Sometimes I feel like I am in the Jerry Maguire movie. I have been trying to get Founder Institute launched in Iceland. We have had a bunch of meetups and over 120 people have attended this meetup. We are having one this evening, you can sign up here. The title of the talk is “Making the leap from Employee to Entrepreneur“. Here is a link to a pitch by Adeo Ressi the Founder of Founder Institute talking about what this is all about.
We need 40 applicants to cross the threshold set by Founder Institute to move Iceland from the exploratory stage to a functioning semester. I have been meeting entrepreneurs and startup founders trying to convince them that this is something that will be immensely useful in their journey of building their dream company. I have worked with many founders and I continue to do that. As a mentor/advisor/coach I feel I have a moral obligation to tell the founders whom I work with the truth. Sometime, truth hurts. I have met some founders in Iceland who have been working on their startup for 3 years and they are a team of 2. There is only one reason why after 3 years the startup has only 2 employees… its because they have not figured out the Product/Market fit. One of the Founder that I used to work with mentioned to me that Icelandic startups have a tendency to move at a glacial speed to become zombie startups. The only reason that happens is because there is no sense of urgency to get Sh$# done!
There is a malaise in Iceland related to Startups, there is absolutely no accountability to move fast. There are a number of grants that give some funding that makes the founders get into the tinkering/making mode and they continue to be in that mode. If there is no sense of urgency to get the product to market and validate and build a business, the startup becomes a zombie.
Initiatives like Founder Institute brings a sense of urgency and accountability to prepare founders to build those muscles needed to build successful startups. Unfortunately, some founders think they know it all, which might be true, but I think having a group of peers who hold you accountable in your journey is a valuable. Entrepreneurship is a truth game, if you don’t have the courage to face the truth, you will fail. You can let your delusion fool you for sometime but as they say, nothing fails like your product’s first interaction with the customer.