Can entrepreneurs collaborate?
We often see entrepreneurs as intelligent, strong, visionary individuals, with strong teams and above-average communication skills. They’re the leaders paving the road for new technologies, mental models, and business trends.
Dissonance in entrepreneurs' identities
While entrepreneurs are not a one-man-show, they are generally blamed for drawbacks in their project (while being expected to give credit to their team when the startup succeeds). In general, this is a good leadership practice, but it can also be very tough and draining on the individual.
The greatest entrepreneurs have a support network, whether it be in the form of a co-founder, a community of other startup founders, encouraging family members, or a terrific Board of Advisors. However, these networks do not simply magically appear for a handful of lucky entrepreneurs - they need to have a particular mindset to attract this kind of support.
Entrepreneurs who are successful are open to and regularly looking for collaboration. They surround themselves with the right people, build mutually beneficial partnerships, and aren't afraid of open conversations with competitors. Indeed, many consider collaboration in entrepreneurship as important as the idea itself.
It's almost comedic that we heroify entrepreneurs, when in reality, what we as a society admire about them is the Achilles' Heel for so many entrepreneurs!
Startups often pool resources to get more benefit for less investment. For example, co-marketing - collaborating on a single marketing activity instead of each having their own smaller, less effective strategies. Other entrepreneurs choose to find business opportunities through each other's networks. These collaborative methods are not only cost-effective but also very practical. It's a pity more individuals and organizations do not work on joint projects or tap into their collective networks.
Why collaborating isn't a priority
Why do so many entrepreneurs choose to bypass the collaboration option and go it alone instead?
One reason can be fear - due to lack of trust, uncertainty in the market or one's own idea. Fear is a powerful driver. It may seem easier to just do everything by yourself instead of having to work with someone, build a relationship, outline all details and constantly follow up on the progress of the partnership. However, this trail of thought definitely highlights weaknesses in the entrepreneur's leadership!
The other reason for avoiding collaboration is ego. Starting a business takes a lot of courage and belief in oneself and one's abilities. Unfortunately, some founders driving along the confidence highway end up taking a wrong turn towards the dark and dangerous ego-town. Fueled by the belief that they are capable of anything and everything, these people do not accept help from anyone and often wind up without the crucial support network for their business.
Successful entrepreneurs can put their ego aside, conquer their fears, and make logical decisions for the benefit of their business. They are able to identify useful contacts, see opportunities for partnerships, and initiate joint projects. At the end of the day, what good is a startup that does not integrate into its environment?
We hear it all the time: "two brains are better than one," "if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together," "sharing is caring," "behind every great person, are a bunch of other people"...
This is what our CEO and co-founder, Yann Rousselot-Pailley, wanted to address in the working style of independent business professionals. 2PS is a project that gathers intelligent self-starters and encourages them to build something greater collectively.
In the end, it's a social experiment - can the world's brightest individuals create more value for society by working together? Are we capable of this as humans?