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Planting Seeds for Start-up Success

With so many distractions germinating from the Technology we have planted in our lives – TV, Tablets, Text Messages, Emails, Social Networks, Apps, etc – It’s important to find time to appreciate the Earth itself.

I love the outdoors – hiking, fishing, spending the day at the beach, or taking Jackson for a walk with my wife are some of my favorite things to do.

With today being Earth Day, one of the most common ways to celebrate is by planting a tree. I must say that planting a seed and watching it grow over time is a very rewarding experience for me. Maybe this feeling stems from seeing something substantial being created from something so small…a seed.

That small seed has so much potential within it, but it must be planted in fertile ground and receive the necessary nutrients it needs to materialize that potential into existence.

It reminds me very much of a start-up.

An idea is a lot like a seed. Lots of people have ideas, but not everyone has the proper resources, dedication, or environment needed to help that seed grow into a flourishing tree.

One thing to remember is that a seed is not going to transform into a large tree overnight. In today’s World we have technology at our fingertips and are constantly connected to instant information and the ability to connect instantly to others very easily. Therefore, often it is the case that many people therefore also come to expect instant results, or instant gratification.

If you plant a seed on Monday you cannot expect to harvest the fruits of a flourishing Apple Tree on Friday.

You could look at the location where the seed was planted every day for hours. You could sing to the seed, buy it the best nutrients, and spend every waking moment giving it words of encouragement, but it still will grow at its own pace.

No matter how much you want that seed to grow into a tree quickly…it takes time, diligence and care.

The same is true with start-ups. You have a seed (idea) and you need to find a fertile environment (Physical location, industry, or supporting business) for that seed to reach its potential. You need to ensure that your garden is tended to and that you chase off any scavengers that could uproot, or damage your tree. You also need to be mindful of the climate / weather patterns (industry & customer trends) that could be impacting that growth of your tree.

If you plant a high quality seed in a fertile environment, have the proper people who have experience tending to the tree / seed, and provide it consistently with the resources it needs to grow over time, there’s a good chance that it will develop into a flourishing tree and bear fruit in its season.

I hope each and everyone of you continue to sow seeds of success into your lives.

Happy Earth Day!

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  1. I enjoyed this post. Another important aspect is reminds me of the farmer in a desert. He only has a limited supply of water. If he plants 5 acres and irrigates his land he will have good return on his seeds, for they receive enough water to supply growth. If he had planted 20 acres with a limited supply of water he would have failed, for there was not enough water for all the acreage he had planted. Best of everything to you. Regards, Sarah B

  2. Nice post Dave. Very true for start-ups to be mindful of the environment and not blinded by the idea. To piggy-back on your thoughts to chase off scavengers, I always think of building a “fence” around the tree to prevent competitors from picking off the apples or deterring a healthy growth. One way to do so is by creating a sustainable competitive advantage in the form of a well-positioned brand, integrated distribution strategy, or capital intensive investments in R&D etc. things that create a barrier from the competitors to come and steal away fruit (i.e. marketshare). I think it’s always a great reminder to entrepreneurs to take their time nurturing their start-up seeds and reminding people to appreciate their environment. Happy Earth Day!

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