Wednesday, March 05, 2008

What don't I know?

That question might be the most important question you can ask yourself when starting a business venture. Obviously, before starting any enterprise you should have a great understanding of both the industry and marketplace you are getting involved in. You have asked yourself, what is the lifespan of this business? What can I add to the market? What problem am I solving? (Unless of course, you are me, in which case you flush a whole pile of money down a toilet mainly because you didn't ask yourself any of those questions) How is my business different than other businesses trying to solve the same problem? Eventually you will get to questions you don't know the answer to. When you get to those, how you address them will very often be the key to the success or failure of your enterprise.

Fred Wilson over at A VC gave some public kudos to Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook. Zuckerberg hired a professional operator to take what was recently a very small company, international. Wilson cites the successes of other similar young executives at suddenly massive companies bringing in top notch operatives to keep things moving forward as the reason Zuckerberg gets a pat on the back. What he doesn't address is why this is an important indicator that Mark Zuckerberg (MZ) is a good bet to lead Facebook for a long time.

It seems that MZ has a genuine lack of arrogance. He understands what he doesn't know. He accepted he needed help at the highest level and acted swiftly and effectively to bring in a serious operator to help him through the unknown waters. So I too, tip my hat to MZ, and hope that this incredibly important business lesson is not lost on me in the future.

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