How To Make $7 Million: Ignore Your Critics

The $7,000,000 watch

If you follow any sort of tech news, I’m sure you’ve heard about Pebble – the runaway Kickstarter success story that has sold over $7 million worth of watches virtually overnight.

The project was launched by a 25 year old guy and a couple friends. As with many success stories, they turned to Kickstarter as a last resort after being turned down by a number of (regretful) venture capitalists.

I was reading a New York Times article today and it quoted one of their critics, Robert Fabricant – the VP of some big-time development firm – “casting doubt” on their success:

“Mr. Fabricant, like others in his field, cast some doubt on the notion that it was possible to sidestep the traditional routes to building a business, particularly through a service like Kickstarter. They say young, inexperienced business people need advisers, mentors and a network of support to help them deal with the problems that can emerge.”

What young and inexperienced businesspeople need is less people like Mr. Fabricant – people who assume that your brain isn’t capable of logic, reason, or research until your hair turns grey. My advice: if someone mentions the phrase “young and inexperienced” – a phrase that I’ve heard hundreds of times in my life – do the exact opposite of whatever they suggest.

An innovative mindset and a set of cojones will trump “experience” any day of the week – and if these guys are smart enough to come out with a product that 50,000 people ordered – before the product even existed – I’m sure they will be smart enough to seek out mentorship (and a mentor who isn’t anti-youth, to boot).

Remember: “entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled” (Howard Stevenson). When you have a great idea – particularly an innovative one that leapfrogs the established route – ignore the people that tell you that there are no shortcuts, people that tell you that you “should” or “need” to go about things in a certain way. That’s the typical party line that The Man feeds to you protect The Way Of Doing Things.

Oscar Wilde said that “everything popular is wrong” – a quote that I think universally applies to business situations, especially in this incredibly exciting atmosphere of innovation through which we’re currently progressing.

Cheers to the newest millionaires on the block – disruptive innovators, I salute you!

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Zack

4 thoughts on “How To Make $7 Million: Ignore Your Critics

  1. I think experience is very vablulae and worth some time to listen to, but needs to be tempered with the knowledge that this world was build by people who today would be thought of as too young for a very long time in world history, life expectancy was so short that you were married in your early teens, and by 20 you were middle aged. Advances brought about by government, religion, education, science, culture anything associated with progress was largely done by people who were under 30. The only thing I think that experience can teach: risk what you are prepared to lose, but risk something!

  2. I think experience is very valuable and worth some time to listen to, but needs to be tempered with the knowledge that this world was build by people who today would be thought of as “too young”…for a very long time in world history, life expectancy was so short that you were married in your early teens, and by 20 you were middle aged.

    Advances brought about by government, religion, education, science, culture…anything associated with “progress”…was largely done by people who were under 30.

    The only thing I think that experience can teach: risk what you are prepared to lose, but risk something!

    • I can relate to your exenriepce of being at an event when you don’t have a clue what the conversation is about. I also found out that our humor does not always translate into another language. I went to an American movie there once with Dutch subtitles and started to laugh at a part that I thought was funny but the joke was on me as I was the only one laughing. The best way to learn the language is to enlist the help of a Dutch friend who wants help with their English. It can be fun.

  3. Zack is my son and when he was in high school he said: “i am going to be a millionaire”! I believed him and the more I see the more I know he will be….if he wants to….
    Zack,you are amazing!

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