How they fail

A follow up thought to my last blog post, which suggested that entrepreneurs can be categorized as either artists or strategists:

What is the failure mode for each?

The artist’s company will fail because he finds a local maxima that is not maximal enough. That is, he probably creates a good product, but it may not address a big enough need. He is more likely to arrive at something that works well without thinking about how robust that product’s market could ever be. The artist may also fail because he never ships. His company becomes a historical footnote.

The strategist’s company fails because he doesn’t know how to create a great product. He identifies a need (read: a market), but doesn’t have the taste or skill to create a real, functioning product that delivers in the way a good product does – by being lovingly crafted and obsessed over. His company becomes an also-ran.

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