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Don't drink your own kool-aid  

Another great article from 500 Startups, about that nasty little disease which naturally infects every entrepreneur: self-delusion.

Anthony Lee proposes three signs that you're drinking your own Kool-aid:

  1. Illusions of control, for example thinking you control things which you don't control.
  2. Hope, also known as optimism bias, generally signalled by the team talking in terms of what they "hope" will happen rather than more reliable plans.
  3. Spin, which is essential in marketing communications, is deadly when used internally. Internal meetings should be full of facts, not sound like a pitch deck.

How to avoid this detachment from reality?

  1. Metrics: see this earlier Metrics for Social Startups article in case you missed it.
  2. Culture: create a culture that encourages open, fact-based dialogue and dissent. Designate someone on the team to play devil's advocate and poke holes in the plan.
  3. Friends: Suround yourself with advisors who are honest enough to call your bullshit.
More from the library:
Entrepreneurship is the safest career
Startup cooking: don't eat pizza and ramen
Four kinds of entrepreneurial contexts