I see it all the time, entrepreneurs, managers, product owners and analyst, at startups who continue to lie to themselves. Especially entrepreneurs, they are the most delusional of all.
Every great company started based on a lie
When it comes to business, especially in startups entrepreneurs lie to themselves every single day. Let’s face it, if you want to make it as an entrepreneur your biggest asset might actually be the fact that you believe your own lies, you are just waiting for the world to catch up and see what you see. An entrepreneur starts with an idea, something that could change the world, or at least their bank account. They start talking to friends, partners or their significant-other, because these people believe in them, they entertain the conversation and encourage them to do something about it.
So the first lie starts small, “I think I can, I think I can”, which leads to working out the idea on paper. You start lying to yourself about the size of the market, the size of the opportunity, project revenue for years, that has no foundation and in the end you have a pitch deck, filled with great numbers, assumptions and statements all based on the lies you told yourself.
If determined these entrepreneurs actually double down on their deck of lies, they claim a domain name, social media accounts, convince others to join their startup and eventually pitch their idea to investors, who lie to themselves and believe that you can actually make it work. Or at least know the math and believe that if they bet on enough ideas, a couple of them might actually turn out to be true.
I’m not judging, on the contrary I applaud those who have believed in their own lies and have created a truth that is bigger than most of us could have imagined. I’m just saying that luckily if you are building a startup in 2019 or beyond, you don’t have to keep lying to yourself.
Why? Because data is everywhere, even when you think it’s not. Your website, your physical storefront, your physical or digital product, nowadays you can get data from anywhere, and even if you can’t, you can still ask the users to fill out a questionnaire and get data.
Use Data and Analytics to turn lies (ideas) into truth
For each idea, you can now within a matter of weeks, days or hours, figure out if you are delusional or not. Analytics unlike anything else, can give you the power to turn any lie into a truth. Even-better, data-driven learning can change any company young or old into a successful thriving business. Instead of solely relying on your gut, which great entrepreneurs need to do to make decisions when there is no data, you can use data to actually test your ideas and use the proof to continue to move forward (or stop doing what you are doing before you waste time and money).
Are you lying to yourself about your business or are you using analytics to help you test your ideas, make better decisions, improve your operations or monetise data?