Stake In The Outcome

The Experience of Science, An Interdisciplinary Approach – I.F. Goldstein, M. Goldstein

“To have intense emotional commitments to one’s own work is both natural and necessary—why work hard at something unless one has some stake in the outcome? The drawback, of course, is that a strong commitment to one side of a dispute tends to make us overlook negative evidence and overstress the importance of positive evidence. But what tends to protect science as a whole from such errors (though it does not eliminate them) is that science rests in the long run on the consensus of Scientists, not on the authority of any one individual, no matter how outstanding.”

Your stake in the outcome of your business while you scale it is a fascinating manipulator, not because founders ignore it, but because you believe it is your great separator, and to a point it is. The very relentless desire created by that stake is the reason your company has a heartbeat. The reason your company has opportunity. The reason you have customers. However, like a thief in the night, the emotion behind that stake can lead to destruction.

The need to remove yourself emotionally from the business you created is one of the great paradoxes of entrepreneurship. This idea that was conceptualized in between your ears and came to life, most likely in your living room, is something you should find a way to distance yourself from emotionally?

Yes. Your commitment to a belief about a business you breathed life into will result in you over stressing the importance of any positive evidence you can find. As the quote states above, you need to have a stake, a passionate relentless stake in the outcome of your work, but distance yourself enough from it to make decisions that don’t force you to ignore logic, or overlook negative evidence as a result of that emotion. The great optimists see a house burning and grab a garden hose to put it out. That house will continue to burn no matter how much you want that hose to put it out. The great entrepreneurs are ones who use optimistic passion to launch and logical truth to sustain. What we can learn about entrepreneurship from science? Your business is protected by proof of sustainability over time, not on the authority or emotion of one founder, no matter how outstanding.

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