Evaluate Opportunities Against a High Standard – Brian Kelly

The world is full of great business ideas.

But your time on earth is finite so you have to make choices about where to invest your time. Your career might last fifty years and if it takes ten years to build a company then you’re not getting too many chances. But if you don’t go for it sometimes then you’ll never really start anything. It’s tough. All of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made have been about whether to dig in or give up. Choosing badly can cost you time, money, relationships, and your health.

What happens sometimes is that you get excited and dive into a startup idea that has a lot going for it, grind it out for a long time, and then at some point you look back and wish you would have been more deliberate and selective about the opportunity up front.

This is a three-part episode.

Brian Kelly is going to tell you how he and Dave Corcoran evaluated potential business ideas, passed on one that sounded promising, and picked the one that turned into Censys, a successful early stage technology company.

Brian has been a founder or early employee at a series of technology companies including Duo Security, TrustBearer Labs, Nutshell, and Censys. He has been a host for A2NewTech and a generous contributor to the Ann Arbor tech community.

Let’s start by hearing about what Brian and Dave were trying to do back in 2016.