Every day when I get to my office I walk by an empty office of about 4,000 square feet, that reminds me of the dark side of pollyanna entrepreneurship, acting on impulse and optimism, without planning.
I don’t know whether or not anybody is paying rent for that space, but it’s class A office space. More than a year ago that space was tailored and customized for a new tenant. The changed the layout, added walls, carpets, interior lighting, and signage. It must have cost tens of thousands of dollars.
But nobody moved in. They ran out of money. Nothing happened but the leasehold improvements. That space has been empty for more than a year now.
Somewhere there ought to have been a plan, with a rough estimate of funding required, and the wisdom of waiting until they got the funding before they started the spending.
I say entrepreneurs should agree on full disclosure in their bios. We should list not just our successes, but also the failures. Nobody lists the failures.
For example, my bio would include not just co-founder of one software company that went public, but also co-founder of several software companies that failed completely. And not just founder of two successful businesses, but also of several that failed.
What would happen?
Maybe world would be less likely to swallow those rah rah lines about how you just have to be stubborn to make it. Too many successful entrepreneurs forget how it takes more than just passion and persistence. We have loser businesses that fail regardless.
Maybe we’d see that everybody makes a lot of mistakes, and sometimes they get through it okay.
Maybe we’d be less likely to offer general rules about what makes entrepreneurs, or, for that matter, what makes businesses successful. Which would be okay, because in truth it’s almost all case by case. There are no general rules that apply.