September 15, 2013

Stop Reinventing the Wheel

Last night I joined a few founders for dinner at San Francisco’s delicious Salt House. Naturally, we chatted about what we’re working on, sharing our challenges and seeking advice. One early stage entrepreneur asked about sales hiring and compensation. What type of salesperson should I hire? What’s the right base salary? How do I structure a commission that motivates the team without overcompensating? Each of the founders weighed in with their experience and expertise.

Often entrepreneurs never seek guidance from peers, mentors, or experts. Instead, they try to figure it out themselves, many times reinventing the wheel (at best) or fail making wrong decisions (at worst). Regardless of location or network, everyone has access to entrepreneurial wisdom.

While it’s important for founders to define their own processes and test innovative ideas, many waste time (a startup’s most valuable asset) or miss key insights by not learning from others. Of course, no advice should be taken blindly. It must be contextualized to your situation. What works for Company A at some point in time may not work for yours today. Shared knowledge may not provide the answer but it’s an accelerant, an optimization of one’s time.

Are you seeking advice, learning from others or reinventing the wheel?

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Photo credit: koocbor

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