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Espressopreneur: Startup Surfing: The Difference Between Surfing and Launching Startups

startup surfing launching startups"The best strategists understand the art of surfing. Good surfers don’t just catch the waves; over time they have built up radar that also tells them which wave will give them the longest ride " — Winslow Farrell, How Hits Happen.

I never surfed when I lived in California. Often I would drive my kids from Saratoga down the famous winding Highway 17 to Santa Cruz, so they could swim in the ocean. I am embarrassed to tell you — well, not really — that I've never even swam in Pacific Ocean. My kids made fun of me and called me chicken. But I refused to swim in the cold water. Instead I would sit and watch the incredible surfers. Being an athlete myself (soccer), I appreciate other athletes from different sports. I watched the surfers for hours. It was great, free entertainment.

As I watched them, I realized launching startups or new products is like surfing. You have to get on the right wave to hit that critical mass. If you get on the wrong market wave, you can either crash or burn — or, if not powerful enough of a wave, you may not get to laugh all the way to the beach bank. 

I wrote about having a surfer-mentallity in my upcoming book Entreprenetics: The Psychology of the Entrepreneur Mind. This may seem like a shameless promotion of the book, but I really do expand on this subject. Despite never surfing in my life, I get it. It’s kind of like watching the patterns evolve in a soccer game and finding those voids where you can dribble with the ball into open space in order to get to the goal quicker. I’ve done plenty of that. Just ask some of the defenders that I blew by on my way to score a goal. 

Now, back to finishing my Starbucks cup of espresso. Join the conversation by commenting below.

© 2013 entrepreneurdex 

Damir Perge, author of Entrepreneur Myths: The Startup Reality, is the founder of entrepreneurdex, a venturcelerator using complexity science to fund and launch startups.

An entrepreneur and investor, with more than 25 years experience, he's worked with ventures in the technology, internet, media and publishing, entertainment, energy, and manufacturing sectors raising more than $300 million in capital for various companies and investing more than $50 million into startup and emerging ventures. He's sat on the boards of 11 companies, served as editor-in-chief of Futuredex, a private equity magazine. Follow 

Pre-order Damir Perge's upcoming books at damirperge.com >

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