What is your first response when you encounter a tremor?
You wonder if anyone else has also noticed the tremor. The need for “validation” is widespread and happens for incidents that don’t involve tremor as well.
If those in your group feel something, you’ll too. That’s the reason we look around before we start clapping on a really good speech by that inspiring guest speaker. Why should it matter if people in your group felt the way you did about the episode? Because it matters. A lot. Social validation matters.
Startup founders are no different.
They attend hackathons, tech meetups and try to network with every other startup founder in their area for that very reason – social validation.
Still why the startups that have won hackathons and mesmerized everyone else in a tech meetup don’t live up to the promise?
More or less, the crux of whatever they talk about in such events comes to this:
“I’m riding the horse of uncertainty. I can see that you’re too. Just the color of my horse is pink and your’s is blue. I’m cool at what I do. Pretty soon I’ll be successful; you might too!”
And they feel relaxed. They feel they’re doing something right even though the case might be exactly the opposite.
This observation from Seth Godin is so on-target:
“Action, even ineffective action, is something societies seek out during times of uncertainty.”
Sure, it’s natural. It’s human too. But it’s scary as well.
As they are more close to everyday uncertainties, startup founders tend to take more actions than others.
But sometimes more is not better. Only better is better. Again a profound thought from Seth.
Maybe, instead of attending one more similar startup community event, you might want to spend your Saturday noon making your product better.
Attend good startup events for sure – they provide great value. But do it for the right reasons. If you’re doing it for social proof, then you might want to reconsider it.
Not more actions. Just the better ones.