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Sunday, April 29, 2012

How Great Entrepreneurs Create Their Own Luck | Thor Muller, TechCrunch

This is the story of how a young Irish fine artist accidentally became a materials scientist, founding a high-growth company that created a whole new product category. It’s also a parable for how great entrepreneurs systematically create their own luck.
That's the start of this article by Thor Muller, author of Get Lucky: How to Put Planned Serendipity to Work for You and Your Business.

After telling the story of Jane ni Dhulchaointigh, Muller writes:
Jane’s stunning rise is the result of her mastering what we call the skills of planned serendipity, a set of behaviors that have allowed her, over and over again, to generate the chance discoveries, recognize the good ones, and take action on those that matter most.
Muller explains that Jane's success is similar to that of virtually all successful startups:
the ability to harness serendipity, the unplanned discoveries, large or small, that end up being the turning points in careers and businesses.
He goes on to describe what we can learn from Jane's breakout success, covering these topics:

Start With A “Geek Brain”
... an obsessive curiosity in an area of interest and the ability to notice anomalies, overcoming the conventional wisdom that constrains others.
Find Space to Play
[P]remature focus can kill good ideas before they ever emerge.
Be Opinionated
[Jane] saw the potential in her chance discovery only because she had an overriding purpose that gave her a unique perspective.
Project the Possibility
[Be] willing to publicly put [your] ideas into the world, allowing them to connect with the as-yet-unknown people and opportunities that make [your] products possible.
Follow Unplanned Paths
[D]o something that was not only unexpected but would have seemed absurd a few months before.
Design Openness into the Product and Company
Creating permeability at the edge of [Jane's] company allowed new directions and opportunities to serendipitously emerge.
Muller concludes by describing "the kind of luck that matters."

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