A while back a friend in San Francisco drew me the diagram pictured above.
We were talking about some of the projects and people I was involved with and he put this up on a whiteboard to explain who entreprenerus should surround themselves with to maximize chances for success.
The outermost ring represents 90% of the population. These are persons either satisfied to be followers and/or lack the ambition or ideas to be entreprenerus. The second inner ring (about 8% of the population) are “idea guys.” They are big thinkers, have smart ideas, excel on tests and ‘talk the talk’ of entrepreneurs. However, most of these folks fail in their ability to execute on the ideas they have. It’s only the inner most ring, that special 2%, who can not only think big but also think small enough to execute successfully on their vision. My friend suggested that while not perfect, you can generally judge a 2%-er based on the size of their bank account.
If you are entrepreneur, think about the people you know who are not only smart on paper, but who have a track record of successful execution. It’s a much smaller crowd than you might think, but that’s who you need to find and surround yourself with.
Update: Jessica Mah has a nice related post titled, Why 99% of Entrepreneurs Fail: Because They Don’t Do Anything