Taking risks can be difficult. Controlling that risk can be even harder. Following your instincts can help with this decision, but that does not necessarily result in success.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings understands this very well. Hastings said, “but as an entrepreneur you have to feel like you can jump out of an aeroplane because you're confident that you'll catch a bird flying by. It's an act of stupidity, and most entrepreneurs go splat because the bird doesn't come by, but a few times it does.”
This would suggest that business is an unpredictable environment, where risk doesn’t always pay off.
Netflix, co-founded by Hastings in the late 90s, was a monthly rate film service, where the cassettes would be mailed to your home address. This business then grew with the explosion of the Internet, into the highly successful streaming service we see today.
Hastings has made mistakes before, previously thinking that Facebook was a terrible idea, and now he is on the Board.
Learning from your mistakes and listening to those around you will help in building a stronger company.
Hastings said, “most entrepreneurial ideas will sound crazy, stupid and uneconomic, and then they'll turn out to be right”.
Running a business is filled with these kinds of decisions. Making the right choice can be difficult, but learning from mistakes can be even more important.
- Trust your ideas
- Understand the risk
- Learn from your mistakes