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:
- Illusions of control, for example thinking you control things which you don't control.
- 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.
- 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?
- Metrics: see this earlier Metrics for Social Startups article in case you missed it.
- 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.
- Friends: Suround yourself with advisors who are honest enough to call your bullshit.