Last week I was talking to a well known entrepreneur about his journey. After several background questions I asked how his role has changed going from solo founder to leader of a company with nearly 1,000 employees. His answer:
Before, I was ideator and doer. Now, I’m the editor and curator of ideas.
An editor and curator of ideas. Of course, that makes perfect sense. Only, I hadn’t heard it presented that way. In the past, I’ve heard the entrepreneur’s three jobs presented as the following:
- Set a mission and vision
- Find and nurture the best people
- Ensure there’s enough cash in the bank
While I believe those three to still be true, a fast growing business that’s transitioned from startup to scaleup needs a strong editor and curator. More scale results in more competing interests and complexity. More scale results in more initiatives and more opportunities. Scaleups, even with an incredibly successful core business, can easily lose their way chasing The Next Big Thing. Saying “no” becomes even more important than saying “yes.”
As an entrepreneur, the next time 10 ideas are thrown at you, imagine yourself as the editor of a well regarded magazine. What articles do you let in? What does your readership expect? What’s the tone you want to set? Where are you heading? Put on your editor hat and evaluate the ideas in the context of the overall mission and vision.
Entrepreneurs should be the editor and curator of ideas for their business.