Visionary Founders and Reality

Manu Pillai
2 min readMar 9, 2021

A few times every year, a “visionary founder” reaches out for help. There is “re-imagining” something in order to “disrupt” a $T market and all I need to do is sign on :-) To-date, just one “visionary” founder has been able to say why the stuff they were working on mattered, and that founder planned to dominate > 10 markets in parallel, which is still an ongoing effort ...

You can’t be a self-described visionary — that is what others get to call you, if indeed you are. Just tell me what you do for your customers and why they love your product, or if really early-stage, why they should love your product. (It’s not about you, it about what you can do for the customer.)

“Re-imagining” needs clarity of what and why, otherwise it is code for “not sure how this is supposed to happen, so I’ll fake it till I figure it out” :-) Could you just explain, simply, what you do, and why it matters?

“Disrupting” a market needs confidence in yourself — which is good. But at least back up the goal with some evidence it could be true, based on your efforts. You get to try to disrupt a market, after you’ve actually entered and survived. To quote Mike Tyson “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”

Just figure out how to build something people want, that they will pay for, with a co-founder, and do that really well for a niche, first. Aim to make life better — and stick with the No Jerks Rule.

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Manu Pillai

Interests: IoT, Climate. Skills: Startups, AgTech, Edge, NPI, Systems, Mfg @manurpillai