Innovation · Professional development

Is passion enough to succeed?

Sonal Banka

June 24th, 2015

When passion is not about a specific idea or new opportunity. It is the emotional drive that won't let you rest until you try for yourself to find or discover the new path, the new solution, the new product, the new service. We are working on creating an online organic and natural food market where nutrition comes first, nutrition labels are smart and consumers can find and shop right food easily and better. I don't have professional experience in food industry but I am curious about it, I have a story, I have that restless desire to improve, to try harder, and to seek something new.

What do you think? Is innovation passion enough or you need to have professional industry experience to succeed? Have you experienced this restlessness?

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Ryan Nobrega Product, Technology, Operations

June 24th, 2015

Industry experience is not necessary, and can be an asset. You should have passion for the industry, and what you are trying to create, no matter how abstract.

And yes to your last question.

Justin AP CEO at EcoCosm, Inc.

June 25th, 2015

Passion is essential.  Richard Branson knew nothing about the airline industry when he started Virgin Air.  Just one example.


June 24th, 2015

Passion, willing to keep on trying and figure out what in the end works will always be the biggest driving force behind anything new. Yes domain knowledge and tech expertise help, but it starts with the fire

Chris Carruth VP/Director. Strategy | Business Development | Operations | Product | Solutions

June 24th, 2015

You can always create a team of informal advisors from the industry/functions you are less familiar with or lack experience in. Not sure I agree that lack of industry experience is ever an advantage.

Sonal Banka

June 25th, 2015

Thank you everyone for great input! I am learning new things every day. Not knowing enough about a food industry has definitely pushed me to have a fresh look at it.  

Mario Facusse Founder and CEO of Xyber Technologies

June 26th, 2015

Sometimes not knowing how hard it will be is the only way you'd do it in the first place. Not knowing avoids the fear most people have in the first place.

John Petrone CTO at LaunchPad Central

June 24th, 2015

I think passion is the one thing required for any startup - I don't know how you would get past all the bumps and twists and turns and disappointments without it.

Can you get by without specific industry experience? Yes - but you need to be out there talking to real people - "get out of the building" like Steve Blank likes to say and engage in a strong, continuing process of customer discovery.

Mikhail Gorelkin Principal AI Architect & Developer

June 24th, 2015

No, you need to understand reality to deal successfully with it.

Ming Tsui

June 24th, 2015

Passion is not enough because your market where you enter determines your success
or failure from even before you get started.

I think you are a niche area especially people just don't care much of their foods they ea.
The more fat there are in their food and tastes good to them is what really matters.

That is hard to overcome. So, natural food is  niche market. If you want to see first hand
of what I'm talking about then just stroll down to a vegetarian dish restaurant and see how
many customers go in to eat. They have to sell a little higher pricing, they have to deal with
less traffic coming in, they have to deal with making their vege food taste and even look good.

Damn! That is a lot of hurdles to overcome and if one is success that person really knows
what he is doing. Great for that.

But don't let me or anyone discourage you from trying because failure actually is a learning
experience for your future projects. Not all ideas will make it to success so keep on thinking
and keep on improving your first original ideas and many times the final solution is not even
the same as your first thoughts. It happened to me so many times. \

I have to revise my inventions and drawings and writings and still not even satisfied and keep
on revising. This just shows starting up  business is not easy.

And with our government being an obstacle at every turn, it is just tough especially all the regulations
they have imposed on small and even big businesses.

Just recently the wage increase closed down two local business in Chinatown in Oakland and maybe
even more. Imagine what happens when minimum wage is set at $15 bucks for no skilled educated work force. The real problem is most low earning workers do not spend much money but saved them so it is
not going to be helping the economy to grow. Many people think with higher wages, low income people will be spending their new money to fuel the future economic growth. That is not going to happen because I have
feedbacks from folks that they love the higher wages and now they can sack them away for savings.

Now, the middle class must shoulder all the spending to make sure businesses continue to prosper. Minimum wages have everything to do with starting up a new business. So, you have to keep costs in
mind when you open a new business enterprise. It is going to get tougher in the years ahead. How start ups
succeed is a miracle.

Mikhail Gorelkin Principal AI Architect & Developer

June 25th, 2015

It's good to remember that the world is full of fairy tales :-)