“That shit is awesome.”
“I have 15,000 twitter followers, and they love it.”
“Clearly people love us; we got 30,000 downloads in our first two weeks!”
“You are too early for me, but you will easily raise money.”
These are all lies. Damn lies.
Its easy in this world of constant affirmation to see a retweet or a kind no from an investor as indication of current or impending success.
But, they are lies. Insidious lies.
As an entrepreneur we hope that everyone is being 100% truthful with us at all times, and therefore the heightened level of positivity comes with the assumption that its righteous.
Except its not.
There are two things working against the entrepreneur. The first is the realization by others that being an entrepreneur is hard, and therefore should be respected, and second a sense of jealousy from non-entrepreneurs.
This deadly combination leads to the incessant and constant stream of bubbles being blown up the butts of founders everywhere.
What makes it worse is that entrepreneurs are inherently hopeful people. The world is filled with possibilities and its next to impossible for that entrepreneur to be told that they are wrong. That their idea is wrong. That their decisions are wrong. That there is no parachute when they jump off the cliff into startupland; only a long and painful splat.
We lie to ourselves, and we hear what we think is said, rather than doing the one thing that all great entrepreneurs do: filter. Filter out the well-meaning half-truths and lies for the hidden nuggets of value.
Hear me entrepreneurs, start to listen to what is meant not what is said. The words themselves have meanings that are often buried beneath heartwarming affirmations and tweets with smily faces and exclamation points.
Stop accepting statements at the moment they feel good and drive them deeper until you find the real truth, because its that truth that will set you on the right path. Ask why. And ask why again.
People lie to each other every day. We do it to ensure that feelings aren’t hurt, and that we continue to keep our status as one of the good ones in the eyes of Twitter and Facebook. But we are lying. We are hurting the very people that we report to love and support.
Beware the false positive. Its only going to prop you up until you fail.