On starting new ventures – 200 word project

December 01, 2014

Here is this week’s 200 words project


‘To do all this, you have to be crazy enough to think you will succeed, but sane enough to make it happen. This requires commitment, tenacity, and most of all, single-mindedness’

Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg in the book How Google Works


This quote from the book How Google Works is from a section where the authors talk about starting new ventures or re-inventing established ones.

This quote is timely, for me as I am on the cusp of formalizing a couple new ventures. I had a few ideas for a few projects or ventures and I started to explore the ideas mentally.

Once I decided to do something about them as in start them, I talked to a few close friends and family. The reaction I got was mixed – some were like ‘HaHaHa! You doing what? HaHaHa!’. Others were cautious – “Sure, you should try that, but do you have enough time? Are you smart enough? You should not let go of the security in your life yet.”. Some were completely disinterested. ‘Whatever. Can we talk about something else? I just don’t care about what you are saying’. And some were super supportive. ‘Awesome! Sounds great. You should give it a go. I bet you can make that idea successful’.

After this mixed reception, the fact that the ideas had not died, but made them stronger in my mind was a good sign.

And then I started searching for someone who would feel as excited about this idea, who could be my partner in launching these ventures…and found no one. This was perhaps the hardest part for me, the idea that this Big Huge Project, all by myself? Am I crazy? Should I take this on with my current responsibilities, with my current workload?

“You must be nuts!”, I told myself.

But then myself replied back saying, “Ok I am nuts. But why don’t you give it a try? I bet you will learn a huge amount of stuff. And you will succeed, you know, all you need to do is put in the effort every single day.”

And then, I said to myself, “Every single day? I am bad at that kind of commitment. I am lazy you know.”

And myself replied back to me. Myself is a little fond of bodily elimination function analogies, I must warn you. So myself said to me , “Work like how you poop. Every single day, and also when you need to. If you have an idea diarrhea, work a lot. If you feel constipated, get somebody to give you a motivational laxative, and then you can work a lot. It is quite automatic you know. Don’t worry about it’.

And so, supported by myself, and the few who believe in me, I have started to formalize my ideas and ventures.

So, from this quote from Eric Schmidt, I totally get the crazy part. My ventures are crazy because what a group has done before, I set out to do myself. And I am doing it while doing other things, and these may not be considered ‘safe’ and ‘secure’. But still, I know that they will succeed. They have to. And the commitment, I have that. The tenacity and single-mindedness, only time will tell.


About the 200 Words Project

Once every week, on Monday morning, I will post my ‘200 Words Project’ post where I will ruminate on some idea which caught my interest in the current book I’m reading, or maybe (sometimes) from a blog post or podcast – in 200 words or more, never less!

Tags: 200-words-project

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