The Trough of Disillusionment for Entrepreneurs

David Cummings on Startups

There’s a Hype Cycle is a methodology invented by Gartner about technologies whereby expectations start out in grand fashion only to fall off sharply into the trough of disillusionment. Then, slowly, over time the visibility and impact grow creating tremendously productivity and value. Entrepreneurs follow a similar path on the personal level when building a new company.

Over the last week I’ve talked with two different entrepreneurs that were in the trough of disillusionment. Of course, they didn’t volunteer to me that they were in the trough of disillusionment. Instead, they said that they were down because they’d been pushing hard on their new startup for the past year and haven’t seen the results they expected. Worse, results on the revenue side were almost none existent. With the advent of the New Year, and the typical reflection time, more stress is self-inflicted around achieving success.

Here are a few thoughts…

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