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How To NOT LET Your Startup CREATOR'S EGO Get In Your Way

Updated: Apr 9

Definition of the Startup Creator's Ego

I admit that,

  • I let my CREATOR'S EGO get in my way at least a hundred times.

  • I failed many times just because of my stubbornness.

  • Although I had the ability, I often chose not to put myself in my customer's shoes.

  • I did not have the courage to kill a feature just because I spent time building it.

  • I often chose contentment over money.

  • I did not listen to my mentors, teachers, and all the "wise" people who tried to help me out because I thought I knew the best.

If you say, "been there, done that" you have come to an understanding that most products fail because of their startup creators' ego. Cheers Mate 🍻









If you are still using BUT sentences and trying to find an excuse for every failure of yours, then you are not even ready to admit that you TOO have the CREATOR'S EGO.


Subtle Signs of the Creator's Ego

I remember my early days as an entrepreneur. I thought I was ready to conquer the world. I did not have any financial motivations, but I was trying to self-actualize and become successful. But I really had no idea what success really was.

In the last ten years as a startup co-founder, I learned a lot from my mistakes. Now I am trying to share what I learned the hard way with the other founders so they do not repeat the mistakes I did.


A startup creator's ego can make or break things.

As a mentor and startup coach, I have the privilege of speaking with at least a few startup founders and product builders each week. I believe I learned the subtle signs of "ego" which I am about to share with you;

  • Physical signs: Eye distraction, back-pulling the body, aggressive smile, losing eye contact

  • Verbal signs: Using "but" in every sentence, trying to come up with excuses, giving a 5-minute response to a single question, inconsistent answers

The creator ego does not always present itself in the form of a high-pitched voice or interruption of your sentences when you speak. It does sometimes come in a passive-aggressive way.


PROs and CONs of the Creator's Ego

I cannot say that the Creator's Ego is not helpful. It is...

In many cases, it is our ego that fuels the growth of our startup or that pushes us to find our way in the sea of ambiguity surrounding the startups.

It is often the case that people with a certain degree of ego have a tendency to seek career freedom, thus more likely to become entrepreneurs.

So here comes a quick PRO list:

  • Energy

  • freedom of thought

  • freedom of expression

  • high work motivation

  • hard-working attitude

  • high focus

  • high determination



 

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The funny thing about the Creator's Ego is that it sometimes needs to be disciplined or captived.

With wisdom and experience comes discipline which can be useful for the creator.

And here is the quick CONs list:

  • Stubbornness

  • Getting stuck

  • Getting biased

  • Concentrating on the process, not the results

  • Not being open to suggestions


The creator of The Lean Canvas Ash Maurya uses the term the Innovator's Bias when he talks about how creators bury their heads in the sand and get biased - therefore lost - in the process of building their fantasy idea.

The Creator's Ego is kind of a fuel that keeps us going but it's also a double-edged sword. As a founder or builder, you can hurt yourself or your business if you cannot control your ego.


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How To Use Your CREATOR'S EGO To Help You Build Great Products That People Will Love

When we create products or services and put a price tag, our main intention is to sell, right? So, if we build something that no one is willing to buy, we are doomed.

Understanding the problems of the customers and coming up with solutions that can solve those problems is an exhausting process. We need to make many iterations, speak with lots of customers, gain many insights and experiment with several MVPs, value propositions, and pricing models to finally find a scalable and repeatable business model.

This is not only a cash-burning but also a physiologically consuming process. And this is exactly where we can use the PRO features of The Creator's Ego. The energy, determination and motivation of a creator are what will drive the whole product or startup development process.

Customers know what they need. They may not verbally express their desires or come up with solution ideas but they know what they need and what they are willing to pay for. So if our product is not selling, we shall be ready to revise, kill or pivot for a better one. In the end, for-profit products are not our babies and we do not need to nurture them if they are not yielding any revenue.

The Creator's Ego is most useful if it helps us concentrate on the final outcome of building products that people will love.


 

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