Are we there yet? (Comic)

#entrepreneurfail Transport
Ahoy! Stormy seas ahead. All hands on deck… 

How are you getting there? You have two options for transportation. One option is the Entrepreneur Ship. But beware, there is no schedule! And as this boat never docks, so you have to leap on!  The ship roams uncharted waters through hurricanes and typhoons, all without a life boat, map or a fixed destination.  It is not for the weak-stomached.

The other option is the Gravy Train.  This steam engine was meant for anyone who can’t or doesn’t want to make it aboard the Entrepreneur Ship.  If you are not familiar with a Gravy Train, it is described as a “cushy situation where little to no work is involved”.  So even though you may have a challenging corporate job, it is nothing compared to the Entrepreneur Ship.  The Gravy Train stays on the track so there aren’t many surprises and the ride is slow and steady – making it great for sightseeing.

So how are you getting there? Let us know in the comments below.


Something New, Something Old (Comic)

#entrepreneurfail Risk Aversion

Fear can be crippling.

What is your risk threshold? Do you make a list of pros and cons when you have to make a big decision? Are you trying new things at work or resurrecting all the projects you’ve already done?

In many corporate roles, trying new processes, launching new products, and driving change of any kind can be intimidating.  Often the effort is just not worth the risk.  The game-changers in the organization are up against “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

In startup roles, however, doing the “same old thing” is deemed risky, and often downright frightening. In fact, the best founders ensure that they are trying new things, because the risky path equals complacence.

Are you risk averse or are you always taking risks? Let us know about it in the comments below.


I’m All In: Why Entrepreneurship Is Like Poker (Comic)

#entrepreneurfail Entrepreneurs Poker


I played my first poker game recently. Although my hope for beginner’s luck didn’t pan out, I learned a lot during that game and saw many parallels to starting a company. And the more I understood poker, the more it made sense as to why poker was declared a game of “skill”, instead of a game of pure chance. Entrepreneurship is much more like poker than other games in that:

  1. Success is the combination of luck and skill.
  2. The more rounds you play (the more experience you have), the better you know yourself and how you react to certain situations.
  3. Even if you do not have the best hand, you can come out as the winner.
  4. Bluffing is a mandatory – sometimes you have to act as if you have the best hand even if you don’t necessarily have it (yet).
  5. You have to know the rules really well. Similarly, to start a business you have to know the industry.
  6. After every round, you may have to alter your strategy as new cards are revealed.
  7. You have to learn the habits of your opponents (and competitors).
  8. Every round is a new round – very little carries over.
  9. Know the risks and probability of success when you need to make a decision.
  10. Small things can completely change the whole strategy
  11. You have to know when to fold – sometimes it’s ok to give in if your hand you’ve been dealt won’t win.
One of our readers, Mayank Batra, offered a few more similarities between entrepreneurship and poker:
  1. You cannot win every round – it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
  2. You have to be patient when you lose a round – aggressive actions will not help
  3. Number and statistics matter as much as your gut.
  4. Play the cards you have OR you can also play the people opposite to you. Only having the best cards would never allow for success.

The #entrepreneurfail comes in when entrepreneurs decide to go all-in too quickly. Yes, you have to think positively and you have to work and act as if there is no other option except success. But, liquidating your retirement accounts, assets, savings, and family jewels is a bit too hasty especially if you don’t have market validation yet. For the same reason, it’s extremely important to know when to walk away. And if you play your cards right, you always have a good chance of winning the pot!

Poker enthusiasts and entrepreneurs, in the comments below, tell me where I’m wrong and where I’m right in my comparison! 

This comic was originally created by Kriti Vichare for #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success.