Build what’s missing

How do you build something that doesn’t exist? Y-Combinator startup gas pedal founder Paul Gram wrote, “Live in the future and build what’s missing.” One phrase captures the present, the future, and action to turn one into the other.

Working with company founders, I see a variety of challenges. One finds it difficult to accept the bitter reality of the present because it would destroy the coveted image of self. Another is swamped like a swamp by operations and has no time, or rather mental energy, to clearly describe the future the company is supposedly heading toward. But if there is no target, you can hit the bull’s-eye only by accident. The third one understands everything correctly, but the key decisions which can quickly increase the value of the business are for some reason not taken in any way. False assumptions invisibly entangle the mind and make it only unproductively twitch from side to side, like a bumblebee in a web.

Man is a value-oriented being. This means that of all the variety of the world around us, we notice only what preserves and develops our lives. In fact, this is why the same event will strike you deeply in the soul, while your neighbor will only shrug his shoulders. It’s the same with opportunities, dangers, resources, and tools — we only see them when we really need them. When falling from a tree, our hand involuntarily grasps any object whose function is to keep us from hitting the ground.

This is why it is important for every entrepreneur to know at any moment that there is good and evil, but not in an abstract way, but specifically for his or her business and life. Existential questions are difficult to answer, but not impossible. And it is certainly worth it.

Yours sincerely,


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Alexander Lyadov

Alexander Lyadov

As a business therapist, I help entrepreneurs to navigate faster in non-standard situations.