Throw yourself out of the plane door

John Moody posted up a question on the Business of Software forums asking if a product idea he has – a hosted error logging and reporting service – is worth pursuing. The general consensus was that it wasn’t.

Screw the naysayers.

Starting a company is like skydiving*. The hard part isn’t falling through the air, opening the parachute or even landing. It’s throwing yourself out of the airplane.

Sure, talk to some potential customers, investigate the competitors and minimise the risk, but at some point you need to throw yourself out of the plane door.

The odds are you won’t land where you thought you would. Red Gate’s first product was a bug tracking system; Bill Gates’s and Paul Allen’s was Traff-O-Data; Joel Spolsky and Michael Pryor started Fog Creek as a consulting business; Apple started off selling hand-built motherboards.

And you’ve always got a reserve chute if things don’t go as you hoped. You’ll have more scars, skills and experience and be even more employable than you were before.

*Not that you’d ever get me to skydive.