Why entrepreneurs should always be working on an idea, even if it’s not yet working

Edited excerpt from Why you should continue working on your bad idea by Joel Gascoigne:

Earn the required experience and learning
The chances are that you won’t hit the jackpot first time around. I often call my previous not so successful startup my “required learning” which led me to have more success with Buffer. Learning tends to only happen through doing.

You want to have something you’re doing
It’s very powerful to have something you’re actively working on which is your own, something to drive you. This “something” can be what causes you to reach out to someone, or attend or offer to speak at an event. These kinds of activities create serendipity which can have a huge impact.

Good ideas come through iteration
The startups which are most successful are vastly different today than the initial idea. I think that this is actually the norm rather than the exception.

Notes:
(1) Joel titled his article “Why you should continue working on your bad idea”. But if you gave the idea a real shot, and now you have a better idea, shouldn’t you switch? So perhaps a better title would have been “Why you should always be working on an idea, even if it’s not yet working”.
(2) Joel’s assertion that good ideas come through iterating is a reason why you shouldn’t pivot too fast.
(3) Re. “Good ideas come through iteration”, cf. The best growth teams maximize the velocity of tests.

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