The Audacity of Zero

I've just finished reading a book by Eric Ries, called 'The Lean Startup'.  It is an industry standard for the start-up world and after hearing so many people sing its praises I simply had to give it a go.

It really is a great read and while I was aware of many of the key principles from other blog posts and articles, it was great to see the original ideas and trace where those pieces came from.

One concept that really stood out for me was called the Audacity of Zero.

Simply put, the concept can be explained as follows: when you are starting a business (or any other venture for that matter) zero is always a more comfortable place to be, rather than small numbers.

When you have zero revenue, zero customers or zero publicity - you are still on your way.  People are fascinated by the idea of overnight success, and while you are on zero - the prospect of this overnight success is still possible. People are a lot more interested in the venture.  They can see you haven't really executed yet - there is so much still ahead!

However when you take the leap and get things started, and your number of customers or revenue figure is an insignificant number, people wander whether this can actually take off?  Was it a mistake?  Where is that overnight success that we spoke about?  Can it be a big hit or is it just a failure...

That's why zero is more of a comfort zone for entrepreneurs, and people in general!  And I have felt it myself recently, it's much easier to come up with an idea, do all the planning and tell everyone about it. Because in their mind, the prospect of possible success is exciting.

"However, small numbers pour cold water on that hope."

It is a lot harder than actually making the jump and having to deal with the small numbers at the beginning. That's when the real perseverance needs to come in.  When customers aren't beating down your door and you have to have the psychological strength of will to keep pushing through.  To keep hustling.  That's the real challenge.

Don't be happy with the zero.

You have to have faith in yourself that if you can get though the initial plateau, there is success waiting for you.

The big numbers are waiting for you!