Flipping The Coin

Back in college, I went to an entrepreneurship seminar between classes, probably because they had free pizza. I didn’t know the person presenting, and was too swamped with homework to really care. I grabbed some food, dropped my backpack on the ground next to me, and started checking email with one hand while stuffing my face with the other.

The speaker got up and started talking. To this day I don’t know exactly what the bulk of his presentation was about, but there was one idea that stood out and has been a guiding principle for me ever since:

When you flip a coin, you either get heads or tails. When you start a business, you either succeed or fail. It becomes a numbers gameā€”the more you flip a coin, the more times you’ll land on heads. Likewise, the more businesses you start, the more successes you’ll have.

Now, the more you flip a coin or start a business, you’ll get successes, yes, but you’ll also get failures. So theoretically, if you have success, you’ll also have a slew of failures behind you as well. Lizzy and I have a whole bunch of dead ideas we’ve cast aside over the years.

To people around you, it might look like a long string of failures and then the one “lucky” venture that finally works. It might look like you’re just jumping from one thing to the next, never sticking to one thing, and always chasing the next fad.

But it doesn’t matter what other people think. Just keep flipping the coin and you’ll land on heads eventually. That’s what we did with Stitch People. And we’ve done a few things since then that have failed, because we’ve kept flipping the coin. But we know that the more we flip, we’re bound to land on heads again.

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