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Startup Secret No. 21: Don't over-think

No matter how smart you are or how much data you have, you're judged on what you actually do. So do something.

Rafe Needleman Former Editor at Large
Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.
Rafe Needleman
2 min read

"Have a bias for action."

--Lars Leckie, Partner, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners

Stop reading this blog. Stop asking people for advice. Just do something. That's the advice from the venture side of the house today.

Lars says, "Seeking advice, as a founder, is the opposite of action."

It is important to be smart about what you do, obviously. But you can over-think yourself to death (analysis paralysis), especially if you're working in a nascent field or building an invention-based product. In many of the fields that startups graze in, there's simply not enough data to make a clean decision. It's like fighting a war: You are working with probabilities, conjectures, and wholly incomplete information. But unlike a war, nobody's going to die if your product launch goes a little off-kilter. So don't over-think. Act. Do. Then watch, learn, re-act, and re-plan. But keep moving.

Remember, the money guys like action. They're the ones who are supposed to be sitting behind desks. They pay you to move.

As a founder, your value-add is vision and your ability to inspire people--to come work on your idea, or buy your new product, or fund your new company. If you are indeed a true founder (as opposed to a hired-gun CEO, or "adult supervision"), you have a passion for your business that no one else does, and passion will take you a long way.

Passion can also drive you to ruin. So don't be an idiot.

Startup Secrets is based on personal interviews with people building companies and from their blog posts and news stories. Subscribe to Startup Secrets on Twitter or come back to Rafe's Radar every day for a new one. See all the Startup Secrets.