2 Key Lessons from the Wright Brothers
David McCullough’s biography of the Wright brothers is a fantastic read. These were my top two takeaways...
1. Fall in love with the problem and the journey won’t seem so arduous.
The brothers worked 12 – 16 hour days for years, with few resources, and eventually conquered manned flight.
If you are pursuing entrepreneurship because it is fashionable or just want to make quick buck, you are much less likely to succeed.
The bicycle repairer ‘laymen’ beat the much better capitalized, Harvard-trained Samuel Langley, whose main motivation was fame.
2. A grand and compelling vision gets the world to conspire to want to help you.
In The Alchemist sense 🙂. When the brothers camped out in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, a poor town, the residents were so intrigued by their mission that they went out of their way to aid them expecting nothing in return.
In fact, one widower with destitute kids who barely made a living, devoted a couple hours a day to make sure the brothers were well set up to do their experiments.
“Conquering manned flight”, “Organizing the world’s information”, “A computer on every desk” are all good examples. Making more money is not, unless you are a hedge fund :)
I saw this first-hand when we worked with Cotopaxi, whose stated mission is to “Redefine capitalism” to be gentler, kinder and reduce poverty. They have no trouble hiring, and some job posts gets thousands of applicants!