Until You Can Explain It Simply

Consider this popular Einstein quote: “If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”

If that quote is true, then many business leaders and entrepreneurs don’t seem to understand their business very well at all.

How many of them? I don’t know exactly. I wish I could support this statement with numbers, but I can’t. Would you mind forwarding any data you may have about this?

However, in the last 20 years, I feel like I’ve run into a thousand people unable to explain what they’re working on and why. The first person I ran into with this “disease” was probably me. I remember trying to explain simply what my first startup did to my relatives when we launched. It was really hard. I was very “ill”.

Isn’t that OK for a startup founder, though? Because, when you start something, you’re a hobbyist. You don’t exactly know what you’re doing, so you can’t really explain how and why things happen.

Also, per another popular quote (from someone I don’t know), “It's hard to read the label from inside the jar.” When you’re building or running a business, when you are inside, you may have a vision for what it’s going to look like. But why this vision? You may not be able to answer that question. You may just be talking from intuition.

Is the lack of understanding of your own business a big problem? Again, given the number of people unable to explain what their company does and why I guess it’s probably not a big deal.

That’s if you can afford to remain a hobbyist, of course.

Until you can explain it simply, keep trying. Or get some help. That's how hobbyists become professionals.

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