What do I love about punk rock? Outside of the music itself, it’s the humanity and realness behind it all.
To be punk is to be raw and unpolished. It doesn’t matter how you look or sound. What matters is that you get your ass up on that stage, not giving a damn about what others might say. and just start playing music from your soul.
Get up there, crank the amp volume to 10, and let the world hear you and see you for what you are.
When you expose yourself like that – nothing to distract the audience or cover you up – something magical happens.
People start to connect with you. Could be 1 person, could be 5 million. Doesn’t matter, at first at least.
What matters is you make that connection. You puke your soul out on that stage and odds are, someone is right there to completely feel you and understand you.
But how the hell does this relate to startups?
To build a startup is punk as f*#k.
Especially in the early days. You’re there to solve a problem that can change everything, but it starts off raw and unpolished. If you’re waiting to put out a fully pristine product, then you’ve shipped too late.
Go out there, be raw and real. Build that ugly-looking MVP and find that early fan or 2. Have them connect with you and turn them into advocates. And while you’re building momentum, you’re also getting better. You’re picking up things here and there that enhance the music. Before long, you’re sounding better than ever – a real rhythm behind you – and your fans are there, growing with you and helping spread the word.
Don’t come out of the gate with a full arena tour built but no audience that you’ve connected with. Start from the dirt. Build your way up.
Get punk with it. If you’re a founder, you’re punk af. Act accordingly. Damn the man, be a punk.