After my talk yesterday at the InnovatiBA festival in Buenos Aires (here are the slides), one of the most successful entrepreneurs here in Argentina came to me and called me out on something: My lesson #9 is “Be Ignorant — There Are No Rules”.
As much as he agrees with this lesson — he also disagrees. His point is that if you ignore the basic rules of how things are done — you put your startup at risk with potentially dire consequences. The comment made me think — as I agree with him. There is no point in reinventing the wheel, in disagreeing for the sake of the argument, for trying a potentially dangerous route if there is a perfectly fine and workable route in front of you.
My lesson was always geared toward the part of your business where you create the real value. The piece where you differentiate yourself from everyone else. Not the pieces of your business which are the supporting scaffolding (and truth be told — 70% of your business is just that). I haven’t made that clear enough.
So here’s the modification of my lesson: Be Ignorant. There Are No Rules. But Follow The Battle Plan For Survival.
Don’t reinvent the wheel (unless you are in the business of making new wheels).