|Dexter’s got some mad gut instincts|
- He senses something in his lizard brain.
- He backs it up with hard evidence.
- He kills the bad guy.
- We felt something compelling in our lizard brain.
- We found data points and customers to support market opp, pain/solution, etc.
- We killed it (in the best way possible).
So, what is this lizard brain?
It’s associated with the area of the brain that houses the amygdala. Go ahead: reach far back into those awkward days of high school, when you had braces and biology classes. Now remember that this region is associated with emotion, memory retention, and fun things like sexual orientation, social interactions, and drinking problems (the fun things being speculative studies that suggest assocations).
But the INTERESTING thing is that abnormally large amygdalas have been linked to heightened creativity. Think about it. At first glance, the suggestion is that more emotional people are more creative (though looking at actors and artists, this corollary seems to make sense). But I would argue that the more in touch we are with that deeper, almost volatile side of our instincts, the better we are at creation. The better we are at startups.
Look, startups are difficult. And not just because probabilities are stacked against you, resources escape you, and competition rises at every corner. It’s how we DEAL with those things. It’s how we RISE to the occasion, and get inspired to put our asses on the line everyday to move forward. This takes instinct, it takes thrill, and, occasionally, it takes embracing your fears.
So go ahead, be yo badass lizard-brained self.
I certainly applaud efforts in the startup community to quantify the startup game to a science. To make a scientific method out of it. I myself agree with a lot of principles from Eric Ries’ Lean Startup, and think they are key to taking the passion and give it definition and life.
But it doesn’t say much about the actual conception of a startup. Forgive the birth metaphor, but it’s the best way to describe it. Pre-data, pre-customer interviews, we had a different kind of fuel that…lit our fire.
Let me ask you: What’s that initial feeling that drew you to your idea? Was it all data, or was there something more than that?