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Why Startups are Like Fishing

tartups are like fishing.
Both require multiple activities which you want to result in either catching fish or a startup liquidity event.
Casting your bait into the water and exposing your startup to the world are both “below the surface” events where listening skills are of prime importance.

With fishing, you try different fishing spots until you get a bite and hopefully, a catch.

With a startup, you pivot until you get market traction.

When fishing, you listen for the birds, you watch the birds, you watch the water. Circling birds show you where the fish are. Water disturbances can show you little fish, where there are little fish, there are big fish. You watch the tides and the weather. A good fisherman will find the fish. First, they know when to go fishing. Tides, temperature and etc. All help the fisherman if they know what to look for.

Same with a startup. You cast your startup into the market and you listen. You answer and reach out to user’s email. You read your analytics. You do A and B testing. Your user experience, unless you ask or you analyse, is all below the surface, just like the fish.

With fishing you pivot.  Last night I went to three spots to fish. The first spot was quiet for a while. There was small fish activity in the water. The birds were there. I actually caught a bird or rather, a bird flew into my line. Upsetting and a first for me.
A few bites. Lost bait. My fishing partner had one of those “Whale moments”. His line was hit, it shook, the rod almost bent in half. Whatever it was, took the lure and it was gone. It was one of those fishing stories which we will try and recreate not only last night but, whenever we go fishing. Of course, with the outcome of a big, really big fish.

And that’s the way it is with startups. You cast your startup into the internet and you look for the customers. Find what works and do more of it. Big fish or many users they are both equally satisfying to land.

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