Skip the Puffery

Below is the ‘Tip of the Week’ from Ep64: The Fast No, Part 2 (Mike Collett)

Sensational language has permeated our everyday lives. I can’t make it through a scroll of my Twitter feed without encountering a provacative headline baiting me to click. And, unfortunatley, this exaggerated language has extended to world of entrepreneurship. ‘Killing it’, ‘Crushing it’, ‘Stellar’… these superlatives are not often used by the truly great startups. And in this week’s interivew, Mike Collett said that Promus Ventures actually takes these statements as a contrarian indicator. He looks for calm, confident, visionary teams that recognize how hard it is to build a great company. Mike said:

“We want a startup team that understands that startup land isn’t an amusement park down the street from Disneyland. Please do not get into building a startup because you think it’s sexy and you can tell your friends that you’re a CEO. This is stinking hard work and most fail.”

There are many in the industry that sell the glamour and excitement of starting a company. And this ideology is co-opted by many a startup founder with dreams of celebrity and riches. The countless blogs and podcasts furthering this myth are only leading young, impressionable individuals down a really hard path. So today I say; skip the puffery. Regardless of which side of the table you’re on, real confidence requires no hyperbole.