Startup Resources
November 5, 2013 by Matt Cooper

Visualizing success is a powerful thing. For athletes, it is an essential part of training, alongside practicing the strategies and techniques that will bring them that success. Could the same hold true for entrepreneurs?

If the success of the American startup ecosystem is any indication, the answer is yes. In the latest post for his Inc.com column, oDesk's VP of International & Enterprise Matt Cooper interviews Jon Bradford, the managing director of Techstars London. Their conversation ranges from the forward-thinking innovations of Seoul, South Korea, to the investment climates of growing entrepreneurial hubs worldwide. They also discuss the mindset of entrepreneurs in the U.S. compared to those elsewhere in the world, and how that translates to startup outcomes. Jon says:

Europeans are almost apologetic in a way [when we say things like] "we are planning on doing this ..." or "wouldn't it be interesting if we ..." or "should we think about this approach ..." The English are natural diplomats and that's reflected in their language as well. They hedge their language rather than making bold and aggressive statements.

We talk about this with our TechStars companies, and often invoke Yoda: "Do or do not, there is no try." Professional athletes spend a lot of time visualizing success. They follow the course, they run through plays, they have a clear vision of what winning will look like. American start-ups do this naturally because they have so many role models to follow. Rocket Internet has played this role in Germany. They've had some big wins and are building the right disciplines to building start-ups and scaling them into successful businesses.

Start-ups outside the U.S. have a harder time visualizing success because they don't have decades of successful start-ups to follow. We have to help our companies develop that vision, we have to make it an explicit act. It will take time for the newer start-up ecosystems to develop the same muscle memory that you see in Silicon Valley.

Read the full post on Inc.com here!

Matt Cooper

Vice President of International & Enterprise

Matt Cooper, oDesk’s Vice President of International & Enterprise, has more than a decade of executive operating experience in both start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. Previously, as a member of the executive team at Accolo, Inc., a recruiting services and technology firm, he grew the business from one employee into one of the top 50 companies on the Inc 500 list. He also co-founded a… read more