Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin, the CEO of Australian tech incubator BlueChilli, handed out some seemingly counter-intuitive advice to startup founders in Sydney last week.
Speaking at Vivid Ideas Eckersley-Maslin said when chasing a startup dream, sometimes it’s better to do your second best idea first.
“If you’ve got a couple of ideas — and let’s be honest most entrepreneurs have more then one idea floating in your head — do your second best idea first,” Eckersley-Maslin said.
Behind his theory is the idea that the founder is probably going to fail, an experience which he said they can learn from and apply to their best idea.
“This whole thing about learning from failures, you’ll learn a lot, so do your second best idea first because you’re not going to be as emotionally attached to it which means you’ll be more rational with the decision making process you do,” he said.
“You’ve also got to make sure you have a very healthy, emotional detachment from your idea.
“Every time there’s a hard decision to make you’re going to be a lot more rational because you already know there’s this awesome idea in the back of your head that you can jump on later.”
Chances are the startup will probably fail but the lessons, processes, contacts and even money you earn from the second best idea can all be put towards your best idea.
“If everything turns to sh-t and the whole thing falls over, it’s alright! You can jump on your first idea, you can apply those learnings to your first idea but if you do manage to succeed at your second best idea you’ve now got the capital to put into the first,” he said.