Teaching Startup: The Poker Episode

THE SHOW - Episode 4.3

5.22.17




In startup, everyone talks about failure and a lot of folks even encourage it -- Fail fast and fail often, they say. There's nothing wrong with this mantra, on its face, but it's rare that someone will actually walk you through what failure looks like and how to prepare for it. In startup, failure isn't the loss of your startup, failure is a long parade of pain.

In corporate life, failure is the loss of your job, maybe the loss of your house, your car, your family, everything you've worked so hard for. A lot of folks avoid startup because it seems like the risk is much higher to wind up in that aforementioned nightmare situation. But contrary to conventional wisdom, entrepreneurs don't love risk, they love to stare down risk, tolerate it, and mitigate it. If they're good, they eliminate it.

That got us talking about poker.

Every entrepreneur should play poker, we're talking no-limit Texas Hold Em in a live situation, because there's no better way to learn about risk. This isn't gambling, although maybe it's smart gambling, a scenario in which the more you do it, the better you get at it, and the less likely you will lose.

You'll still lose, mind you, no matter how good you get. But you'll be able to recover, move on, and play another round.
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