The story of life teaches us that in our youth we grow and learn new things, developing a personality. We build a conviction and justification for our beliefs. We forge ahead as if we cannot be incorrect.
In our middle years we learn that not all things learned are universal truths. Things change or evidence causes us to see things in a new light. This insight allows us to grow and develop if we admit what we knew was correct, incorrect or partially correct. Our worldview changes, and we grow.
In our later years we learn we are largely incorrect. That all we learned is subject to change and perception. That in the end, those who are willing to admit that they could be wrong and correct quickly to adjust to new facts are the one respected most for their wisdom.
Yet, in large part, we have instant justification as a youth that often yields to passive acceptance over time. In fact, as a youth, you have to drive your convictions forming who you are. As a senior you understand who you are enough to let the change happen.
So how does this apply to a startup? Well, a startup is lead from conviction against a common wisdom. A way to do something better, an innovation that others resist. A startup is the youth of our business culture. While the older more established companies understand the values of time and that for so many who are convinced of a new idea will truly succeed. A startup often succeeds in spite of itself due to a solid and unwavering conviction that slowly presents enough reasons or evidence to the community that allows for an unavoidable transition in the marketplace. The age-old wisdom yields to the new ideas and the cycle continues.
How can this inflection point be used?
As a leader of yourself and the others you manage, you use your convictions and justification to mature your thoughts. When you see another way, you self correct your position fully aware and are able to reverse yourself when needed.
As a company, you manage the market. Understand your core value and the natural resistance to change. You help guide a market to understand why you’re a game changer and allow it to quickly shift to your rational or adjust your company to accommodate the realities on the ground.
Remember, being correct is not always the “right thing”. Your audience or market might not be ready for “An idea ahead of it’s time”. Know when you are justified in being correct. Know when you it’s time to admit you’re incorrect. Understand that inflection point for success.