Satya Nadella

The Paralyzing Fear of Getting Started

I haven't been straight with you.  Like most entrepreneurs... I haven't told you everything.  I told you why I decided to found in this Lucky7 post.  I told you the good part.  What I didn't tell you is that I was living in fear during those first few months of getting started... being back in an office and back in the arena once again.

But why?  I had started successful companies before, such as Bazaarvoice and Coremetrics. was my sixth!  I had a bigger network than ever before.  I had more know-how than at any other point in my entrepreneurial career, including the lessons that hardened for me in writing Lucky7 over the years to help other entrepreneurs.  I had spent three years in deep reflection.  I had seen over 1,100 startup pitches, which really does have the effect of making new mental connections (VCs call this "pattern recognition").  I had worked behind the scenes at Austin Ventures, seeing how the VC industry really works.  I had served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at both The Wharton School and U.T. Austin.  I knew company culture like the back of my hand - Bazaarvoice had been rated the best place to work in Austin when it was a small, medium, and then large-size company, winning #1 in all three categories as we rapidly grew.  Alongside my excellent co-founders, I had spent months researching the viability of  In short, I was, rationally speaking, more prepared than I had ever been before.  So why was I afraid?