficient and like I didn’t belong.

I was listening to a podcast by Tim Ferris where he interviewed Chris Sacca. He’s a dude that has appeared on Shark Tank a show about starting businesses. He is an American investor, company advisor and lawyer.

Chris talks about this idea of Founder Experience being irrelevant. Many people start a business in a field that they’re familiar with. This is called founder experience. Chris says that there is a paradox here. Some of the best founders ever, are the ones with no prior background in their start up’s field. This is the Founder Experience Paradox

But why is this the case? Why do these founders excel in areas where they have no experience? Here are some examples of some successful founders with no prior experience.

Andrew Carnegie, the Oil magnate, started his career as a labourer. He dropped out of school at a young age. It was only when he taught himself to write that he started his business empire. He had no business education.

Jeff Bezos worked for an investment bank. He quit his Job in 1994 to start a virtual bookstore which is now known as He had no programming skills.

What’s the point?
When you consider the magnitude of businesses that exist – very few are successful. Most get by, but few are successful and even fewer have reached famed “unicorn” status. Many entrepreneurs take what they have learned from their field and “copy-paste” their experience into their new business. This is problematic because it destroys their ability to look at things from a fresh perspective. It also means that they’re subconsciously making the same mistakes as their previous employers.

Experience in a field doesn’t necessarily mean you are equipped in that field all it means is that you have the same predefined biases that everyone else in that field has

While it is very possible that you can start a successful business within the field that you’ve been in all your life, it is sometimes more effective to bring a fresh perspective to the table.

From now on, instead of asking myself what I don’t bring to the table, I am going to remind myself what I do bring to the table. I’d like to encourage you to do the same.

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