The Edge: Why I Love Startups

I’m reading Mark Cuban’s book on business, and I’m really enjoying it. Mostly because he puts words to what I feel (or have felt) or continue to feel about my work, about startups, about business in general. I love it.  It was so good, this whole post is dedicated to quoting the relevant bits. The parts that spoke to me were about “The Edge”- or really, the competitive edge and why he loves business.  And really, why I love this space too.

The sport of business is the ultimate competition. It’s 7 × 24 × 365 × forever.

I love the sport of business. I love the competition. I love the fire of it. It’s the feeling of the clock winding down, the ball in your hands, and if you hit the shot you win … all day, every day.

Relaxing is for the other guy. I may be sitting in front of the TV, but I’m not watching it unless I think there is something I can learn from it. I’m thinking about things I can use in my business and the TV is just there.

I could take the time to read a fiction book, but I don’t. I would rather read websites, newspapers, magazines, looking for ideas and concepts that I can use. I spend timelooking for ideas and concepts that I can use. I spend time in bookstores because one idea from a book or magazine can make me money.

I’m not going to go to dinner with you just to chat. I’m not going to give you a call to see how you are. Unless you want to talk business. Other guys play fantasy sports. I fire the synapses to get an edge.

That’s what success is all about. It’s about the edge.

It’s not whom you know. It’s not how much money you have. It’s very simple. It’s whether or not you have the edge and have the guts to use it.

The edge is getting so jazzed about what you do, you just spent 24 hours straight working on a project and you thought only a couple of hours had passed.

The edge is knowing that you have to be the smartest guy in the room when you have your meeting and you are going to put in the effort to learn whatever you need to learn to get there.
The edge is knowing that when the four girlfriends you have had in the last couple years asked you which was more important, them or your business, you gave the right answer.
The edge is knowing that you can fail and learn from it, and just get back up and in the game.

The edge is knowing that people think you’re crazy, and they are right, but you don’t care what they think.
The edge is knowing how to blow off steam a couple times a week, just so you can refocus on business.
The edge is knowing that you are getting to your goals and treating people right along the way, because as good as
you can be, you are so focused that you need regular people around you to balance and help you.
The edge is being able to confidently call out someone on a business issue because you have done your homework.
The edge is recognizing when you are wrong and working harder to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
The edge is being able to drill down to identify issues and problems and solve them before anyone knows they are there.

The edge is knowing that while everyone else is talking about nonsense like the “will to win” and how they know they can be successful, you are preparing yourself to compete so that you will be successful.
That’s what makes business such an amazing sport.Everyone plays it. Everyone talks about how good he or she is or will be at it. Just a small percentage are.

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