Passion as a Priority

 

The driving force behind why people start startups is likely to vary wildly across different industries and types of business. For many it’s the promise of lucrative return – from sales of product or selling their eventual company. For some it’s the burning desire to fill a perceived gap in the market – ‘if I want this, surely 3 million other people will want one too’. Perhaps for others it’s curiosity, or a need to be in charge of their own destiny, or all of the above.

One thing that does seem to be consistent across most startups I’ve heard about though, is passion. Passion for your product, or your industry, or your idea.

As a wise man (Dave ten Have from Ponoko) told me recently, “it’s certain that at some point everything will feel awful and pointless and you’ll be questioning why you’re doing this, it’s then you need passion to get you through the hump and carry on” (slightly paraphrased).

I certainly agree that believing in something, being passionate about it whether it’s money or product is a vital part of being prepared to go through the various aspects of startup pain.

Mark Cuban however feels this is a bunch of BS (in that quaint american way). He has a point, passion only gets you so far – hard work and effort will make you succeed far more than passion will.

For sure you need to put in the hard work and effort. You need commitment, money and time. You need the right skills in your team, an understanding of your market, good networks and a host of other things.

I’ve spent the last couple of months working through the planning for my startup idea and I’ve worked it through to a point where I know what needs to happen. But along the way the concept evolved into something I just can’t get as excited about as the original idea.

So my question now is do you need passion as well? If you’re not passionate about your startup business, should you just not be in it?

Brenda Leeuwenberg
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