A friend and I dined last night at a restaurant that opened in our neighborhood last summer, in the middle of the pandemic. For the first six months of its existence, they could not welcome diners into the space that they had spent time and money creating. They carried on, figured out how to make money serving customers outside. As the NYC economy starts to recover, they are still standing. And they are now welcoming diners into the lovely space they created for them a year ago.
Resilience is an extremely valuable trait when you are starting and running a business. In a bull market that rewards other things, it is often overlooked. But I don’t overlook it.
A reporter asked me recently about a company that I am on the board of that has become very successful. I told the reporter that for years, the founder carried on while every competitor left the market in search of a viable business. The viable business arrived eventually and the founder was rewarded for his patience.
Sticking with something, even when the chips are down, is hard. Many people (most?) can’t do it. They are impatient. They want the easy money.
While the world has been going through a painful and deadly global pandemic, the tech sector has experienced a bull market of epic proportions that has lifted all boats and made some incredibly wealthy. But that bull market will eventually end and things will get harder for founders and CEOs and investors.
And that is when resilience will be in short supply. So look for it in founders now, when it is less necessary.