Why do so many entrepreneurs make the same mistakes? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Many entrepreneurs become one by accident: they come up with an idea or begin to pursue a passion, and it develops into a business, but they "don't know what they don't know." When The Grommet surveyed our Makers we discovered that only 10% have any prior experience in the area where they are now creating a product. They are teachers, doctors, lawyers, plumbers--i.e., any walk of life, but not consumer product entrepreneurs. So they don't have the knowledge or necessary networks to get in front of upcoming and somewhat predictable problems that they end up too often solving in isolation.

For the entrepreneurs that The Grommet works with there are 16 competencies--like financing, protecting intellectual property, and logistics--that they need to master in order to advance their product and business. The reason for this is that even with a superior product, which is "table stakes" to become a Grommet, the minute you hit the market you are competing with the big brands on just about everything from packaging to marketing to supply chain management.

Most entrepreneurs are strong in a handful of these skills, but they will need to learn more about at least half of these competencies. That is one of the main reasons I wrote "How We Make Stuff Now," to try to reduce the barriers and obstacles that each Maker encounters, and help them solve the problems that others have solved before them.

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Published on: May 31, 2019