In Silicon Valley, we worship the idea of superpowers — and for good reason. When you meet an outstanding Founder it’s like coming face-to-face with a true force of nature. They see what others do not. Their reality is not, nor ever has been, realistic in the ordinary world.
These “reality distortion fields” are necessary for the extreme sport of startups. I certainly found this to be true when I was building and scaling Trulia. How else can you sell a product to customers that doesn’t even exist yet? A future revenue plan for investors that is more pipe-dream than pipeline? An unbeatable opportunity to prospective employees when your odds of winning are 1 in a million?
Case in point:
- Steve Jobs was so resolute in his vision for Apple I that he convinced a Mountain View store owner to purchase 50 of the computers even though he didn’t have the money to produce them. When he finally found a way and delivered the “assembled” computers, they not only required additional components and coding from the buyer, but also lacked a case — so they looked more like motherboards. When the store owner was reluctant to accept the machines, Jobs stared him down and persuaded him to take the leap.